Gay rights advocates in Virginia are applauding a ruling from a federal judge in Norfolk. Judge Arenda Wright Allen says a state amendment that bans same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Groups that favor traditional marriage want to have Allen’s decision appealed to a higher court. There are separate challenges taking place in the Shenandoah Valley. Lesbian couples who live in Staunton and Winchester are challenging the constitutional amendment in Harrisonburg federal court. The Charlottesville Pride Community Network had planned to gather at noon Friday at the Albemarle Circuit Court to celebrate the ruling. But the courthouse is closed due to the winter weather. The rally will be held at a later date. During a similar gathering last year on Valentine’s Day, they carried chocolates and requested marriage licenses at Charlottesville Circuit Court.