RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A federal appeals court has denied a request to delay its ruling striking down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban. A panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond on Wednesday denied the request by a county court clerk in northern Virginia to stay the decision while it is appealed to the Supreme Court. That means that without intervention from the U.S. Supreme Court, same-sex couples could begin marrying and have their out-of-state marriages recognized by next Wednesday. Late last month, the court ruled that Virginia’s gay marriage ban approved by voters in 2006 is unconstitutional.