RICHMOND, Va. — A potentially landmark case on gay marriage is now in the hands of a federal appeals court in Virginia.
A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday on a judge's ruling that Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The case is one of a handful that could ultimately make it to the U.S. Supreme Court.
One of the appeals court judges vigorously challenged attorneys for gay-rights couples who argued that the ban violates equal protection and due process guarantees. Another judge was equally aggressive in questioning claims that families are stronger with both a mother and a father.
Hundreds of demonstrators on both sides gathered outside the courthouse. A decision is expected in several weeks or months.