About 2,000 Virginian same-sex couples have been married since Oct. 2014
While the rest of the nation won the right to marry their same-sex lover last week, we here in the Commonwealth have had the right since October, 2014. And according to the Virginia Division of Vital Records (DVR), there have been a total of 1,964 same-sex marriage certificates distributed since then.
According to the AG Herring’s office, you can probably add another 1000 out-of-state same-sex marriages which have since been legally recognized. That brings us up to about 3,000 legal same-sex couples living in Virginia.
“Virginia’s experience thus far with marriage equality shows that it produces real, tangible benefits for thousands of same-sex couples and their children, as well as benefits for Virginia’s economy, business community, and colleges and universities,” said Herring in a message along with the numbers above.
“It has been one of the highest honors of my career to help the Commonwealth lead the nation on this fundamental civil rights issue, after past fights on the wrong side of issues like school desegregation, interracial marriage bans, and equal opportunity for women,” said Herring in a release sent out shortly after the Supreme Court struck down bans on same-sex marriage nation wide. “Our work to achieve equality and a level playing field for every Virginian is not done. I look forward to helping protect our workers from discrimination based on real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, and to making communities safer for LGBT Virginians of all ages. ”
With legal same-sex marriage comes other benefits as well – like legal adoption of children with parents of the same-sex. Herring’s office said about 33 children have had their second parent added to their birth certificate based on adoption by a same-sex couple. These were probably not new adoptions, but rather recently marriage, long time families with children who, until late last year, had only one parent on their birth certificate.
The AG’s office said The Dept. of Social Services does not track adoptions by gender of parents, so kids still could be getting adopted by single-LGBTQ persons.
Same-sex marriage became legal in Virginia after a 4th Circuit Court judge struck the state’s ban and the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal on October 6th of last year. Within hours, couples gathered at Richmond’s John Marshall Court House to become some of the first legally recognized LGBTQ marriages in the state.
“Working on the marriage equality cases will be the highlight of my professional career and… my life really.”September 22, 2016
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