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Virginia Rules For Gay Marriage

By Charlotte Robinson, February 14, 2014

This has been a great week for the advancement of marriage equality in this country. On Thursday Federal Judge Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen ruled that Virginia’s ban on marriage for gay & lesbian couples is unconstitutional. The court held that Virginia’s laws prohibiting gay men & lesbians from marrying including a provision in the Virginia Constitution that prohibits marriage equality in the state violate the Due Process & Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen wrote in her 41 page decision, “We have arrived upon another moment in history when We the People becomes more inclusive, & our freedom more perfect. The men & women, & the children too, whose voices join in noble harmony with Plaintiffs today, also ask for fairness, & fairness only. This, so far as it is in this Court’s power, they & all others shall have.” Plaintiffs’ lead co-counsel Theodore B. Olson added, “Through its decision today, the court has upheld the principles of equality upon which this nation was founded. Virginia’s prohibition on marriage for same-sex couples relegates gay & lesbian Virginians to second-class status. Laws excluding gay men & lesbians from marriage violate personal freedom, are an unnecessary government intrusion, & cause serious harm. That type of law cannot stand.” The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) who is the sole sponsor of Bostic v. Rainey Executive Director Adam Umhoefer concluded, “The court’s decision is clear: where you live should not determine who you can marry. Everyone—in Virginia & every other state—should have the freedom to dedicate their life to the person they love, & every state should recognize that right equally among all Americans. Today’s victory gets us one step closer to making that a reality.”

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