Via joint press release from Lambda Legal and the ACLU:
Today, a federal district court in Virginia certified as a class action a lawsuit challenging that state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples, extending the scope of those represented in the lawsuit to all same-sex couples in the state who cannot legally marry or whose legal marriages performed elsewhere are not recognized by the commonwealth. The case was initially filed on behalf of two couples by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Virginia, Lambda Legal, and the law firm Jenner and Block.
“We want to be clear that we’re fighting for families across the state,” said Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia. “This marriage ban affects families in a number of different ways by denying them the many protections that come with marriage. It’s important that our case address the many ways that families are hurt by our discriminatory laws.” The lawsuit was originally filed on August 1, and argued that, through the marriage bans, Virginia sent a purposeful message that lesbians, gay men, and their children are viewed as second-class citizens who are undeserving of the legal sanction, respect, protections, and support that heterosexuals and their families are able to enjoy through marriage.
NOTE: This suit is separate from the AFER lawsuit, which was joined last week by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. That case begins opening arguments on Tuesday.