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Virginia Attorney General Appeals Gay Marriage Case to the U.S. Supreme Court

Virginia

As anticipated, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments in Bostic v. Rainey, the case challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage led by Prop 8 attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies.

HerringBuzzfeed's Chris Geidner reports:

What distinguishes Herring’s filing, representing Virginia State Registrar of Vital Records Janet Rainey, is that his is the first request to the Supreme Court by a party that backs the position of same-sex couples that the ban is unconstitutional.

He adds:

As to why the Supreme Court should hear the case challenging the Virginia ban, specifically, the brief states, “Virginia’s same-sex-marriage ban is one of the most stringent in the country. It goes further than [California’s] Proposition 8 by barring and refusing to recognize civil unions and by preventing same-sex couples from adopting children. It also goes further than Utah’s ban, which at least preserves contractual rights exercised independently of the same-sex-marriage restriction. Virginia law voids ‘any contractual rights created by’ same- sex marriages entered into in another State.”

Said Herring in a statement earlier this week:

"Throughout this case, I have fought for the fundamental rights of Virginians and the quickest possible resolution. I believe the district and appeals courts ruled correctly in striking down Virginia's discriminatory marriage ban, but it has long been clear that the Supreme Court will likely have the final word. I want that decision to come as soon as possible and I want the voices of Virginians to be heard. This case has moved forward at an incredibly swift pace, and I look forward to a final resolution that affirms the fundamental right of all Virginians to marry."

Read the petition below:

Virginia Marriage Case SCOTUS Appeal by Equality Case Files


Virginia to Appeal Gay Marriage Ruling to U.S. Supreme Court

Virginia

Following Utah's announcement that it would appeal a ruling striking down its same-sex marriage ban to the U.S. Supreme Court, Virginia announced today that it would do the same this Friday, the AP reports.

Said Attorney General Mark Herring:

"Throughout this case, I have fought for the fundamental rights of Virginians and the quickest possible resolution. I believe the district and appeals courts ruled correctly in striking down Virginia's discriminatory marriage ban, but it has long been clear that the Supreme Court will likely have the final word. I want that decision to come as soon as possible and I want the voices of Virginians to be heard. This case has moved forward at an incredibly swift pace, and I look forward to a final resolution that affirms the fundamental right of all Virginians to marry."

Plaintiffs in the Bostic case are represented by Ted Olson and David Boies at the American Foundation for Equal Rights, who represented plaintiffs in the Proposition 8 fight.

Read Virginia's announcement below:

Virginia will ask Supreme Court to review Bostic case


Fourth Circuit Decision Striking Down Virginia's Gay Marriage Ban to be Petitioned to Supreme Court

Virginia

Late last week a county clerk in Virginia signaled her intention to ask the Supreme Court to consider the constitutionality of the state's ban on same-sex marriage. 

A similar appeal to the highest court in the land took place last week as well - with the 10th Circuit's decision overturning Oklahoma's gay marriage ban.

SCOTUSblog reports:

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 11.28.42 AMIn Virginia, Michele B. McQuigg [pictured], who is the county clerk of Prince William County, a jurisdiction just south of Washington, D.C., asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to delay its July 28 decision striking down the Virginia ban on same-sex marriages.  She asked for a ninety-day delay to allow her to file a petition for review in the Supreme Court, which she said her lawyers would file by October 26.

Unlike most other states involved in court battles over same-sex marriage, Virginia allows its county clerks — the officers who issue marriage licenses — to be in court to defend the state ban.  In other states where a defense has been mounted behind such a prohibition, state officials have done so.

SCOTUS has complete discretion on which case to take, if any. 

 


Fourth Circuit Affirms Virginia's Ban on Gay Marriage Unconstitutional: An Analysis of the Dissent

BY ARI EZRA WALDMAN

NiemeyerToday, the Richmond, Virginia-based Fourth Circuit affirmed a lower court judge's decision striking down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage. When last we discussed this case, a three-judge panel was hearing oral argument and one judge, Paul V. Niemeyer (right), was using his time questioning the pro-equality advocacy to spout particular offensive rhetoric.

Not surprisingly, Judge Niemeyer is in the minority today, writing a lone dissenting opinion to the majority's affirmation that banning gays from marrying denies them a fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution. That fundamental right -- the right to marry -- is denied to gay persons when a state says that they cannot marry the person they love, that they could be forced to deny the equality of their love and union (by being relegated to a civil union or worse) or could easily marry a stranger as long as that stranger is of a different gender.

The majority opinion sounds pretty familiar: the appellants have standing, Baker v. Nelson does not foreclose a federal decision on the merits, and Virginia's ban violates the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments by denying gays the fundamental right to marry, a right that the Supreme Court has affirmed and reaffirmed more than 15 times.

We have covered all those matters before. AFTER THE JUMP, I want to spend a few column inches on the dissent, a diatribe that is dimissive, at best, and hateful, at worst.

Continue reading "Fourth Circuit Affirms Virginia's Ban on Gay Marriage Unconstitutional: An Analysis of the Dissent" »


Fourth Circuit Upholds Ruling Striking Down Virginia’s Ban on Gay Marriage

Virginia

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down Virginia’s gay marriage ban. The court has also granted a stay pending appeal.

The ruling was 2-1 with George H.W. Bush appointed Judge Paul Niemeyer dissenting.

USA Today reports:

"We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable," the majority said. "However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws."

The circuit court has jurisdiction over Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The panel's decision can be appealed to the full court or to the Supreme Court

Back in June, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a similar ruling striking down Utah’s gay marriage ban.

Read the ruling here.

Developing…


Republican Wingnut Rep. Frank Wolf Blasts Presbyterian Decision To Allow Gay Marriage: VIDEO

Frank wolf

Virginia Republican Representative Frank Wolf took to the House floor Tuesday in a pre-retirement rant regarding the Presbyterian church’s decision to allow same-sex marriage.

We recently reported that anti-gay bigot Bob Marshall intends to run in the upcoming race to succeed Wolf.

 During the four minute speech, Wolf had the following to say about same-sex marriage:

“After several years of internal discussion and debate the assembly voted overwhelmingly to take a position which runs counter to the counsel of Scripture, which defines marriage as divinely inspired joining of one man and one woman.”

Arguing that the church has historically been “a bulwark against the cultural whims of the day,” Wolf went on to say:

“In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, "Haven't you read...that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?  So they are no longer two, but one.  Therefore, what God has joined together let man not separate."

This passage, and others like it, remind me of Reverend Billy Graham's comment in the lead-up to the 2012 North Carolina ballot initiative regarding marriage, when he remarked, "The Bible is clear - God's definition of marriage is between a man and a woman."

Watch Wolf’s June 24 speech in full, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Republican Wingnut Rep. Frank Wolf Blasts Presbyterian Decision To Allow Gay Marriage: VIDEO" »


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