Lawsuit challenges Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban

Posted at 3:37 PM, Feb 03, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-03 18:33:45-05

In the week ahead, a federal judge will hear a challenge to Virginia’s ban on gay marriage.

The case of Bostic vs. Rainey argues the Virginia Marriage Amendment passed back in 2006 is unconstitutional.

Last month, newly elected Attorney General Mark Herring announcing he would not defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban in court.

The challenge to Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage got a boost when the new Attorney General announced he is reversing the state’s position and siding with Norfolk couple Tony London and Tim Bostic, who say the ban should be overturned. London and Bostic applied for a marriage license last year and were denied.

Attorney General Herring supported the ban in 2006 when Virginia voters passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage with 57 percent of the vote.

A recent Christopher Newport University poll shows 56 percent of Virginians now oppose the same-sex marriage ban.

But supporters of the ban are fighting their own legal battle. In Richmond, House republicans passed a bill giving the House, Senate, or any state legislator the right to defend a state law in court if the Attorney General doesn’t.

A Gathering Vigil in Support of Marriage Equality

In front of the Federal Courthouse in downtown Norfolk, VA ( 600 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510) -Supporters of marriage equality are gathering at 6:30 p.m. on Monday February 3, 2014  in advance of the Federal District Court of Eastern Virginia hearing on the Bostic case for marriage equality. 

WHERE:   In front of the Federal Courthouse  600 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510      

WHEN:  6:30 p.m. Monday February 3, 2014

WHO:  Local LGBT Community Leaders and Allies

WHY: The freedom to marry the person you love is a fundamental freedom, and a matter of basic fairness. Same-sex couples want to marry for similar reasons as anyone else and should be able to make a vow of love and lifetime commitment to one another surrounded by their family and friends; and with the same opportunities, benefits, and protections afforded to everyone. 



"For us as Virginians, the Bostic case for marriage equality is as important for us here in the Commonwealth as the DOMA and Prop 8 rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court were for us last year for marriage equality on the federal level.   Equality must truly be equal for ALL couples regardless of where one lives in these United States and that time is now for Virginia."   said event organizer, The Reverend Mark Byrd (of New Life Metropolitan Community Church of Hampton Roads).     `