RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal appeals court is clarifying when same-sex marriages could begin in Virginia. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond decided Wednesday not to delay its ruling that struck down the state’s gay marriage ban. According to a letter from the court clerk to the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, its ruling is scheduled to go into effect at 8 a.m. on Aug. 21, barring a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court. That would clear the way for same-sex marriages to begin. The state also would need to start recognizing out-of-state gay marriages. A county clerk in northern Virginia had asked the court to stay its decision issued in late July while it’s appealed to the high court. The appeals court’s order didn’t explain why it denied that request.