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West Virginia LGBT rights and marriage quality


Hillbrook Inn & Spa – Gay Friendly Wedding Venue, Charlestown, West Virginia

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Hillbrook Inn & Spa

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.

Situated on beautifully landscaped grounds, our historic mansion becomes a focal point for your storybook event. Whether an intimate gathering for a few or a lavish occasion for 150 guests in a beautiful pavilion tent, we give attention to every detail to ensure that your event is all you imagined it could be.

See the Hillbrook Inn & Spa Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in West Virginia

Adorable Teen Couple: Soccer Player Dances With Homecoming King

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Michael and Jem

A gay teen soccer player in West Virginia came out with his boyfriend, the Homecoming King, at the high school dance.

Outsports reports:

It was something I thought I’d never do — dance a slow dance with the homecoming king at his high school. I am an 18-year-old senior all-state high school soccer goalie for Musselman High School in West Virginia. I also have been on the school’s football, tennis and swim teams. And I am openly gay. Growing up in rural West Virginia, it’s not the easiest place to be a gay teenager and it took me a long time to come out to myself and others.

Yet there we were, Jem and I, on an October night this fall, slow dancing with each other. We attend schools in different counties and met through friends and I was thrilled that he asked me to his dance so we could be together. He was wearing his gray vest and pink bow tie while I had on my black shirt with a gold tie. We danced to “Love Story” by Taylor Swift, which was a perfect song for my first dance with a guy.

We both started the dance with our female friends who were our “dates.” The final song came on and Jem and I danced for a brief time. It was my first school event where I was with another guy, even though we came to the dance separately. I held his hand when we went to get refreshments and when we took breaks from dancing. It was a weird feeling for me, since I had just barely started coming out. I was nervous yet excited. After the dance we went to his house. That is where I asked him to be my boyfriend. I posed the question by writing it on the dry erase board on his wall. He quickly said yes.

This story was just too adorable not to share – read the whole thing. This is why we fight.

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West Virginia Drops Fight Against Marriage Equality

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

West VirginiaThe Attorney General has dropped his fight against the marriage equality lawsuit, and same sex couples are now marrying in the state.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Same-sex couples are being issued marriage applications in West Virginia. County clerks issued the applications for gay couples to wed Thursday after Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said his office would no longer fight a court challenge to the state’s ban on same-sex marriages. Department of Health and Human Resources spokeswoman Allison Adler said the state registrar is directed county clerks to use existing marriage license forms until the paperwork can be updated. The registrar is in charge of any alterations to state marriage forms.

Amazing, amazing week.

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Marriage Equality Updates: West Virginia

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

West 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, West Virginia.

West Virginia did not have a case before the Supreme Court, but the ruling in Virginia should pave the way for marriage equality there. Lambda Legal is pushing for that to happen sooner rather than later.

SDGLN reports:

Lambda Legal this afternoon asked the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia immediately to lift its stay on the West Virginia marriage case, McGee v. Cole, and to enter a judgment in favor of the plaintiffs. The Supreme Court’s action today means that the 4th Circuit’s decision in Bostic striking down Virginia’s marriage ban as unconstitutional is now final, and that its legal reasoning is controlling in all the states within the 4th Circuit including West Virginia. “There is no reason for the Court to delay any longer,” said Karen Loewy, Senior Attorney and Lambda Legal’s lead attorney in this case.

Same sex couples in all 50 states deserve the freedom to marry now. That’s not going to happen yet, but let’s do everything we can to get to 30 as soon as possible.

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Virginia Marriage Equality Ruling Updates

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

VirginiaYesterday, the Fourth Circuit struck down the Virginia marriage equality ban.

But we’re not there yet, as Lambda Legal’s Jon Davidson cautions.

Joe.My.God reports:

Today’s 4th Circuit decision is not yet final. It won’t be final until at least August 18th (it could be longer if a petition for rehearing is sought) and, of course, a stay of today’s decision by the 4th Circuit or the Supreme Court might be sought by the clerks who defended the Virginia marriage ban. In addition, while nothing in the decision is unique to Virginia law and, once it becomes final, it will be binding precedent on the district courts in North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia, the decision itself does not order the clerks in North Carolina, South Carolina or West Virginia to do anything. Nonetheless, just as the Boulder County clerk decided to allow same-sex couples to marry once the 10th Circuit issued its decision invalidating Utah’s marriage ban, clerks in North Carolina, South Carolina or West Virginia might conclude that their obligation to follow the mandates of the U.S. Constitution (as now explicated by the 4th Circuit) overrides their duty to follow state law.

So we could see same sex weddings as soon as 8/18 in the three states, although it is unclear if they will ultimately be declared valid.

Queerty flags five great quotes from the ruling, including:

The choice of whether and whom to marry is an intensely personal decision that alters the course of an individual’s life. Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance.

