Gay marriage ruling leaves Virginia courts scrambling - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Gay marriage ruling leaves Virginia courts scrambling

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

 

A federal appeals court denied a request to delay its ruling- striking down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban.

The Supreme Court has yet to step in, and that means same sex couples could start getting married in a week's time.

This ruling has courts across the Commonwealth scrambling to prepare for expected large crowds. We wanted to know if area courts are ready for this possible major change.

"It's like something falling out of Heaven and you're like my gosh," said Rev. Robin Gorsline who is president of People of Faith for Equality. "Here we go. We are on the way."

Rev. Gorsline admits he is shocked Virginia courts just cleared the way for him and his partner to be married within a week.

"The speed," said Rev. Gorsline. "Well it has been electrifying."

Wednesday's decision by the U.S. Appeals Court to not block gay couples from marrying in Virginia can now only be halted by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The ruling allows same sex couples to get a marriage license, and it also recognizes marriages that have already been done in another jurisdiction. 

But there is work to be done on simple things like the blue and pink marriage applications...pink for the bride and blue for the groom. 

"It's a sweet thing, but obviously this will all have to change," said Rev. Gorsline. "Because now the idea is not that there is a bride and a groom, but there will be two brides or two grooms."

The clerk of court admits the color of the applications is just one of their challenges.

"Where it asks for the name of the bride and the name of the groom that will have to be changed," said Richmond Circuit Court clerk Ed Jewett. "Worst come to worst we can always type them like we did in the old days." 

Mr. Jewett also says they will adjust staffing for the expected increase in customers.

"We might have to have all hands on deck," said Mr. Jewett. 

Rev. Gorsline knows clergy will be a different story. 

"So we can't force any clergy person to marry anybody," said Gorsline. "We shouldn't even think about doing that, but there are plenty of clergy to do it." 

Meanwhile, more than 120 courts across Virginia are working to make sure they are prepared come next Wednesday. 

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