RICHMOND, Va. (WUSA9) -- After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit denied a circuit court clerk's request to delay implementation of its ruling striking down Virginia laws denying marriage to same-sex couples, her counsel said she will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the ruling.

Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit denied a request by Prince William County Circuit Court Clerk Michèle McQuigg to stay the ruling while the Supreme Court decides if it will review Bostic v. Schaefer. Now, unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes, couples may begin marrying and having their out-of-state marriages recognized in Virginia on August 21.

James Parrish, the executive director of Equality Virginia, issued a statement on Wednesday after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruling. It read:

"There is no doubt that Virginia is ready for the freedom to marry...We are thrilled that the 4th Circuit denied the request for a stay and hope that we will see wedding celebrations in Virginia as early as next week. Marriage validates the commitment couples make to one another and, if the Supreme Court doesn't intervene, achieving marriage equality in Virginia will be a tremendous step forward."

McQuigg is represented by Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys. The Alliance Defending Freedom describes itself as "an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith." Senior Counsel Byron Babion issued the following statement:

"The people of Virginia and every other state should continue to be free to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman in their laws if they choose to do so. Because the 4th Circuit chose not to place a hold on its decision as other courts – including the U.S. Supreme Court – have done in nearly identical cases, we intend to ask the high court to do so in this case before the 4th Circuit's mandate goes into effect. We trust the Supreme Court will grant our request in order to ensure an orderly and dignified resolution of this important constitutional question."

Last week, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring asked the Supreme Court to review the district and appeals court's decisions striking down the Commonwealth's same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional.


According to the Office of the Attorney General, "Herring is the first state attorney general to successfully argue in court at the district and appellate levels that a state marriage ban is unconstitutional, and the first who supports marriage equality to petition the Supreme Court for review."