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Virginia gay rights and marriage equality news

 

Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Art Works, Richmond, Virginia

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

Art Works, Richmond, Virginia

Periodically we’ll feature one of our vendors here to let our readers know about some great people who can help you plan the perfect wedding.

Looking for something different? Art Works is the perfect venue to take your wedding beyond the ordinary. Art Works is a full-time art gallery with working artist studios located in the hip Manchester district of downtown Richmond. Our unique facility offers an atmosphere of class, beauty, and fun for your reception without a lot of effort! We have three elegant event halls accommodating 30 to 300 people.

See the Art Works Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Virginia

Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Chestnut Hill Bed & Breakfast, Orange, Virginia

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Chestnut Hill

Periodically we’ll feature one of our vendors here to let our readers know about some great people who can help you plan the perfect wedding.

With its Southern charm and historical background, Chestnut Hill Bed and Breakfast has become the premier wedding venue in Charlottesville’s wine country. It is ideal for a small, intimate gathering or a grand affair with up to 200 guests. We would love to help you make your perfect wedding a reality at our beautiful wedding venue.

See the Chestnut Hill Bed & Breakfast Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Virginia

Marriage Equality Updates: Virginia

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

VirginiaWe’re running down some of the updates in the aftermath of the shocking Supreme Court decision to turn down all the pending marriage equality cases.

Next, Virginia.

Virginia was also one of the five states with a case before the Supreme Court. And just like in 1967, when the Loving v. Virginia case struck down “mixed race” marriage bans, the state has now been a part of an act doing the same thing for same sex marriage bans in 11 states.

The Times Dispatch reports:

“…the parallels between the cases are deep, and Forde-Mazrui and other scholars see them as pivotal points in Virginia’s social history. “I think we’ve reached a tipping point,” said Thomas J. Linneman, a sociology professor at the College of William and Mary. The idea of “being on the right side of history” on gay rights — as many weren’t during the civil rights movement — became “a buzz phrase” a few years back. “People are realizing this is happening and you should be on the right side of it,” Linneman said.

Even an anti-gay clerk has come on board in the state. Joe.My.God reports:

Norfolk County Clerk George Schaefer, who was backed by the virulently anti-gay Alliance Defending Freedom all the way to the Supreme Court, today had to suck it and sign the marriage license of AFER plaintiffs Timothy Bostic and Tony London.

And NBC covers the first legal same sex marriage in the state:

Lindsey Oliver, 30, and Nicole Pries, 42, received the first same-sex marriage license issued from the Richmond Circuit Court Clerk’s office shortly after 1 p.m. Monday. Upon leaving the courthouse, they were married by gay-rights advocate The Rev. Robin Gorsline. The couple said Monday also was the anniversary of a commitment ceremony they held on a North Carolina beach three years ago. Across Virginia, county clerks are readying for an influx of marriage license applications now that same-sex couples in the commonwealth are allowed to marry. The new marriage licenses, which contain spaces for spouse and spouse instead of bride and groom, became available around 1 p.m. Monday.

The The Washington Blade covers another same sex wedding:

Carol Schall and Mary Townley of Chesterfield were both at work on Monday when they learned the U.S. Supreme Court had declined to accept their case that challenges Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban. The women who have been together for nearly 30 years renewed their California marriage vows less than six hours later outside the John Marshall Courts Building in downtown Richmond with their 16-year-old daughter, Emily Schall-Townley, standing by their side. Attorney General Mark Herring presided over the brief ceremony as dozens of elected officials, LGBT advocates and reporters watched. “For the first time legally in Virginia I can say I’m here with my wife Mary and my daughter Emily,” said Schall.

As one of the women said, “What a great day to be a Virginian, and a great day to be an American.” Amen, sister.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Virginia.

Virginia Teen Beaten By Bullies Charged With Assault

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

Virginia Teen Eric MartinA high school student has been charged with assault after being beaten and called “faggot” by a group of other boys.

