Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Charlottesville Gay Couple Files Lawsuit Demanding Marriage License

For those not in the know, Virginia passed a viciously anti-gay marriage amendment in November 2006 that bars any and all legal recognition of same sex relationships. The measure was deliberately marketed by anti-gay forces led by The Family Foundation as barring gay marriage but the measure went much farther and barred civil unions and domestic partnerships and even impacted heterosexual non-married couples making their relationships a complete legal nullity under Virginia law. Currently, a similar dishonest campaign is under way in North Carolina. As often noted here, no ones as much or as deliberately as the "godly Christians." Now, a Charlottesville gay couple has filed suit in circuit court challenging the ban, Here are some highlights from the Daily Progress:

Two men filed a lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Virginia in Charlottesville Circuit Court Monday afternoon in hopes of eventually obtaining a marriage license. . . . . They were denied the opportunity to fill out the necessary paperwork, von Himmel said in the court filing, “because both Plaintiffs are male.”

Now, the men are asking for “an order forcing the court to issue Plaintiffs a marriage license,” according to the suit. Von Himmel said he is filing the suit on a constitutional basis.

“The 14th Amendment says that all citizens are allowed to have equal protection under the law,” von Himmel said. “More than anything we want to try and change America’s laws so that people in the [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community can marry anyone they chose.”

He added that he anticipates losing the initial lawsuit, but said that he intends to appeal any verdict denying his request. Eventually, von Himmel said he hopes for the suit to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We’re fighting this based on the principle of equality and liberty,” von Himmel said.

I won't hold my breath. Based on my experience in front of the Virginia Supreme Court in the Moore v. Virginia Museum of Natural History case, the justices seem to think Virginia is exempt from abiding by the equal protection guaranties and religious freedom protections of the U. S. Constitution if the plaintiffs are LGBT citizens. The Court apparently learned little from a comparable marriage issue in its stinging reversal by the U.S. Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia.

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