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Virginia Same-Sex Marriage Opinion (District Court)

Virginia Same-Sex Marriage Opinion (District Court)

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Published by PeacockEsq
Marriage Equality comes to Virginia.
Marriage Equality comes to Virginia.

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Published by: PeacockEsq on Feb 14, 2014
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08/15/2014

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UNITEDSTATESDISTRICT
COURT
FOR
THE
EASTERNDISTRICTOFVIRGINIA
NorfolkDivision
TIMOTHY
B.
BOSTIC,
TONY
C.
LONDON,CAROLSCHALL,
and
MARY
TOWNLEY,
Plaintiffs,
v.
CivilNo.2:13cv395
JANET
M.RAINEY,inherofficialcapacity
asStateRegistrar
of
VitalRecords,and
GEORGE
E.
SCHAEFER,
III,inhisofficial
capacityastheClerk
of
CourtforNorfolk
CircuitCourt,
Defendants;
and
MICHELEB.McQUIGG,in
her
officialcapacity
asPrinceWilliamCountyClerk
of
CircuitCourt,
Intervenor-Defendant.
We
madeacommitmenttoeachotherinourloveandlives,andnowhadthelegal
commitment,
calledmarriage,to
match.
Isn
 t
thatwhatmarriageis?...Ihave
livedlong
enough
nowtoseebig
changes.
The
oldergeneration sfearsandprejudiceshavegiven
way,
andtoday syoungpeoplerealize
that
if
someone
lovessomeonetheyhavearightto
marry.
SurroundedasIamnowbywonderful
children
and
grandchildren,
notadaygoesby
that
Idon t
think
of
Richard
andour
love,
our
right
to
marry,
andhow
much
it
meant
tometohave
that
freedomto
marrythe
personpreciousto
me,
even
if
others
thought
hewas
the
 wrongkind
of
person formeto
marry.
Ibelieveall
Americans,
no
matter
their
race,
no
mattertheirsex,nomattertheir
sexual
orientation,
should
havethat
same
freedom
to
marry.
Government
hasnobusinessimposingsomepeople sreligious
beliefsoverothers....Isupportthefreedomtomarry
for
all.That swhat
Loving,
and
loving,are
all
about.
-
MildredLoving,
 Loving
for
All 1
1
MildredLoving,Loving
forAll,
Public
Statement
onthe40thAnniversary
of
Loving
v.
Virginia
(June12,
2007).
Case 2:13-cv-00395-AWA-LRL Document 135 Filed 02/13/14 Page 1 of 41 PageID# 1043
 
OPINIONAND
ORDER
Aspiritedandcontroversialdebateisunderwayregardingwhomayenjoytherightto
marryintheUnitedStates
of
America.Americahaspursuedajourneytomakeandkeepourcitizensfree.Thisjourneyhasneverbeeneasy,andattimeshasbeenpainfulandpoignant.The
ultimate
exercise
of
our
freedom
ischoice.
Our
Constitutiondeclaresthat all
men
arecreated
equal.Surelythismeansall
of
us.Whileever-vigilantforthewisdomthatcancomefromthe
voices
of
ourvotingpublic,
our
courtshaveneverlongtoleratedtheperpetuation
of
lawsrooted
inunlawfulprejudice.One
of
thejudiciary snoblestendeavorsistoscrutinizelawsthatemerge
from
such
roots.
BeforethisCourtarechallengestoVirginia slegislatedprohibitiononsame-sex
marriage.Plaintiffsassertthattherestrictionontheirfreedomtochoosetomarrytheperson
theyloveinfringesontherightstodueprocessandequalprotectionguaranteedtothemunder
theFourteenthAmendment
of
theUnitedStatesConstitution.Thesechallengesarewell-taken.
I
BACKGROUND
A.
Procedural
History
PlaintiffsTimothyB.BosticandTonyC.Londonaretwomenwhohavebeenunableto
obtain
a
marriagelicense
to
marryeach
other
in
Virginiabecause
of
Virginia s
Marriage
Laws.2
OnJuly18,2013,Mr.BosticandMr.LondonfiledaComplaintpursuantto42U.S.C.§1983
againstformerGovernorRobertF.McDonnell,formerAttorneyGeneralKennethT.Cuccinelli,
andGeorgeE.SchaeferIIIinhisofficialcapacityastheClerk
of
CourtforNorfolkCircuitCourt
(ECFNo.1).ThisComplaintsoughtdeclaratoryandinjunctivereliefregardingthetreatment
of
same-sexmarriagesintheCommonwealth
of
VirginiaundertheVirginiaConstitutionandthe
2
Unless
otherwise
noted,
 Virginia s
Marriage
Laws
refer
to
Article
I,
Section
15-A
ofthe
VirginiaConstitution,
thestatutoryprovisionscited
herein,
andanyotherlawrelatingtomarriage
within
the
Commonwealth
of
Virginia.
Case 2:13-cv-00395-AWA-LRL Document 135 Filed 02/13/14 Page 2 of 41 PageID# 1044
 
VirginiaCode.TheComplaintalsoaskedthisCourttofindArticleI,Section15-A
of
the
VirginiaConstitutionandSections20-45.2,20-45.3
of
theVirginiaCodeunconstitutionalunder
theDueProcessClauseandtheEqualProtectionClause
of
theFourteenthAmendment.
OnSeptember3,2013,Mr.BosticandMr.LondonfiledanAmendedComplaint
dismissing
the
former
Governor
andthe
formerAttorneyGeneral
as
defendants.3
The
Amended
Complaintaddedtwoplaintiffs,CarolSchallandMaryTownley.PlaintiffsMr.Bostic,Mr.
London,Ms.SchallandMs.Townleyarehereincollectivelyreferredtoas Plaintiffs. Onenew
defendantwasaddedintheAmendedComplaint:Ms.JanetRainey,inherofficialcapacityas
StateRegistrar
of
VitalRecords.Ms.RaineyandMr.Schaeferarecollectivelyreferredtoas
 Defendants.
Thepartiesadvancedcrossmotionsseekingsummaryjudgment(ECFNos.25,38,40),
andPlaintiffsalsofiledaMotionforPreliminaryInjunction(ECFNo.27).Thesemotionswere
thesubject
of
ahearingconductedbeforethisCourtonFebruary4,2014.
Twomotionsforleavetofile
amicicuriae
briefsinsupport
of
Defendants motionswere
filed
andgranted.Additionally,Ms.Michele
McQuigg
( Intervenor-Defendant )movedto
interveneasadefendantinherofficialcapacityasPrinceWilliamCountyClerk
of
CircuitCourt,andthiswasgrantedinpartonJanuary21,2014.
OnJanuary23,2014,Defendant
Rainey,
inconjunctionwiththeOfficeoftheAttorney
General,submittedaformalchangeinposition,andrelinquishedherpriordefense
of
Virginia sMarriageLaws.Intervenor-DefendantwasgrantedleavetoadoptMs.Rainey spriormotionand
briefsinsupport
of
thatmotion.
3
After
those
parties
were
dismissed
as
defendants,
then-pending
motions
to
dismiss
from
thoseparties
were
dismissedasmoot.
Case 2:13-cv-00395-AWA-LRL Document 135 Filed 02/13/14 Page 3 of 41 PageID# 1045

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