Unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes, gay couples can get married in Virginia starting next Wednesday. That's because the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a delay on its ruling that struck down the state's gay marriage ban today.

In addition to marrying gay couples, the state will also have to recognize gay marriages formalized in other states. The Associated Press reports, however, that the defendants will try to get an emergency stay from the Supreme Court "as soon as possible. ...That request will go to Chief Justice John Roberts, who is responsible for the 4th Circuit."

Judge Henry Floyd wrote in his decision at the end of July:

We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws.

[Image via AP]