American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Victory in Virginia! Marriage equality comes to the Commonwealth

Marriages for gay and lesbian couples in Virginia have begun!

The Supreme Court has denied the defendants’ requests to hear oral argument on their claims against the freedom to marry. With that, the Fourth Circuit’s ruling which struck down Virginia’s ban on marriage stands and gay and lesbian couples can begin marrying in the state soon. Same-sex couples who have been lawfully married and their families will also be recognized by their state government.

For information on how to get married in Virginia, visit this page >

“This is a momentous victory for the constitutional promise of equality, dignity and justice for all Americans,” said Theodore B. Olson, Plaintiff’s lead co-counsel. “Today, I am proud to call myself a Virginian. With the Commonwealth’s discriminatory marriage ban finally and conclusively struck down, we are one giant step closer to the day that all Americans, not just Virginians, can enjoy their right to marriage equality under the law.”

The Supreme Court also denied requests for review from defendants in cases from Utah, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Indiana. Marriage equality will be the law of the land in those states as well with today’s order. That means another 27 million Americans now enjoy the freedom to marry, and now over 52% of the U.S. population lives in a state with marriage equality.

The pro-marriage equality decisions of the 4th Circuit, 10th Circuit (Utah, Oklahoma), and the 7th Circuit (Wisconsin, Indiana) will stand and be precedential for all cases pending in states which fall under those circuits’ jurisdictions. Marriage equality could also soon come to Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming as a result.

“A majority of Americans, more than 30 state and federal courts, scores of political and religious leaders, countless Fortune 500 Companies, and our President have all long believed in the promise of equality for gay and lesbian Americans,” said AFER Executive Director Adam Umhoefer. “While today brings justice to 5 more states, there are still 24 states that treat their gay and lesbian neighbors like second-class citizens. We hope that the Supreme Court’s order today will lead to all 50 states enjoying the freedom to marry very soon.”

Today’s Supreme Court decision is yet another historic victory in the fight for full federal marriage equality.

Over 70 cases are still pending in 26 states and Puerto Rico where the fundamental rights of gay and lesbian couples and their families are being denied. Today’s victory signals that those discriminatory marriage bans are indefensible under the law.

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