AFER’s legal team led by the incomparable Ted Olson and David Boies was back in federal court today. They made a forceful case in Norfolk, Virginia that all Americans are guaranteed the freedom to marry the person they love, and how the harm caused by denying gay and lesbian couples this right is unjustified and indefensible. Arguing alongside them was the Commonwealth of Virginia, which recently joined our side.
District Federal Court Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen could issue a ruling quickly. “You’ll be hearing from me soon,” she said at the conclusion of the nearly two-hour hearing. While we don’t know when—or how—Judge Wright Allen will decide the case, we remain optimistic that our arguments for freedom and equality will once again prevail.
Also appearing before the Court today was the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, which played a major role in passing California’s Prop. 8. They argued that Virginia’s marriage ban is somehow not discriminatory and that children are best raised by a man and a woman, arguments our legal team resoundingly refuted.
If the federal court strikes down Virginia’s marriage ban, just as it did in three other states, we can expect an immediate, costly appeal.
Loving couples like our plaintiffs Tim and Tony, who have been together for nearly 25 years, and Carol and Mary, who have been together for nearly 30 years, have built their lives together. It’s time for the state to stop treating them as legal strangers.