American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

From the Headlines: federal court hears marriage equality case

The Federal District Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in Bostic v. Rainey, AFER’s callenge to Virginia’s ban on marriage for gay and lesbian couples.  Learn more about the case >

Arguments Heard in Federal Challenge of Virginia’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban

“This has the potential to change the opportunities for gay and lesbian citizens in a large number of Southern states,” Mr. Boies said after the hearing.The Norfolk case, Bostic v. Rainey, was brought on behalf of two couples.

Tim Bostic, an English professor, and Tony London, a real estate agent, said in the teleconference that they had been together 24 years and, “We want to be married like everyone else.”

Mary Townley, an expert in special education, and Carol Schall, an education professor, said they had been together for 30 years and have a 15-year-old. They wed in California in 2008, but their marriage is not recognized in Virginia. Read more >

Federal judge pledges quick ruling on Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban

“Marriage is not all about children,” [Ted] Olson said. “It is about freedom; it is about liberty.”

Judges have a duty to be suspicious of decisions by the majority that single out groups that have historically been the victims of discrimination, Olson said.

“Sometimes the voters and the legislature get it wrong,” and the result violates the constitution, Olson told [Judge] Wright Allen. “So, we have you.”

The lawsuit is brought on behalf of two Virginia couples. Timothy Bostic and Tony London have lived together for more than 20 years and were denied a marriage license last summer by Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk George E. Schaefer. Mary Townley and Carol Schall of Chesterfield County were married in California and have a teenage daughter. They want Virginia to recognize their marriage. Read more >

Virginia Gay-Marriage Ban Faces Boies-Olson Litigation Team

Boies, one of the country’s best-known litigators, and Olson, a senior Justice Department official under Republican President Ronald Reagan, will face lawyers for two county court clerks and the state’s Registrar of Vital Statistics. Read More >

Case Challenging Gay-Marriage Ban Heard in Va.

In a case that could give gay marriage its first foothold in the old Confederacy, a federal judge will hear arguments Tuesday on whether Virginia’s ban on gay marriage should be struck down – the position the state’s newly elected Democratic attorney general has endorsed, angering many Republican lawmakers. Read more >

U.S. court to hear lawsuit against Virginia gay marriage ban

In 2006, 57 percent of Virginians voted in favor of the constitutional ban. But reflecting the swing in public opinion, a poll released in October by Virginia’s Christopher Newport University showed that 56 percent of likely voters opposed the ban, while 36 percent favored it. Read More >

Loving v. Virginia all over again

“In short, supporting straight marriage does not require stifling gay marriage. The only remaining reasons to stifle it, then, are reasons government cannot embrace: a desire to preserve the traditional institution of marriage and to express moral disapproval of homosexuality. But preserving tradition and expressing disapproval are not valid grounds for circumscribing individual rights.” Read more >

Landmark same-sex marriage case will be heard Tuesday

“Although we’ve been together for more than two decades, we want our relationship to be recognized just like everyone else’s — we want to be married,” [Plaintiff Tim Bostic] said. “And it’s important to us that as Virginians, that we get married in the state that we love, and the state we’ve called home for so long.” Read more >

Couples fight to overturn Va. ban on gay marriage

“We’re not doing it just for us… we’re doing it for all Virginians who want marriage equality,” plaintiff Mary Townley said. Read more >

Same-sex marriage ban goes before federal court in Norfolk

“I’m feeling great. Glad to be here. A lot of people worked hard along the way to get us here,” AFER Plaintiff Tom Bostic said in front of the courthouse Tuesday morning. Read more >