VA Court Denies Marriage Decision Stay – Marriages Can Happen August 21st short of SCOTUS Intervention
Same-sex marriages can start taking place 8AM Thursday morning, August 21st, Unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes.
As GayRVA previously reported, the earliest time same-sex marriages could have taken place was August 18. However, since the motion for a stay was denied today, said Rebecca Glenberg, legal director for the ACLU of Virginia, the court’s ruling goes into effect seven days from today’s order.
Attorney General Mark Herring had requested a stay on the ruling last week in his motion for the U.S. Supreme Court to expedite reviewing the case.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who was the swing vote in support of striking section 3 of DOMA last summer, will be responsible for granting or denying a stay from SCOTUS.
“The unintended consequences that will befall the Commonwealth and its people if the injunction takes effect prematurely [...] show the necessity of staying the mandate until the Supreme Court can conclusively resolve what may well be the most important civil rights issue of our time,” wrote Herring in the motion.
Herring referenced the aftermath of Kitchen v. Herbert, a case that challenged Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage.
On December 20 of last year, the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah overturned the state’s ban and had it take effect immediately.
However, that invalidation was stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court on January 6, 2014, pending review of the case by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.
Utah has since refused to recognize the same-sex marriages performed during those 17 days, prompting the ACLU to file a lawsuit on behalf of the 1300 + couples left in marital limbo.
Following the Circuit Court’s announcement today, AG Herring released a statement neither condemning nor supporting a stay, but rather claiming today’s proceedings history. “No one anticipated we would be this close this quickly to the day when all Virginians have the right to marry the person they love. That will be a historic day for our Commonwealth and a joyous day for thousands of loving couples.”
Herring went on to stress the likeliness of a stay from SCOTUS. “It’s also possible that the Supreme Court could issue its own stay, as it has done in similar cases, especially since the Prince William County Clerk is requesting a stay.”
SCOTUS’s decision to stay same-sex marriages at the 10th Circuit could not bode well for hopeful gay couples here in Virginia.
**The folks over at People for Faith and Equality in Virginia have heard back from the Fourth Circuit of Appeals and marriages will begin 8 AM THURSDAY MORNING 8/21. See a copy of the letter below:
*This headline originally ran with August 18th as the first day for marriages, they will actually start the 20th. Because a stay was requested, it pushed back the date for marriages. The order will go through 7 days after the request is denied – August 20th.
original breaking post below:
RICHMOND, VA – August 13 - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit todaydenied a request to delay implementation of its ruling striking down Virginia laws denying marriage to same-sex couples. The court’s action means that, unless the Supreme Court intervenes, couples may begin marrying and having their out-of-state marriages recognized in Virginia on August 20.
Prince William County Circuit Court Clerk Michèle McQuigg had asked the court to stay the ruling while she asks the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. The ACLU of Virginia, ACLU, and Lambda Legal opposed the stay on behalf of approximately 14,000 Virginia same-sex couples. McQuigg may still ask the Supreme Court to stay the Fourth Circuit ruling.
“We hope that the Supreme Court will leave this ruling in place, so that same-sex couples may begin marrying right away,” said Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, Executive Director of the ACLU of Virginia. “Our clients have already waited far too long to exercise their constitutional right to marry, or to have their marriages from other states recognized.”
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