American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

AFER’s federal case for marriage equality progresses in Virginia

Post by Adam Umhoefer, Executive Director

So much has changed since this summer, when our Supreme Court victory enabled gay and lesbian couples to get married in California. I wanted to give you a quick update.

This fall, AFER announced that our marriage equality work is continuing in federal court. Now, our case in Virginia is at a critical juncture.

Briefing is now complete. We’ve filed a motion for summary judgment, which means the Court could soon rule without going to trial. Any day now the Court could also schedule a hearing, which would be our opportunity to make the case in person: no American should be denied the basic, fundamental right to marry.

As you can imagine, each side’s arguments could not be further apart. Our legal team, led by Ted Olson and David Boies, will argue eloquently that the freedom to marry is a civil right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and that denying gay and lesbian couples the ability to marry causes great harm to them and the children they are raising. The other side, however, is clinging to the argument that the ability to “naturally procreate” is the basis for marriage, which could not be further from the truth.

Who you love and where you live should not determine who you can marry. Our plaintiffs, Tim Bostic and Tony London have been together for nearly 25 years. They’ve proved their love to one another, now they want to take the next step: marriage.  Our other plaintiffs, Carol Schall and Mary Townley, have been together for almost 30 years and are raising a teenage daughter. They were married in California and want their home state to recognize their union and treat them as every other married couple.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in its unanimous Loving v. Virginia decision in called marriage “a basic civil right of man.” It’s time these words applied to all men and all women in our great nation.

Read AFER’s latest brief >

AFER’s Bostic District Court Brief – Opposition to Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgement