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URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) — Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst has returned from two weeks of training with the Iowa National Guard to a midterm election race against Democrat Bruce Braley that has become a competitive contest in the battle for Senate control.
A federal appeals court has struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage, in a landmark victory for the gay rights movement in the United States. The Fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals in the state capital Richmond said the ban violated the US Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law by infringing on the right to wed. "This is a historic ruling ... and its effect will affirm once again that Virginia is a state that is open and welcoming to all," he said in a statement. Virginia effectively banned same-sex marriage when a 2006 amendment to its state constitution -- endorsed by 57 percent of its voters in a referendum -- defined marriage strictly as a union between a man and a woman.