Federal Judge to Hear Challenge to Virginia Gay Marriage Ban on Thursday

A federal judge will hear arguments on Thursday in one of two challenges to Virginia's ban on gay marriage. The case is Bostic v. Rainey, and the plaintiffs are represented by (Prop 8 lawyers) Ted Olson and David Boies and the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

Arenda_allenThere had been some discussion that the judge might issue a ruling without hearing further arguments after Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring last week declared the state's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional and said he would not defend it in court. Following Herring's statement, District Judge Arenda Allen (pictured) questioned the need for further arguments.

The Daily Press reports:

Stuart A. Raphael, the state's solicitor general who serves under Herring, said that while the "ongoing, harmful denial of civil liberties to Virginia's same-sex couples" should be resolved as quickly as possible, the hearing should go forward.

"The decision here will be a landmark ruling in Virginia on one of the most important civil rights issues of our time," Raphael wrote. "The gravity of the matter and the stakes involved make it reasonable to allow the parties to supplement their written submissions … with brief oral argument."

Doing so, Raphael wrote, "comports with the dignity and seriousness of the issues and will obviate any concern that the losing parties were not given a fair opportunity to be heard."

Aside from Herring's office, other parties in the case did not take a strong stand on whether oral arguments should take place. Late Monday afternoon, Allen said the hearing would indeed go forward.

The arguments begin at 9 am in Norfolk.

Also on Monday, Allen said she would not make her final decision at the hearing in U.S. District Court in Norfolk, but would take various pending motions "under further advisement."


  1. Icebloo says

    Why can’t she just make the decision on the day ? Have we not raised enough millions yet to give to the lawyers and politicians to BUY our own legal rights in this state ?

  2. Icebloo says

    So when all of the marriage bans are gone do the gays get all of our money back ? All the money we have had to give to lawyers, charities and politicians over the years to BUY our rights ? All the extra money we have had to pay in taxes which married straight people have not had to pay ?

    Surely if they are finding all the laws unconstitutional then they need to be paying us back for all the damage they have caused us ?

  3. says

    LOL. LGBT reparations. Could you imagine?
    Everyone & their Aunt would suddenly be ‘Bi’.

    How much would 2000 years of oppression by the Catholic Church be worth?

    Raphael got it right. Have the hearing.

  4. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ Icebloo. I think only Japanese-Americans whose legally owned assets were confiscated during WWII got reparations. Native Americans did not get reparations; Native Americans have treaties which define payment for lands acquired by the United States. I doubt African-Americans will ever get reparations.

    I have to agree with Seriously’s tongue-in-cheek comment about LGBT reparations. Every American citizen could claim to be bisexual in order to receive reparations, and I don’t think anthropologists would disagree with them. The human species has always given dolphins and lions a run for their money when it comes to homoerotic capability.