Prop 8 lawyers join Virginia fight against gay marriage ban

NORFOLK Va. – Virginians voted back in 2006 to ban gay marriage across the state. Now, in 2013, a Norfolk couple is not only taking the Commonwealth to court over it, they want the law to stop being enforced while their lawsuit is being decided.

“We have lived our lives with dignity, honesty, and openness. We are a married couple, and we would like to be recognized as a married couple,” said Tim Bostic, a professor at ODU and one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit told CBS 6 affiliate WTKR. 

Bostic and his partner of 24 years, Navy vet Tony London, filed a lawsuit in federal court back in July, after they were denied a marriage license by the Clerk of Circuit Court in Norfolk.

“I served my country, got injured serving my country, and its very important to me to know that I am part of this country,” said London.

Monday, this couple added some major firepower to their case. The attorneys who successfully fought against California’s Prop 8 Amendment will now help represent them.

Those lawyers immediately filed several motions in Norfolk Federal Court asking a judge to make a quick ruling in their favor to avoid a jury trial; and to actually make Virginia’s constitutional amendment immediately null and void, so gay couples around the state can marry until the case is settled.

I don’t want to go to Maryland and come home and not be married,” said Bostic. “I want the real thing.”

Their goal is to eventually get this case in front of the Supreme Court, and overturn the state’s constitutional amendment.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has already said he will fight to uphold the ban on gay marriage.

Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk George Schaefer is actually named as a defendant in the case, since his office denied Bostic and London their marriage license.

Schaefer didn’t want to comment to NewsChannel 3, instead referring WTKR to his lawyers, who sent this statement:

“Poole Mahoney has been retained to represent George Schaefer, the Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk in the lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Virginia federal court challenging the constitutionality of Virginia law as it relates to same-sex marriage. Mr. Schaefer cannot comment on the case since this is pending litigation. However, as a constitutional officer, he is required to follow all existing laws and regulations when fulfilling his duties and responsibilities.”

2 comments

  • E Marshall Buckles

    I can only comment as an “informed layperson”, however, my guess is that this case will likely be dismissed. Even if it got on the docket, it would probably go to trial, go to appeals, and attempts made to get certiorari to the Supreme Court of the US. The various issues involved, if it should go to trial, would likely keep it tied up in court for a long time and I would doubt that the Judges or Justices would require Virginia to lift its one man-one woman marriage law in the meantime given that it went through Virginia’s very rigorous constitutional amendment process and was voted into law by Virginians. The route with a greater possibility of success would be to attempt to get a Virginia Constitutional Amendment passed which would repeal the one man-one woman amendment and put in its place a gay marriage constitutional amendment. However, this process is very rigorous, takes a LONG time and, right now, I seriously doubt that it would be successful. Whether or not that is so, still, either the court path or the state constitutional amendment path will likely take a LONG time. Anyone wanting gay marriage in Virginia should probably not hold their breath waiting. If it ever happens, it will take a very long time if it happens at all.

    • Dustin Cavanaugh

      The problem here and around the country is it blatantly violates the constitution which is the law of the land and all it is really is hypocritical Christians trolling their agenda into law. If they really want to not be hypocrites they should make divorce illegal too since it is also a sin according to the bible or what I like to call “the bile” This country is pitiful and I am embarrassed to live here.

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