Published on
Common Dreams

In Rebuke to State Discrimination, Virginia Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down

Love and equality win as federal judge says ban is unconstitutional

Jon Queally, staff writer

A federal judge in Virginia late Thursday received applause from marriage equality advocates by ruling that the state's ban on gay marriage—though approved by voters in 2006—is an affront to the rights of gay citizens and struck the law down on constitutional grounds.

“Our Constitution declares that ‘all men’ are created equal,” wrote Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen of US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Surely this means all of us.”

“Gay and lesbian individuals share the same capacity as heterosexual individuals to form, preserve and celebrate loving, intimate and lasting relationships,” the judge continued. “Such relationships are created through the exercise of sacred, personal choices — choices, like the choices made by every other citizen, that must be free from unwarranted government interference.”

James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia, celebrated the decision, calling Thursday a historic day for all Virginians.

"The ruling finally puts Virginia on the path toward allowing lesbian and gay couples to marry the person they love here in the place they call home," he said. "I am proud that here in Virginia we are no longer asking if the freedom to marry the person you love will be a reality, but instead we are asking when. With this ruling, we are one step closer to gaining full equality for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Virginians. Today Virginia is standing on the right side of history."


This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Share This Article

More in: