American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Appeals Court Hearing Date Set for AFER’s Marriage Case in Virginia

AFER’s case in Virginia for marriage equality continues to progress quickly. Less than one month after the District Court ruled the state’s ban on marriage for gay and lesbian couples unconstitutional, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals granted AFER’s motion for an expedited briefing schedule and date for oral argument.

Three judges, which will be announced the morning of oral argument, will hear AFER’s case sometime during the week of May 12. An exact date will soon be set.

The plaintiffs in the case are two couples—Tom Bostic & Tony London, who’d like to get married in their home state after nearly 25 years together, and Carol Schall & Mary Townley, who were married in California, have been together for 30 years, and want Virginia to recognize their marriage. AFER is sole sponsor of the Bostic case.

The Court also granted the plaintiffs in a parallel case, Harris v. Rainey, permission to intervene on the side of plaintiffs in Bostic v. Schaefer.

Here’s what AFER Executive Director Adam Umhoefer said about today’s orders from the Fourth Circuit:

“AFER is thrilled that the Fourth Circuit has granted its request to expedite the hearing schedule in our Plaintiffs’ marriage equality case. The Fourth Circuit clearly recognizes the importance of the Bostic case to thousands of gay and lesbian Virginians and their families, and AFER looks forward to presenting our arguments before the court in May. We welcome the Harris case as intervenors in support of our Plaintiffs’ case.”

Defendants-Appellants’ opening briefs in Bostic v. Schaefer are due March 28, and Plaintiffs-Appellees’ reply is due April 11.