It is disappointing that the Supreme Court stayed the 4th Circuit Court’s decision. Lesbian and gay Virginians have waited long enough for the freedom to marry. Loving couples – and families – should not have to endure yet another standstill before their commitment to one another is recognized here in Virginia. Every day that this ruling is stayed, more lesbian and gay Virginians will suffer undue harm as they wait to insure their spouses, wait to adopt the children they are raising, and wait to have their relationships affirmed by the Commonwealth. Equality Virginia urges the Supreme Court to take this case as soon as possible and hopes that it will rule once and for all in favor of marriage equality.
In light of the stay, lawyers for the Bostic plaintiffs intend to file a response in support of the Commonwealth’s petition to urge the Supreme Court to review the Bostic case and resolve the incredibly important question it presents. Never before have federal courts across this country so swiftly, convincingly, and unanimously come to the same conclusion on an imperative constitutional question as they have when presented with the issue of marriage equality. The federal court system agrees, the majority of Americans agree, and the President of the United States agrees that it is time this country treats its same-sex couples and their children just the same as all other loving families. We are confident that when the Supreme Court reviews the Bostic case, it too will agree and end the flagrant injustice of segregating Americans based on sexual orientation.
Today, Chief Justice Roberts granted a motion to stay the freedom to marry for all Virginians achieved through a victory in Bostic v. Rainey. For now, same-sex couples like our clients Joanne Harris and Jessica Duff are once again denied the freedom to marry in Virginia and Christy Berghoff and Victoria Kidd’s marriage remains unrecognized where they live. Because the Court decided to grant the stay, we hope the case is accepted for full review as quickly as possible in order to minimize the harm that would be caused by the delay of the Fourth Circuit decision. Lambda Legal will do everything in our power to make sure this issue is decided as quickly as possible so same-sex couples can marry in Virginia.
Freedom To Marry
This Supreme Court’s stay of yet another freedom to marry ruling underscores the urgency of the Court’s granting a full review and bringing the country to national resolution by next year. Americans across the country are being deprived of the freedom to marry and respect for their lawful marriages, as well as the tangible protections and precious dignity and happiness that marriage brings. It is time for the Supreme Court to affirm what more than thirty courts have held in the past year: marriage discrimination violates the Constitution, harms families, and is unworthy of America.
ACLU Of Virginia
We are disappointed that the 14,000 couples we represent in Virginia will have to continue to wait to exercise their fundamental right to marry, or to have their marriages recognized in Virginia. Until the Supreme Court rules on marriage equality, many gay and lesbian Virginians will live without legal recognition of their relationships with their children, access to their spouse’s health insurance benefits, the ability to make medical decisions for their spouse, and countless other rights that other married couples take for granted. We hope that the Supreme Court will decide this case as quickly as possible so that families will not have to wait any longer than necessary to exercise these rights.