Marriage Timeline

America has gained marriage equality!

This online reference has been updated as of June 26, 2015.

June 26, 2015

The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the freedom to marry.  Read the decision here.

October 6, 2014

Virginia gained the freedom to marry.

October 2, 2014

The Supreme Court released its first list of new cases the Court has agreed to hear during its new term, which starts Monday, Oct. 6, 2014.  Marriage was NOT on this list, but this move doesn’t necessarily mean the court will decline to hear a marriage case during the new term.  It will meet regularly in the upcoming weeks and months to decide which cases – including marriage – that it might take on.

September 10, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court formally added marriage equality to its closed-door conference on September 29, 2014.  This does not mean that the Court will definitely hear the marriage case, but is a step in the right direction.

August 20, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court has intervened and blocked marriages in Virginia.   If the court declines to hear the Virginia appeal, the stay will  be lifted and couples in Virginia can begin getting married. Or, if the Court hears the appeal, we will ultimately wait for a Supreme Court ruling, probably in 2015.

August 19, 2014

People of Faith for Equality in Virginia (POFEV) has made available a list of available clergy and civil officiants from across Virginia who are ready to marry lesbian and gay couples on Thursday, if there is no stay issued by the Supreme Court.

Prince William County Clerk of the Circuit Court submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court a reply in support of her application to stay the 4th Circuit’s mandate.

August 18, 2014

The ACLU, ACLU of Virginia, and Lambda Legal and AFER have all  asked the Supreme Court to deny the motion filed Thursday by Prince William County Clerk Michele McQuigg seeking to stay 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring supports the request for the Supreme Court to stay the mandate of the court of appeals, and recognizing that timing is of the essence, has asked the Court to reach and decide the merits as quickly as the rule of law will permit.

August 15, 2014

Chief Justice John Roberts, the circuit judge for the 4th Circuit, says the Supreme Court will decide whether to issue a stay.

He also requested a response from the Plaintiffs, due to the Court by 5 p.m. Monday.

August 13, 2014

The 4th Circuit Court denied the requests to stay the ruling, allowing LGBT Virginians to marry as soon as August 20th! If the Supreme Court issues a stay before then, marriages will be put on hold in Virginia until the Supreme Court rules on the issue. Read the 4th Circuit Court’s decision to deny the stay here.

If the Supreme Court intervenes and chooses to hear the case, or any other same-sex marriage case, we will wait for their ruling, likely until summer 2015. If they choose not to hear the Bostic case or any other related case, the 4th Circuit Court decision stands. 

August 8, 2014

Virginia’s marriage case is now before the Supreme Court.  Attorney General Mark Herring’s petition for writ of certiorari calling on the Court to hear the case  has officially reached the Supreme Court. This is the third marriage equality case to reach the Court in recent weeks.

August 5, 2014

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced that he will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling.  The Supreme Court will have at least three cases regarding marriage equality to possibly consider.

August 1, 2014

Prince William County Circuit Court Clerk Michele McQuigg requested a stay on the ruling. The ACLU of Virginia, the ACLU, and Lambda Legal filed in response to McQuigg, opposing the stay.

July 28, 2014

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, located in Richmond,  issued their ruling and upheld Judge Allen’s decision that Virginia’s ban is unconstitutional. The ruling was issued with a 21-day hold, allowing time for a stay to be issued.

March 10, 2014

The ACLU of Virginia, the ACLU, and Lambda Legal filed a motion to include the Harris class-action suit as a party in the Bostic case. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the motion, so both cases will be determined by one ruling.

February 13, 2014

U.S. District Court Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen ruled that Virginia’s ban on marriage was unconstitutional. The case was appealed to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, VA.

August 1, 2013

Two couples, Joanne Harris and Jessica Duff, and Christi Berghoff and Victoria Kidd, with the help of the ACLU of Virginia, the ACLU, and Lambda Legal filed a class-action case against Virginia, representing the 14,000 same-sex couples in the Commonwealth. Their case was stayed, pending the ruling in the Bostic case.

July 18, 2013

Attorneys Erik Porcaro, Robert Ruloff, Thomas Shuttleworth, and Charles Lustig filed a suit on behalf of  Tim Bostic and Tony London, challenging Virginia’s ban on marriage. In September of 2013,Carol Schall and Mary Townley joined the lawsuit as plaintiffs, and the American Foundation for Equal Rights attorneys Theodore Olsen and David Boies joined the plaintiff’s legal team.