The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday granted a request to delay enforcement of an appeals court ruling that overturned Virginia's same sex marriage ban. That means gay and lesbian couples cannot legally wed in the state for now.
The Richmond-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit last month struck down Virginia's voter-approved ban, following what other state and federal judges have done in the past year when finding such laws to be unconstitutional.
The high court in coming weeks or months will announce whether it will have the final word, and accept pending petitions from one or more various states, including Virginia, to review their bans on same-sex marriage.
A binding ruling from the justices on the constitutional issues would be one of the most contentious and closely watched from the Supreme Court in recent years, and could apply to all 31 current states that forbid same-sex marriage.