Queerty reports:

A 14-year-old Virginia boy has been charged with two counts of assault for fighting back against a group of at least four relentless high school bullies, a losing battle that left him brutally beaten and hospitalized for nine days. The teen victim, Eric Martin, has also been banned from attending Highland Springs High School in Henrico until he signs a form saying he threatened the school, a baseless allegation the school can’t prove. Eric’s mother, Mary Martin, says the school is enacting harsh punishment on her son because he threw the first punch in the altercation, which happened on school grounds. In an interview with NBC 12, she claims Eric had been continually bullied by the boys who beat him, called “gay” and a “faggot,” and implies the school did nothing to stop it.

It’s beyond disgusting that the school would do nothing to protect this kid, and then accuse him of being the instigator. We need to stand up and protect kids like Eric in our schools.

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What to Expect Now That Supreme Court Delayed Marriage Decision

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

US Supreme Court bw

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court held its first conference of the new session and considered whether to take up a marriage equality case this year. And today, the justices released the first list of cases to which they’ll grant a review. There are no marriage cases on the list.

So what does this mean?

It’s impossible to read the court’s mind, but delaying a decision generally means the justices need more time to consider whether to take a case. They have additional conferences scheduled from now until the end of their term, so there’s no telling exactly when they’ll finally choose to hear a case — or choose to reject them all.

Recently, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg suggested that the court would wait until there was disagreement between appellate courts on the issue of marriage. Looking ahead to upcoming appellate rulings, a decision is due any day now in the Ninth and Sixth circuits. The Ninth is likely to agree with the other circuits that found marriage bans to be unconstitutional. The Sixth Circuit is harder to predict, but so far all of the lower-court rulings within the circuit have rejected marriage bans as well.

Authored By Matt Baume – See the Full Story at The Advocate

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Supreme Court Could Choose a Marriage Equality Case Tomorrow

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

US Supreme Court ColorTomorrow is the first day the US Supreme Court could actually choose a case or cases in the marriage equality fight this year.

NBC News reports:

The justices, who will meet in a closed-door conference on Monday, will consider whether to hear any of three same-sex marriage lawsuits during the next term, which officially starts Oct. 6. If they decide to review one or more of the cases, a ruling could be reached by July on whether same-sex marriage must be allowed nationwide. If they choose not to hear the cases, the decision would allow gay nuptials in the ten states covered by the three lawsuits. The court could also wait for a circuit court to disagree with the others and support the state bans. The justice have until January 2015 to make their decision. Both opponents and supporters of gay marriage predict that the justices will hear at least one of the cases.

Which case do you think they will take, if any? Utah, Oklahoma, or Virginia?

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US Supreme Court Will Look at All 7 Pending Marriage Equality Cases

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

US Supreme Court bwThe US Supreme Court has asked the petitions be ready for all seven marriage quality cases that have reached the court.

Scotus Blog reports:

Matching the speed of lawyers and lower courts in handling the same-sex marriage controversy, the Supreme Court on Wednesday set the stage for its first look at all of the pending cases, when the Justices assemble on September 29 for a private Conference. Seven petitions — three from Virginia, and one each from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wisconsin — will be submitted to the Justices at that session. There is, of course, no certainty that they will act on any or all of them at that point, but the option is there. With all sides agreeing that the time to rule is now, it would be a surprise if the Court opted to bypass the issue altogether in its new Term… Together, the petitions raise two constitutional questions: do states have power to refuse to allow same-sex couples to marry, and do states have power to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states? In all of the federal appeals courts’ decisions being challenged in these cases, state marriage bans of one or both of those kinds were struck down under the federal Constitution, either under equal protection or due process guarantees, or both.

Another set of cases before the Sixth Circuit could be decided soon.

Towleroad.com reports:

…the Supreme Court could have more cases headed its way very soon. Many are focsued on 4 pending cases before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, a court some legal analysts suspect is more likely than others to uphold marriage bans: “If that happens, it’s a virtual certainty that the Supreme Court would step in and resolve the disagreement.”

