David Boies | Gay Marriage | Mark Herring | News | Ted Olson | Virginia

Virginia AG Mark Herring Joins Court Challenge to State’s Ban on Gay Marriage

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has filed a brief supporting Bostic v. Rainey – the Ted Olson and David Boies-backed challenge to the state’s ban on same-sex marriage that is currently awaiting further ruling in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

The Virginian-Pilot reports:

Mark herringIn a 79-page brief filed Friday, Herring argued that the Supreme Court has consistently found marriage to be a fundamental right protected by the due process and equal protection clauses of the federal Constitution.

Herring leaned heavily on the 1967 Loving v. Virginia case, in which the Supreme Court overturned Virginia's ban on interracial marriage.

To argue that the framers of the Constitution never envisioned same-sex marriage is of no legal consequence, Herring argued. The Loving case, he said, taught that the Constitution "protects the fundamental right to marry, even if the way in which it is practiced would have surprised the Framers or made them feel uncomfortable."

Virginia's gay-marriage ban was enshrined in a state constitutional amendment in 2006.

"Many good and decent Virginians" undoubtedly voted for the amendment "because of sincerely held religious beliefs that homosexuality is wrong or that gay marriage conflicts with Biblical teachings," Herring argued. "But religion cannot justify state-sponsored discrimination."

 You can read the brief in full, HERE

Feed This post's comment feed

Comments

  1. If they voted in favor of that amendment, then they are not good and decent Virginians. They are bigots, and there is nothing good and decent about bigotry.

    Posted by: Jonty Coppersmith | Apr 13, 2014 8:48:10 PM


  2. Herring argued: "But religion cannot justify state-sponsored discrimination."

    Bravo for Herring!

    Equal marriage will pass, be challenged, be put on hold by the Governor, and ultimately be passed. This just moves it a little further along.

    Posted by: Equality NOW | Apr 13, 2014 10:07:05 PM


  3. Interesting how things change. The amendment he referred to would not pass in 2014, as the the majority of people in the state now support same-sex marriage. It is kind of an odd statement that he made (like he's afraid of offending ANYONE), but I still have to thank him for his support.

    Posted by: randy | Apr 13, 2014 10:59:01 PM


  4. @EqualityNow: It's not about passing legislation. It's about the court case before the appeals court (our side won). Both the AG and current governor support marriage equality. They won't be putting anything on hold. The only hold-up is the appeals process.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 13, 2014 11:18:52 PM


  5. IIRC, Herring himself voted for the amendment. I guess he's not quite ready to call his former self a bigot.

    I'm curious, though, now that he's had a change of heart, why he doesn't resign as Virginia AG and join the Lambda Legal team. Is he really so afraid that his current position might lose that he has to throw the weight of his office (whose client is supposed to be the state defendants, not the plaintiffs) behind it?

    Rather like a defense attorney saying "Actually, my client is guilty, so I will join the prosecution in trying to convince the jury to convict him."

    Posted by: TKinSC | Apr 13, 2014 11:21:14 PM


  6. Oh, and how does Herring know most Virginians voted for the amendment based on religious feelings? Did he personally ask them? Does it even matter? Either the law is constitutional or it isn't. It doesn't matter why it was voted for.

    "The Loving case, he said, taught that the Constitution 'protects the fundamental right to marry, even if the way in which it is practiced would have surprised the Framers or made them feel uncomfortable.'"

    Really? Then what does the Baker case (decided 5 years after Loving, summarily dismissing a claim that the Constitution requires gay "marriage") teach?

    The Constitution does not permit the courts to impose whatever new social policies they feel like imposing on the people of the several states. The meaning of "equal" may very well change from generation to generation, but with 2/3 of the states still banning gay "marriage", it hasn't changed yet. The federal court's only job is to recognize that fact, rule for the state, and bang the gavel.

    Posted by: TKinSC | Apr 13, 2014 11:34:46 PM


  7. One of the reasons that these amendments were passed so fast was that the anti-gay side realized that the trajectory of public sentiment was turning on them as of the early 2000s. This was their hail mary pass. It is part of the reason that the evangelical hate mongers have pushed for anti-speech legislation and other measures abroad. They have seen what shedding light on gay rights does to their chances of success. They succeed only through fear and keeping people in the dark. Our movement succeeds by humanizing us. This is why they fight so hard to prevent the humanizing of gays.

    Posted by: Factoids | Apr 14, 2014 12:16:14 AM


  8. One of the reasons that these amendments were passed so fast was that the anti-gay side realized that the trajectory of public sentiment was turning on them as of the early 2000s. This was their hail mary pass. It is part of the reason that the evangelical hate mongers have pushed for anti-speech legislation and other measures abroad. They have seen what shedding light on gay rights does to their chances of success. They succeed only through fear and keeping people in the dark. Our movement succeeds by humanizing us. This is why they fight so hard to prevent the humanizing of gays.

    Posted by: Factoids | Apr 14, 2014 12:16:14 AM


  9. I found section B2 to be very good, showing very clearly how the marriage ban is gender discrimination.

    It's probably the most thorough I've read on that particular point (but I haven't read any of the amici briefs).

    Posted by: Randy | Apr 14, 2014 2:53:53 AM


  10. @TKINSC "Oh, and how does Herring know most Virginians voted for the amendment based on religious feelings? Did he personally ask them? Does it even matter?"

    I live in Virginia. I handed out flyers at our county polling place against the amendment. It was VERY religiously motivated! We had preachers and churches pouring gasoline on the bonfire and fanning the flames with their bibles.

    That happened throughout this country when Hawaii considered allowing same sex marriage. It was religion that pushed the state politicians to get these amendments onto the ballots or get them passed. Who do you think has coined the phrase "one man, one woman" that has become so well known in our lexicon?

    Crawl back into your church pew and continue your bigotry, homophobia and discrimination. The rest of us are in the 21st century and will leave you behind.

    Oh, and by the way, the constitution does evolve and change on how it views things, be it societal views or not. That is the brilliance of how our Founding Fathers thought.

    Posted by: Jere | Apr 14, 2014 10:17:36 AM


  11. @JERE - who coi ned the term one man, one woman? Gee. I always thought it was ABBA. I guess ABBA is homophobic?

    One man, one woman
    Two friends and two true lovers
    Somehow we'll help each other through the hard times
    One man, one woman
    One life to live together
    One chance to take that never comes back again
    You and me, to the end
    You and me, to the end

    Posted by: Merrick | Apr 17, 2014 10:33:33 AM


  12. @JERE - oh, and by the way, our Constitution does NOT "evolve and change" - it can be AMENDED. THAT is the brilliance of how our Founding Fathers thought. Trying reading what THEY said and not the Huffington Post - for a change.

    Posted by: Merrick | Apr 17, 2014 10:35:41 AM


Post a comment







Trending


« «Listen to 'Lavender Country', the First Gay Country Music Album: VIDEO« «