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NORFOLK (AP) -- The Norfolk Circuit Court clerk plans to appeal a federal judge's ruling that declares the state' ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional.

A notice of appeal was filed in federal court in Norfolk on Monday, the same day U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen issued a final judgment in the case.

Wright Allen's ruling earlier this month found that the state's voter-approved ban on gay marriage violates the 14th Amendment.

In a statement, Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk George Schaefer says an appeal will provide a definitive answer on the constitutionality of gay marriage for all Virginians.

The Virginia Attorney General's Office has also filed a notice of appeal, although it is not defending the law. Office spokesman Michael Kelly says the notice was filed to speed up the appeals process.

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