For Immediate Release
4th Circuit Hears Landmark Virginia Marriage Case
NEW YORK - Today a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond heard the oral argument in Bostic v. Schaefer, a federal case challenging Virginia’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. In February, a federal judge in Virginia ruled that denying marriage to gay couples is unconstitutional; the case has been expedited.
Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:
“Americans have come a long way in supporting the freedom to marry, with a majority for marriage nationwide, and so has Virginia, where we've won over a majority of 56% now in favor. So have the courts -- with 11 out of 11 federal judges and numerous state courts from New Mexico to Arkansas all ruling in recent months against marriage discrimination. The momentum is undeniable, but every day's denial is a real hardship to families in the states, like Virginia, where the Constitution's guarantees are still unfulfilled. The 4th Circuit should follow the lead of the lower courts, and the language and logic of the Supreme Court's ruling last year, and end marriage discrimination now.”
In addition to Virginia, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals spans the Southern states of West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina; and is the second federal appellate court to hear a marriage case since last year's historic Windsor decision.
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Freedom to Marry is the gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide. Headed by Evan Wolfson, one of America's leading civil rights advocates and lawyers, Freedom to Marry brings new resources and a renewed context of urgency and opportunity to this social justice movement.