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Gay Marriages in Va. Can Begin Monday, W.Va. Ruling to Come

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The Richmond-based federal appeals court says its ruling authorizing same-sex marriages in Virginia will take effect this afternoon.

According to the clerk's office, the mandate will be issued at 1 p.m. Court clerks will be able to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after that time.

In West Virginia, the issue of same sex marriage is in the court of Federal Judge Robert Chambers in Huntington.  Chambers had set aside ruling on the matter citing the same issues were at stake in Virginia.  Chambers entered an order in June that stayed the case filed in West Virginia by three couples last October.

Gay rights group Lambda Legal filed the lawsuit contending West Virginia's Defense of Marriage Act unfairly discriminates against same-sex couples and their children.

In June, Chambers wrote that "because of the overlap in the issues present" in both cases, the case in West Virginia should await the outcome.

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