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Judge: Portion of Challenge to West Virginia Ban on Gay Marriage Can Proceed

A federal judge has ruled that a challenge to West Virginia's ban on gay marriage can proceed, but that part of the lawsuit, which sought the recognition of gay marriages from other states, cannot go forward without additional plaintiffs, the Charleston Gazette reports:

WvNone of the couples named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit has an out-of-state marriage license, so they don't have legal standing to challenge the fact that West Virginia won't recognize them, U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers said in his order Wednesday.

Chambers gave the plaintiffs -- three same-sex couples from West Virginia -- until Feb. 12 to amend their complaint.

Lambda Legal filed the lawsuit on Octover 1 on behalf of three gay couples seeking the right to marry. The lawyers are not sure if they will bring additional plaintiffs:

"We're probably not inclined to add additional plaintiffs, but we're evaluating it. We feel like we've got the substance of the way those families are harmed already in front of the court," Loewy said. "The important thing this case really presents is an opportunity to have the court understand how not being able to be recognized as a married couple harms West Virginia families. Our existing plaintiffs tell that story beautifully."

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  1. Karen Loewy, Lambda Legal's attorney on this case, had better take the hint from the judge and amend the complaint by Feb. 12th to add a couple of plaintiffs who are a same-sex West Virginia couple who have been married in another state. I'm an attorney and when a judge says; "Jump!" your only answer is; "How high?"

    Posted by: Bill | Jan 31, 2014 11:40:23 AM

  2. No legal standing on the case is sensible. They either have to find some married gay couple in WV or import a couple fast.

    Posted by: Steve | Jan 31, 2014 11:49:18 AM

  3. By all means make us jump thru all the flaming hoops you can. I think by now we are accustomed to it. And we'll get thru them just fine.

    Posted by: Jim in MN | Jan 31, 2014 1:22:45 PM

  4. The other part of the case isn't critical, but I'll never understand why attorneys seem to forget that you can't just say "this law makes me sad", you have to demonstrate actual harm. Like try to file a joint tax return and get told no.

    It's not brain surgery.

    Posted by: Chuckles | Jan 31, 2014 1:35:36 PM

  5. Don't be an idiot, Lowery. Surely you can find a WV couple married in another state to add to the case. The judge is basically leading you to water here. So drink the water. Amend your list of plaintiffs.

    Posted by: Joe in Ct | Jan 31, 2014 2:20:31 PM

  6. Had my husband and I not moved from West Virginia (temporarily) in November, we'd jump to join the suit. We'll be back in WV in August but it'd obviously be too late.

    Posted by: Matt | Jan 31, 2014 4:01:58 PM

  7. My husband and I live in Berkeley County and have lived in WV for 8 years. We were married in Maryland so they can add us to the list of plaintiffs. Try doing taxes is a nightmare and we do not have the same rights as other straight couples who are married out of state but live in WV. It is discrimination. Where can we sign up Karen Lowery?

    Posted by: James Greuber | Jan 31, 2014 11:37:39 PM

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