American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Today marks historic milestone as AFER argues before Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

Today, in a historic milestone for the marriage equality movement, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will hear oral argument for the first time on the constitutionality of whether gay and lesbian couples have the right to marry. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled in February in Bostic v. Schaefer that laws prohibiting gay and lesbian couples from marrying the in state are unconstitutional as they violate the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

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If the Federal Appeals Court upholds the District Court’s ruling, we can expect an immediate, costly appeal.

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Loving couples like our plaintiffs Tim and Tony, who have been together for nearly 25 years, and Carol and Mary, who have been together for nearly 30 years, have built their lives together. It’s time for the state to stop treating them as legal strangers.

The case will be heard by a three-judge panel including: Judge Henry F. Floyd, appointed by President Barack Obama, Judge Roger L. Gregory, first appointed in recess by President Bill Clinton then renominated by President George W. Bush, and Judge Paul V. Niemeyer, appointed by George H.W. Bush.

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Audio of Oral Argument

Ted Olson argued on behalf of our plaintiffs today at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit arguing that Virginia’s marriage ban harms families and the District Court’s decision must be upheld to ensure every Virginian has the right to marry the person whom they love.

Watch the Press Conference

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