Saturday, August 09, 2014

Mark Herring Asks Supreme Court To Hear Same-Sex Marriage Case

Following up on his prior statements Virginia General Mark Herring has filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court.  The goal?  To get a prompt resolution once and for all as to the constitutionality of gay marriage bans in Virginia and, by extension, the entire nation.  Personally, I hope the Court grants certiorari and strikes down bans on same sex marriage nationwide.  There is no guarantee that the Court will do so, but if the reasoning of United States v. Windsor is applied to the states, I do not see how the Court has any option - if it seeks to maintain any intellectual honesty - but to strike down all gay marriage bans.  BuzzFeed has details.  Here are excerpts:
Following on the heels of Utah officials and an Oklahoma clerk, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring on Friday asked the Supreme Court to hear a case challenging the constitutionality of his state’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages.

What distinguishes Herring’s filing, representing Virginia State Registrar of Vital Records Janet Rainey, is that his is the first request to the Supreme Court by a party that backs the position of same-sex couples that the ban is unconstitutional.

Of the reason for hearing the claim, Herring’s filing, led by Virginia Solicitor General Stuart Raphael, argues that the Supreme Court should accept certiorari in the case because “[t]he question presented is vital to a large population of same-sex couples, to their children, and to their fellow Americans who believe that discriminating against gay people is both unfair and unconstitutional. They may fairly call this ‘the defining civil rights issue of our time.’”

As to why the Supreme Court should hear the case challenging the Virginia ban, specifically, the brief states, “Virginia’s same-sex-marriage ban is one of the most stringent in the country. It goes further than [California’s] Proposition 8 by barring and refusing to recognize civil unions and by preventing same-sex couples from adopting children. It also goes further than Utah’s ban, which at least preserves contractual rights exercised independently of the same-sex-marriage restriction. Virginia law voids ‘any contractual rights created by’ same- sex marriages entered into in another State.”
 Yes, I have a vested interest in seeing Virginia's anti-gay hate based Marshall-Newman Amendment struck down because at the moment, my marriage to my husband in the District of Columbia is a nullity under Virginia law.

Mark Herring at our home last October

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