American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Federal court case for marriage equality advances in Virginia – Timeline

In the month of February, AFER’s federal court case in Virginia for marriage equality progressed swiftly. Within days of the federal court decision the ruled the Commonwealth’s ban unconstitutional, the case has been appealed and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals wasted no time in setting and expedited briefing schedule.

Here’s a brief timeline of what’s gone down and what will soon happen:

  • February 4 Ted Olson and David Boies appear at the federal courthouse in Norfolk Virginia to argue that gay and lesbian couples are being denied a basic fundamental right to marry and that laws like Virginia’s marriage ban are unconstitutional. They are joined by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, who days before announced that the Commonwealth would no longer defend the law in court.
    Find out what happened in the courtroom >
  • February 14 Judge Arenda Wright Allen rules that all couples should be able to marry, and that Virginia’s ban on marriage for gay and lesbian couples serves no purpose other than blatant discrimination.
    Read more about the decision >
  • February 24 The decision is formally entered. Attorney General Mark Herring, a supporter of marriage equality, appeals the decision in a procedural move. The marriage ban will continue to be defended in court by two county clerks.
    AG Mark Herring explains the appeal >
  • February 25 The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals sets an expedited briefing schedule. Attorneys for two county clerks defending Virginia’s marriage ban have until April 7 to file their Opening Brief. AFER’s attorneys will file a Response Brief by May 9. The defense has 14 days after the filing of the Response Brief to file a Reply Brief.

Three judges still need to be selected at random to hear and decide the case, after which it is expected they will set a date for oral argument.