Rising Tide

New Court Challenge To Virginia’s Ban On Marriage Equality

Minnesota and Rhode Island became the 12th and 13th states to make marriage equality the law today, but the movement toward equality isn’t stopping there. Not by coincidence, the ACLU and Lambda Legal have filed a lawsuit challenging Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriages.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court on behalf of two couples who are seeking the right to marry. Joanne Harris and Jessica Duff have been a couple for over a decade and are raising a four-year-old son together. Christy Berghoff and Victoria Kidd were legally married in the District of Columbia and are raising an eight-month-old daughter.

“If Virginia would just respect our marriage from D.C., it would ensure that my spouse and family could access all the benefits I’ve earned,” Berghoff, an Air Force veteran, said.

The task of defending Virginia goes to state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Cuccinelli is not only opposed to marriage equality; he would like to roll back the clock (and the Supreme Court) and reinstate sodomy laws. He also happens to be the Republican gubernatorial nominee, guaranteeing that marriage equality will become an issue in the November election.

The tide is against Cuccinelli. A new poll from Gallup shows that public support for marriage equality continues to grow. A slight majority of Americans now say that they would vote for marriage equality if it was on the ballot. The numbers look even stronger in Virginia. A Washington Post poll in May found that 56% of registered voters there support marriage equality. That’s great news for same-sex couples, and not so great news for Cuccinelli.

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  • Dakotahgeo

    ROFLMBO!!! Is THIS not the greatest story ever??? I would predict that if marriage equality passes in Virginia and 1 or 2 other southern states, it will be all over but the crying for the rest of the recalcitrant boogeymen… errr, boogeypersons, lolol. I can’t wait to see these holier-than-thou states fall like dominoes in this social arena. Sooo, sooooo delicious!

  • mjcc1987

    @Dakotahgeo: Virginia has a constitutional ban. So that first would have to be removed and then a vote to allow marriage equality. With the state house in bagger hands, it’s not going to happen. So our option is to elect a Democratic slate and demand they not defend in court and win the court case.

  • Dakotahgeo

    Thank you. What I SHOULD have noted is that hopefully the state’s Constitutional ban would be found unconstitutional. They need to understand that these states laws are going to fall whether they like it or not. However, you have a much more viable option with a Democratic Governor and State Congress, BUT… is that possible in Virginia? Again, my thanks.

  • Cam

    HRC is in a panic, they are of course spouting the SAME LINE they spouted years ago when the first lawsuits for marriage were filed in MA, and when the suit against Prop 8, DOMA and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell were filed. Warning that we’re pushing too fast, and that we shouldn’t be jumping so soon.

    Ugh, talk about making it obvious that their only concern is their jobs.

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