As he announced he would earlier this week, this afternoon Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring formally filed his request that the US Supreme Court review the overturn of his state’s same-sex marriage ban by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Chris Geidner reports at Buzzfeed:
What distinguishes Herring’s filing, representing Virginia State Registrar of Vital Records Janet Rainey, is that his is the first request to the Supreme Court by a party that backs the position of same-sex couples that the ban is unconstitutional. Of the reason for hearing the claim, Herring’s filing, led by Virginia Solicitor General Stuart Raphael, argues that the Supreme Court should accept certiorari in the case because “[t]he question presented is vital to a large population of same-sex couples, to their children, and to their fellow Americans who believe that discriminating against gay people is both unfair and unconstitutional. They may fairly call this ‘the defining civil rights issue of our time.’”
As to why the Supreme Court should hear the case challenging the Virginia ban, specifically, the brief states, “Virginia’s same-sex-marriage ban is one of the most stringent in the country. It goes further than [California’s] Proposition 8 by barring and refusing to recognize civil unions and by preventing same-sex couples from adopting children. It also goes further than Utah’s ban, which at least preserves contractual rights exercised independently of the same-sex-marriage restriction. Virginia law voids ‘any contractual rights created by’ same- sex marriages entered into in another State.”
Last week the Alliance Defending Freedom filed notice with the Fourth Circuit that they will appeal to SCOTUS on behalf of a Virginia county clerk. That appeal has not yet been filed. The ADF has already filed their appeal to SCOTUS on behalf of an Oklahoma county clerk.