US Appeals Court in Va. to Hear Gay Marriage Case

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Another round in the fight over gay marriage is set for a Virginia courtroom.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hears arguments in a case challenging Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday.

The case is one of dozens making their way through courts across the country, and the third to be heard by a federal appeals court. People on both sides of the issue agree that the question of whether states can prohibit gay couples from marrying is likely to eventually be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen in Norfolk struck down Virginia's laws and constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in February.

A group called Stand Up For Love will meet in the following places, ahead of the hearing to talk about the arguments.

· May 12, Winchester City/Frederick County Court House, 12 noon, Witness for LOVE! with special send-off for Victoria Kidd and Christy Berghoff, Winchester couple who are plaintiffs in the Harrisonburg court case

· May 12, Christiansburg, 2:00 pm, Montgomery County Courthouse, Witness for LOVE! Interfaith gathering to sing, celebrate, and deliver a special letter of love to the Montgomery County clerk of court-supporting all the plaintiffs in Richmond

· May 12, Harrisonburg, 2:00 pm, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, Witness for LOVE! with special focus on couples Victoria Kidd & Christy Berghoff of Winchester, and Joanne Harris and Jessica Duff of Staunton, the two couples in the Harrisonburg litigation.

· May 12, Richmond, 6:00 pm, Interfaith Witness for Equality, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, followed by march to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond and an overnight vigil.

· May 13, Richmond, 8:00 am (arrive 7:45 am), Blessing the Couples, Praying for the Court and the Attorneys; Witness 8:00 am - 12 noon (Equality Virginia check-in at Commonwealth Suites 901 Bank Street)

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