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Virginia Gay Marriage Advances

By Charlotte Robinson, March 11, 2014

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit granted AFER’s (American Foundation for Equal Rights) proposed motion for an expedited briefing schedule in Virginia’s marriage equality case, Bostic v. Schaefer. The Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that laws prohibiting gay & lesbian couples from marrying in the Commonwealth are unconstitutional as they violate the Equal Protection & Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution on February 13th. AFER is the sole sponsor of the Bostic case & the ruling is the first of its kind in the American South. Defendants-Appellants’ opening briefs in Bostic v. Schaefer are due March 28th & Plaintiffs-Appellees’ reply is due April 11th. Oral arguments have been tentatively scheduled for the week of May 12. The Court also granted the plaintiffs in a parallel case, Harris v. Rainey, permission to intervene on the side of plaintiffs in Bostic v. Schaefer. Adam Umhoefer AFER Executive Director stated, "AFER is thrilled that the Fourth Circuit has granted its request to expedite the hearing schedule in our Plaintiffs' marriage equality case. The Fourth Circuit clearly recognizes the importance of the Bostic case to thousands of gay & lesbian Virginians & their families & AFER looks forward to presenting our arguments before the court in May. We welcome the Harris case as intervenors in support of our Plaintiffs' case." AFER’s motion for an expedited briefing schedule was filed February 27th & was consented to by all parties. The identity of the panel hearing the case will not be disclosed until the morning of arguments.
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