Plaintiff Kody Partridge hoists Peggy Tomsic, attorney for the six people who brought the lawsuit against the Utah's gay marriage ban, during a gay marriage rally Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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Gay and lesbian couples are getting legally married in the Southeast for the first time, crossing a threshold in a conservative region long opposed to same-sex marriages.The U.S. Supreme Court's decision Monday to turn away appeals from a handful of states means marriage bans are unconstitutional in Virginia and similar bans in West Virginia and North and South Carolina should fall as soon.Support for gay marriage has rapidly grown over the past decade, as states mostly in the Northeast began legalizing it.The latest AP-GfK survey, in September, found 34 percent of Southerners favored legalizing gay marriage in their state, up from 28 percent the year before. In the Northeast, 47 percent backed it, as did 43 percent in the West and 38 percent of Midwesterners.Virginia's 2006 ban on gay marriages was challenged by Timothy Bostic and Tony London, who were given flowers by a pair of strangers -- Larissa Boose Williams and her 10-year-old daughter Sedona, who arrived at Norfolk Circuit Court hoping to witness history.
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