Friday was an especially sweet Valentine’s Day! Just a few hours before, U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen ruled that Virginia’s marriage ban is unconstitutional. But, while LGBT and allied Virginians are celebrating this major step toward equality, this basic right will likely not be realized until the U.S Supreme Court decides one of the many marriage equality cases working its way toward it or the General Assembly and Virginia voters overturn Virginia’s constitutional ban on gay and lesbian marriage. This leaves many Virginians asking – what comes now?
Because the decision was stayed, lesbian and gay couples still are not able to get married here in Virginia – yet. If the case is appealed (which is expected), it will go to the 4th Circuit Court, and ultimately could end up in the U.S. Supreme Court. This legal process could take a year or more. Now is the time to stay as strong as we can in our advocacy and outreach. Instead of idly waiting for the legal process to unfold, Equality Virginia will educate the Virginia public about why marriage equality matters – we will continue to change hearts and minds throughout the commonwealth. We will also continue to ask legislators to vote to put the repeal of Virginia’s marriage ban in front of the voters. There are steps we can take now to protect Virginia’s families today, including passing legislation to allow second-parent adoption.
Stand with us – invest in equality today. While we still have a fight ahead, there is no denying that this ruling is a giant step toward true equality in Virginia, and beyond. This ruling put Virginia in the position of leading the southern states toward a more inclusive “we the people.” We take that position seriously, and will not stop fighting for marriage equality until the day comes that lesbian and gay couples across the commonwealth are holding their Virginia marriage license in their hands.
Together we will make sure that Virginia stands on the right side of history. Be the first to get news about marriage equality and more! Sign up here to get our action alerts and newsletter.