The cases awaiting Supreme Court consideration on 9/29 are from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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Which Marriage Equality Case Will the Supreme Court Take (If Any)?

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

US Supreme CourtThis past month, lawyers from Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to consider reviewing three federal appellate court decisions that struck down the states’ respective bans on same-sex marriage. If the Supreme Court chooses not to hear the cases, then the appellate courts’ decisions will stand, effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in the states that fall within the jurisdiction of those two circuits (the 4th Circuit includes Virginia, Maryland and the Carolinas, while the 10th Circuit includes Utah, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, and Wyoming).

However, should the Supreme Court choose to hear one or more of the cases, which it likely will, a definitive ruling on same-sex marriage will be in store, either enforcing the remaining 31 states’ bans on same-sex marriage, or overturning them and disallowing any new bans to be instituted.

The question at hand in each case is whether or not the state’s ban violates the U.S. Constitution, specifically the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses located in Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment. There are a few crucial debates that stem from this question.

Authored By Chris Dietz – See the Full Story at Equality on Trial

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Virginia Marriage Equality Blocked by US Supreme Court

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

US Supreme CourtThe US Supreme Court stepped in and extended the stay on same-sex weddings in Virginia yesterday.

The Washington Blade reports:

Without explanation, the court announced in a single-page order it has stayed the ruling by the U.S. Fourth Circuit of Appeals in Schaefer v. Bostic, which affirmed Virginia’s prohibition on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Although Chief Justice John Roberts is responsible for stay requests in the Fourth Circuit, the order indicates he referred the matter to the entire court. The vote by the Supreme Court on the decision isn’t included in the order. The court adds that if the court ends up declining a writ of certiorari to hear the case, the stay will terminate automatically. But if the court decides to hear the case, the stay will continue until judgment is issued.

Weddings would have begun today if the stay had not been extended. Now we wait to see if the Supreme Court will take up the case. If not, the stay will automatically expire.

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Virginia Marriage Equality Updates

Monday, August 18th, 2014

VirginiaVirginia marriage equality took some twists and turns today.

First off, the ACLU is asking the US Supreme Court to allow weddings to go ahead later this week.

SDGLN reports:

The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Virginia and Lambda Legal today will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to deny the motion filed Thursday by Prince William County Clerk Michele McQuigg seeking to stay the recent Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Schaefer v. Bostic striking down Virginia’s discriminatory marriage ban. They will join the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the primary sponsor of the Bostic case. Chief Justice John Roberts, the Circuit Justice for the Fourth Circuit, is overseeing the request, and last Friday he set a deadline of 5 pm Monday EST for responses.

But according to NBC4, the AG may have cut a deal to delay the weddings.

NBC4 reports:

Gay marriage in Virginia was set to begin on Thursday — but now, the state’s Attorney General has said he agrees to a delay. Attorney General Mark Herring also asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case quickly and settle the issue. The move seems designed to prevent what has happened in states including Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Wisconsin, where gay-marriage bans have been struck down by courts and then reinstated on appeal.

The Washington Blade explains the state’s position:

Virginia Solicitor General Stuart Raphael, who takes a different approach in the 19-page filing he submitted before the Supreme Court, saying harm may occur either way and a stay on Virginia same-sex marriages is the best option. “Irreparable harm is threatened whichever way the Court decides the stay request, although determining if the harm is irreparable depends on whether Virginia’s ban is unconstitutional,” Raphael writes. “Under these circumstances, the balance of hardships favors a stay. The unintended consequences and injury to third parties if this Court were to permit the district court’s injunction to take effect prematurely and later uphold Virginia’s ban are greater than the injury to the named plaintiffs if the stay is granted but the ban is later invalidated.”

Does the state’s capitulation make it much more likely a stay will be issued?

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