Today the ACLU and Lambda Legal asked for a summary judgment in their Virginia marriage equality case. Their suit is separate from the Virginia case joined today by AFER. Via press release:
“The papers we filed today ask the court to get to the heart of the matter,” Greg Nevins, Supervising Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal’s Southern Regional Office based in Atlanta. “Barring same-sex couples from marriage is clearly unconstitutional. We do not want a country divided by unfairness and discrimination. Same-sex couples are in loving, committed relationships in every region of our nation and should be treated the same way, whether they live in Maine or Virginia.” “Virginians denied the freedom to marry have no meaningful legislative path to gain the same protections for their families as other loving and committed couples,” said Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia. “That’s why we’ve had to ask the federal court to overturn Virginia’s sweeping bans on recognizing same-sex relationships. We shouldn’t have to go to federal court to get Virginia to do what’s right.”
On August 1, 2013 Lambda Legal, the ACLU, ACLU of Virginia, and Jenner and Block filed the lawsuit together as co-counsel in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. The plaintiffs argue that through the Commonwealth’s constitutional and statutory marriage bans and through Defendants’ enforcement of them, the Commonwealth and Defendants send a purposeful message that they view lesbians, gay men, and their children 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. The plaintiffs in the case: Joanne Harris, 38, and Jessica Duff, 33, together since 2006, are from Staunton and have a four-year-old son, Jabari. Christy Berghoff, 34, and Victoria Kidd, 35, are from Winchester and have been together almost ten years. They have a ten-month-old daughter, Lydia.
RELATED: It’s going to be a busy month for the good guys with important marriage action due in New Mexico, Hawaii, Michigan, and possibly Virginia.