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      Opponents seek delay in Virginia gay marriage case

      By MICHAEL FELBERBAUMAssociated Press

      RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Attorneys representing a county clerk in northern Virginia have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to delay a circuit court ruling striking down the state's same-sex marriage ban.

      Alliance Defending Freedom on Thursday asked the nation's highest court to stay the decision by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond.

      The move comes after the federal appeals court on Wednesday denied a request to delay the ruling issued in late July while it's appealed to the high court.

      Unless the Supreme Court intervenes, officials say same-sex marriages could begin as early as Aug. 21. The state also would need to start recognizing out-of-state gay marriages.

      The request will either be considered by Chief Justice John Roberts or the full court. It has twice granted delays in related cases.

      Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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