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Appeals Court in Va. Hears Gay Marriage Case

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Hundreds protested in downtown Richmond Tuesday morning while a federal appeals court heard arguments over Virginia’s ban on same sex marriage. Hundreds protested in downtown Richmond Tuesday morning while a federal appeals court heard arguments over Virginia’s ban on same sex marriage.
A small crowd gathers outside the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals early Tuesday morning (Photo by ABC 8News Reporter Kristin Smith). A small crowd gathers outside the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals early Tuesday morning (Photo by ABC 8News Reporter Kristin Smith).
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - Hundreds protested in downtown Richmond Tuesday morning while a federal appeals court heard arguments over Virginia's ban on same sex marriage.

A federal judge ruled Virginia's ban on same sex marriage unconstitutional in February and said the decision would be delayed until appeals were heard. The first of those hearings was held Tuesday morning.

Attorneys on both sides were tested as judges questioned how the ban violates equal protection and how children benefit more with a mother and father as opposed to a same sex couple.

The issue has been a heated debate and protesters from both sides showed up by the bus load, rallying outside the courthouse.

"It's a human rights issue that people that are gay, deserve the rights as every other American, every other American and that includes marriage," says Catherine Read of Equality Virginia.

"It's one man one woman under God's law," says Marshall Tyree. "Homosexuality is a sin."

Police were on hand just outside the courthouse doors and while the debate was spirited, things did not get out of hand as protesters made sure their views were heard. Boos and cheers both made as the plaintiffs and the attorneys defending Virginia's ban walked out of court.

"It's a covenant between one man, and one woman, and the lord," says Barbara Whear.

"It's for everybody and I think that God is open to all sorts of folks," says Jay McNeal. "I think that diversity is natural in society, I think it's natural in our whole creative order."

A decision is expected in several weeks or months.

Copyright 2014 Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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