The Virginia House today advanced a bill that would (they claim) give members of the chamber standing to defend the state’s marriage ban in federal court.
Del C. Todd Gilbert’s measure, which will be on the House floor for a final vote Monday, includes an amendment by Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William [PHOTO]. The amendment would also give the House of Delegates, the state Senate or the entire General Assembly standing to file suit in federal court. “We do not want to end up in a position like the people of California who voted for Proposition 8 and were abandoned by their attorney general and their governor,” Marshall said. Del. Joseph D. Morrissey, D-Henrico, questioned the proposal’s constitutionality. “No state legislature can give itself such standing,” Morrissey said. “This bill cannot under any circumstance withstand a challenge in federal court. If you don’t want to embarrass yourselves, you will resist the temptation and move that finger from the green to the red,” he said.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe is expected to veto the bill should it pass in both state chambers.
RELATED: Yesterday’s scheduled opening arguments in federal court, which were canceled due to weather, have been rescheduled for Tuesday at 10AM.
The hearing is expected to last two and a half hours. AFER’s attorneys will make the case that bans on marriage for gay and lesbian couples, like that in Virginia, violate the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The plaintiffs are two couples: Tim and Tony, who have been together for nearly 25 years, and Carol and Mary, who have been together for nearly 30 years. This is the first time the plaintiffs are appearing in court.
(Tipped by JMG reader Rob)