Explainer: Major Marriage News About To Happen In Virginia

Things just got really complicated in Virginia, but never fear: here’s everything you need to know about what’s going on, and why this week is going to be make-or-break for the freedom to marry.

For the last few months, AFER’s latest marriage equality lawsuit has been churning along through the federal court system in Virginia. Then suddenly, following a super-close election, the state got a new Attorney General named Mark Herring. Herring, a Democrat, just announced that he will no longer defend the state’s marriage ban in court.

But that still leaves some county clerks as defendants, so unlike in California, there is still a government entity willing to defend the ban. And then about a month ago, court scheduled a hearing for Thursday of this week.

But then after the AG’s announcement, the court asked all parties to submit status reports last Friday. The reports were to address whether oral argument was still necessary. That means that the court could decide to skip the hearing and rule right away. Or they could still hold the hearing, and rule in a couple of weeks. Or they could hold the hearing and rule immediately from the bench. Or maybe even something else! Courts are mercurial.

But whether the hearing happens or not, we’ll see major news this week. If nothing else, the court will decide whether oral argument is needed, which is itself a major decision.

Meanwhile, lawsuits are continuing to pile up in other states, as are yet more favorable polls.

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  • Taliaferro

    Each day I pray that my state will become the next to have marriage equality. Virginia has led thoughout history and it is past time we entered the 21st century on this issue. I predict that if Virginia allows marriage equality, other states will have to follow suit.

  • alterego1980

    I wonder which state will be the last to accept marriage equality and when that will be. I was certain that it was going to be Utah, but I guess that’s out. Maybe Alaska?

  • Richard

    It will be South Carolina. My home state will unfortunately be dragged kicking and screaming into the future. #50.

  • aequalitasTN

    @alterego1980: My bet is Mississippi. After all, they were the last state to ban slavery — they just ratified the 13th Amendment last year.

  • TheNewEnergyDude

    @alterego1980: my bet would be mississippi also. Probably by the year 3921.

  • Harley

    All red states will fall at the same time. It’s just a matter of the supremes to declare all anti-marriage equality laws unconstitutional.

  • Kangol


    LMAO! Though for the people of Mississippi, I do hope it’s a lot sooner than then (3921).

Comments are closed.