Lambda Legal’s marriage equality suit against West Virginia has survived motions to dismiss, but with an important stipulation regarding one aspect of the case. Via the Associated Press:
A federal judge ruled this week that most of the lawsuit against the state’s ban on same-sex marriage could continue, but said the lawsuit’s claim that West Virginia should recognize gay marriages from other states can’t proceed without additional plaintiffs. None of the couples named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit has an out-of-state marriage license, so they don’t have legal standing to challenge the fact West Virginia won’t recognize them, U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers said in his order Wednesday.Chambers gave the plaintiffs – three same-sex couples from West Virginia — until Feb. 12 to amend their complaint. Karen Loewy, an attorney with Lambda Legal, said attorneys are considering whether to add plaintiffs to the case. But she doesn’t see how, if West Virginia officials are forced to allow same-sex marriages in their own state, they could continue not to recognize such marriages from other places. “We’re probably not inclined to add additional plaintiffs, but we’re evaluating it. We feel like we’ve got the substance of the way those families are harmed already in front of the court,” Loewy said.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, a Republican, is defending the state.