In the wake of the momentous victories for marriage equality handed down by the Supreme Court, Lambda Legal has announced that it has already set its sights on a new target–Virginia. Greg Nevins, Supervising Senior Staff Attorney in the group's Southern Regional Office, had this to say:
"The end of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act opens a new chapter in our work to ensure same-sex couples and their families across the country are treated with dignity and respect…We know that many same-sex couple and their families have waited a long time and we are excited to announce that the campaign for the freedom to marry is coming south."
"We do not want a country so divided
by unfairness and discrimination. Same-sex couples are in loving, committed
relationships in every region of our nation and should be treated the same
way, whether they live in Maine or Virginia. This is one America."
A Washington Post poll recently revealed that a majority of Virginians support the freedom to marry, 56% versus only 33% who oppose. THe lawsuit is still in the planning stages, and will be filed by Lambda Legal as co-counsel to the ACLU and the ACLU of Virginia some time in the coming weeks. Virginia couples who have experienced any sort of discrimination, or who simply wish to participate in the campaign, are encouraged to fill out a survey at http://action.aclu.org/couples.
If successful, Virginia could potentially become the first state in the South to allow same-sex marriage. While success is by no means a guarantee, Lambda Legal has already scored victories for marriage equality in California and Iowa, and currently has lawsuits pending in Nevada, New Jersey, and Illinois.