American Foundation for Equal Rights

Case Timeline: Supreme Court


Supreme Court: Petition for Cert.

On Friday, August 8, 2014 the Commonwealth of Virginia asked the United States Supreme Court to review the federal appeals court ruling in Bostic v. Schaefer that found Virginia’s discriminatory Marriage Amendment unconstitutional.

Virginia’s Marriage Amendment has been ruled unconstitutional twice: first in a U.S. District Court and then by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Defendants’ request for Supreme Court review, known as a petition for a writ of certiorari, is only granted upon an affirmative vote of four Supreme Court Justices.

Victory in the Commonwealth

On Monday, October 6, 2014 the Supreme Court 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 was made permanent. Gay couples were able to marry in the Commonwealth that afternoon and couples who had been lawfully married were now also recognized by their state government.

Plaintiffs Tim Bostic and Tony London of Norfolk, Virginia immediately obtained their marriage license at the Norfolk Circuit Court.

Plaintiffs Carol Schall and Mary Townley of Richmond, Virginia renewed their vows that same day, officiated by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, in front of the John Marshall Courthouse.