Gay Couples in Virginia Can Marry Starting Monday Barring SCOTUS Intervention


Gay couples in Virginia will be able to begin marrying on Monday unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes, after a ruling today from the Fourth Circuit court of appeals, Lambda Legal's Jon Davidson reports:

"The Fourth Circuit just denied by a 2-1 vote the petition for a stay of the mandate in the Virginia marriage equality litigation! That means that same-sex couples should be able to marry in Virginia starting Monday, unless a petition for a stay to the Supreme Court (which would go first to Chief Justice Roberts) is sought and granted before then."

And the AP confirms….


  1. RonCharles says

    I certainly hope that a stay will not be ordered, but I would not bet money on that one. The record to date would indicate the the US Supreme will issue a stay.

  2. RONTEX says

    After SCOTUS’ ruling in Windsor, why wouldn’t they let this ruling stand? I thought they would let the States knock these marriage bans down one by one to build momentum to give them cover in the next year or so to take a case and settle it once and for all?

  3. Fritz Keppler says

    In standard Christian theology, Satan knows full well that he has already lost in his eternal struggle against God, but he continues to put as many barriers and stumbling blocks as he can to stave off the inevitable. The opponents of marriage equality are doing his job for him.

  4. says

    As much as I would love to see couples marrying in VA next week, I don’t see how the Supreme Court wouldn’t issue a stay given that they have in other cases. Go on, surprise us, Justice Roberts!

    @Rontex: The ruling stands whether or not they issue a stay. It only falls if they take the case on appeal and reverse it.

  5. Will says

    It would be easier for everyone, especially everyone in VA, if the headline were:

    4th Circuit forces SCOTUS to stay its decision; won’t act itself

    That’s the story.

  6. simon says

    Apparently the Democratic governor and AG will appeal to the Supreme court not because they oppose gay marriage. They seem want to push it up so that the high court will settle the issue once and for all. Not unlike the Obama administration while disagreeing with DOMA nevertheless still upheld it so that the Supreme court could kill it. Of course the legal team for the plaintiffs also wants the state to appeal because they are aiming for the big prize.

  7. Logan says

    The Democratic Governor and AG are not parties to the case. So they aren’t pushing anything up. They refused to defend the ban. The party to the case is a Prince William county clerk, who will absolutely request SCOTUS issue a stay. SCOTUS will issue the stay, as it has done in the Utah case. It has nothing to do with ignoring the inevitable. The stay simply stays the appellate court’s ruling until the appeal process to SCOTUS has been allowed. SCOTUS could conceivably still decline to even hear the case, in which case the stay would expire and the appellate court’s ruling would stand. Issuing a stay has nothing to do with the merits of a case or the likelihood of how SCOTUS would rule on something.

  8. simon says

    It doesn’t matter you call it petition or appeal, the documents Virginia AG Herring submitted are the same as what the Utah AG submitted. The links here:
    The only difference is Herring is not a defendant because he is not going to defend the ban. His intention is clear. He wants SCOTUS to decide the question. I am not even sure what you are trying to argue about.

  9. Logan says

    Your statement above: “Apparently the Democratic governor and AG will appeal to the Supreme court not because they oppose gay marriage.”

    The difference here is the clerk in Utah did not appeal the District Court ruling. The clerk in Virginia did. The Utah AG and Governor were defendants in the case. The Virginia AG and Governor are not. That is very clear if you read what you linked.

    The Virginia AG and Governor are not appealing anything. They aren’t parties.

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