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Breaking: Virginia Ban On Same-Sex Marriage Ruled Unconstitutional (Full Decision)

by David Badash on February 13, 2014

in Marriage,News,Politics

Post image for Breaking: Virginia Ban On Same-Sex Marriage Ruled Unconstitutional (Full Decision)

A federal judge has just ruled Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. U.S. District Court Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen, like many before her, ruled that the ban violated the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Judge Allen stayed her decision pending appeal. The case, Bostic v. Rainey, was argued by Ted Olson and David Boies, the same legal team who brought Prop 8 before the Supreme Court.

(Image, above, Timothy Bostic and Tony London, plaintiffs in Bostic v. Rainey)

Thursday night’s ruling states any “Virginia law that bars same-sex marriage or prohibits Virginia’s recognition of lawful same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions” is unconstitutional. “These laws deny Plaintiffs their rights to due process and equal protection guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

“The Court is compelled to conclude that Virginia’s Marriage Laws unconstitutionally deny Virginia’s gay and lesbian citizens the fundamental freedom to choose to marry,” Judge Allen wrote. “Government interests in perpetuating traditions, shielding state matters from federal interference, and favoring one model of parenting over others must yield to this country’s cherished protections that ensure the exercise of the private choices of the individual citizen regarding love and family.”

Judge Allen was nominated to the bench by President Barack Obama and confirmed by a 96-0 vote.

She quoted Abraham Lincoln in her ruling:

“Almost one hundred and fifty four years ago, as Abraham Lincoln approached the cataclysmic rending of our nation over a struggle for other freedoms, a rending that would take his life and the lives of hundreds of thousands of others, he wrote these words: “It can not have failed to strike you that these men ask for just. . . the same thing—fairness, and fairness only. This, so far as in my power, they, and all others, shall have.”

The men and women, and the children too, whose voices join in noble harmony with Plaintiffs today, also ask for fairness, and fairness only. This, so far as it is in this Court’s power, they and all others shall have.

She also quoted Mildred Loving, of the famous Loving v. Virginia case that ended anti-miscegenation laws.

Newly-elected Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring, who recently refused to defend the state’s ban, hastened the judge’s decision.

Read the full ruling here:

Bostic v. Rainey

Hat tip: Justin Snow of MetroWeekly

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{ 2 comments }

BJLincoln February 14, 2014 at 12:20 am

Every state with a ban should have to drop it with no appeal at this point. The day is coming and the only thing they have is stalling it for as long as possible. For those states thinking about a ban, shame on you for wasting time and money on a losing fight when there are bigger issues you could be working on.

weshlovrcm February 14, 2014 at 2:12 am

What great news! Congratulations, Virginia! Can't wait till all my gay brothers and sisters there can marry and protect their children!

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