American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Marriage equality heads to Federal Court in Virginia

Federal District Court of Eastern Virginia will hold its first hearing in the Bostic case for marriage equality on Tuesday, February 4 at 10 a.m EST.  Oral argument was originally scheduled for Thursday, but was canceled due to inclement weather conditions.

The hearing is expected to  last two and a half hours. AFER’s attorneys will make the case that bans on marriage for gay and lesbian couples, like that in Virginia, violate the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The plaintiffs are two couples: Tim and Tony, who have been together for nearly 25 years, and Carol and Mary, who have been together for nearly 30 years.

This is the first time the plaintiffs are appearing in court. Let’s show them  how many of us are standing with them. Send them a note of encouragement by adding your name today and sharing our ecard with your friends and family.

Attorneys arguing for the defense include lawyers from the established anti-equality legal group Alliance Defending Freedom. The organization was one of the main leaders that helped put Prop. 8 on the ballot in California, worked to pass it, and then defended it in court. They will make the same, tired arguments we’ve seen in the past: marriage exists for the purposes of raising children, and children are best raised by a mother and a father. AFER forcefully disproved these points in federal court once, and we will do it again.

This could be AFER’s last time to address the court before a ruling is issued. There is no timeline for Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen to decide the case, but AFER is hopeful it will be sooner rather than later.