In neighboring West Virginia, the AG is taking a wait-and-see approach, as Dave Boucher tweets:

“Office of @WestVirginiaAG (arguing in support of same-sex marriage ban in WV case) is “withholding comment on Va. case until decision final… West Virginia’s case remains pending so… marriage laws are still in effect as enacted by the legislature.”

Now we wait to see if a stay is enacted in the Virginia case.

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Two West Virginia Transgender Women Told to Remove “Wigs and Make-Up” for Drivers License Photos

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Virginia transgender womenIn two separate incidents, two Virginia transgender women were treated with hostility when they went to their local DMV offices to change their names on their drivers licenses.

Pink News reports:

Kristen Skinner, 45, went to the Charles Town Department of Motor Vehicles in West Virginia in order to change her license name in line with her legal name change, but was met with hostility, and was ordered told to remove her “wig”, despite not wearing one.

52-year-old trans woman Trudy Kitzmiller visited the Martinsburg DMV, also in West Virginia. in order to get a new license after changing her name. She was referred to as “it”, and ordered her to take off her makeup, wig and jewellery for the photo.
Kitzmiller said: “This is who I am – a transgender woman – and I have overcome many obstacles to become my true self. DMV staff not only denied me the right to appear in my license photo as myself, they used dehumanizing language to address me. “I want to move on with my life and participate fully in society with an ID that accurately reflects who I am.”

Transgender people in this country often go through terrible difficulties in this country, internally as they adjust to who they really are, and in society in general when people react out of fear and unease. Compared to coming out as a transgender person, my coming out as a gay man was easy. So why do some people feel the need to make life even harder for them? It pisses me off.

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West Virginia Marriage Equality Case Put on Hold

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

West VirginiaA lawsuit in West Virginia has been put on hold.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers entered an order Tuesday that stayed the case filed in West Virginia by three couples last October until the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides a case from Virginia. Gay rights group Lambda Legal filed the lawsuit contending West Virginia’s Defense of Marriage Act unfairly discriminates against same-sex couples and their children.

We’re currently awaiting the decision from a three judge panel in the Virginia case. They heard the case in mid May.

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USA, West Virginia: City Passes Marriage Equality Resolution

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

West VirginiaThe city of Morgantown has unanimously passed a resolution favoring marriage equality.

The DA Online reports:

The Morgantown City Council unanimously approved a resolution in support of the Employment and Housing Non-Discrimination Act in the West Virginia Legislature and a resolution in support of marriage equality in the West Virginia Legislature. The two resolutions were of large public interest; dozens of people unable to go inside the chamber due to seat limitations. More than 20 people, including West Virginia University students and faculty and representatives from various organizations, took a stand and expressed their support for the resolutions without opposition.

Unanimous, and without opposition – in West Virginia!!!

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USA, West Virginia: Marriage Equality Case Can Proceed

Friday, January 31st, 2014

West VirginiaA Federal Court in West Virginia has given the go-ahed for a marriage equality lawsuit there.

Lambda Legal reports:

Today a U.S. District Court ruled that Lambda Legal will be allowed to proceed with its case on behalf of three same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry in West Virginia. “We are pleased that our West Virginia families will have their day in court to show why they should be treated fairly by the government,” said Karen Loewy, Lambda Legal Senior Attorney. “By moving to dismiss, the government was trying to prevent us from showing exactly how the marriage ban harms families. West Virginia’s exclusion interferes with families like Nancy and Jane’s ability to make decisions for their children in school enrollment, travel, health care, and other matters. These families need marriage and should not have to live with a law that treats them as inferior.”

Another day, another red state, another marriage equality lawsuit. Amazing times.

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USA, West Virginia: Attorney General Wants Marriage Equality Lawsuit Thrown Out

Friday, December 20th, 2013

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick MorriseyClaiming that the state law banning marriage equality causes no immediate harm, West Virginia’s Attorney General wants a judge to throw out a lawsuit.

Towleroad reports:

West Virginia Attorney General has motioned for a judge to throw out a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on gay marriage, the WV Gazette reports: In its motion, the state claims two reasons why the lawsuit filed by three same-sex couples should be dismissed: state law doesn’t cause them any immediate harm and the couples aren’t married, so the fact West Virginia doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages from other states doesn’t affect them, according to state attorneys. “The statute causes no concrete and immediate injury to Plaintiffs, who allege only the desire to marry each other in West Virginia and have not alleged that they are or intend to be married in another State,” the motion filed in U.S. District Court on Monday by Assistant Attorney General Julie Ann Warren says.

They’ll try every trick in the book to get their way, won’t they? What it comes down to is basic equality for same-sex couples. You can try to deny them that, but eventually, they will prevail.

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