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Religious Tolerance logo

Virginia: Recognition of same-sex relationships & marriage equality

Part 11:
2014-JUL/AUG: Bostic v. Rainey:
Reactions by the public (Cont'd).
Attorney General asks the U.S.
Supreme Court to accept appeal.

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"LGBT" is an acronym referring to the Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual, and Transgender/Transsexual community.
SSM refers to same-sex marriage.

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This topic is a continuation from the previous essay

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LGBT symbol 2014-JUL-28: Public opinion about marriage equality in Virginia (Cont'd):

The USA Today article titled: Appeals panel strikes down Virginia gay marriage ban" received 301 comments from the public during the first 30 hours after it went online. 6 We continue listing the first approximately 25 postings below, with a few nonsensical and off-topic postings deleted. Minor grammatical and spelling errors were corrected:

  • David A DeFreese: "Brothers and sisters....on what legal or constitutional basis can this be denied any longer? (Note, I specifically exclude religious justifications which, of course, have no bearing on civil laws in this case)."

  • Josh Homer: "It's sad that in 2014 a court has to approve equality. Can't wait until the bigoted generation goes away."

  • Hue Hendricks: "The right wings' Big Government approach to governing free Americans continues to come to an end. Nice to see our courts uphold the [federal] Constitution."

  • Mike Garcia: "I'm sure this affects my multiple divorces and marriages in some way... if only I could find my Bible and find the right verse, I probably could tell you how."

    • Bruce Robinson responded: "Unfortunately, the Bible does not contain any passages that discuss same-sex marriage. In fact it is silent on committed same-sex relationships."

  • Michael Younger: "Liberalism rears its ugly head again. More judges going against the stuff the voters who put them there want. And no, I don't need to hear insensitive and over-the-top comparisons of the 1967 Loving case, since that had nothing to do with gays. That had to be resolved because not only rights were violated but also people were harassed, bullied, killed and had to move out of country to marry interracially. At last check, none of that has been happening to gay couples and they have the nerve to compare themselves to interracial couples?"

    • Bill Parton responded: "Damn rogue activist judges! Tee Hee!"

    • Jimmy McCain responded: "... factually a number of the justices ruling to strike down these deemed unconstitutional state bans (18 & counting) are in fact CONSERVATIVES... so it's not "liberalism" it's not even a partisan issue it seems. ..."

    • Iamnot Theuniverse responded: "So, it's your sincere contention that gay couples are not harassed, bullied, killed, or forced to move out of fear of such things? What's it like to actually live under a rock?"

  • Sabine Deutcher: "What about Polygamy? Polygamists, in their right, are just doing what their life style is all about. If we are shooting for equality then there should be no boundaries and no one should be left out."

    • Bill Parton responded: "Why should the rights of homosexuals be denied because those who are against polygamy can't seem to come up with any good reasons of their own to keep to keep polygamy illegal? If you believe that withholding equal rights to homosexuals is the only thing holding back polygamists you will have to build a better argument.

      Otherwise, sooner or later, someone will exploit your lack of an argument regardless of whether same-sex couples are allowed to marry or not."

    • Jim Stennett responded: "Have at it girl. Go ahead and file suit. Don't be too bummed out if G/L couples don't join your suit, since the State's interest in prohibiting poly-marriages is not the same as 1:1 same-sex marriages. What's that? You're not a polygamist nor part of a same-sex couple? Oh, too bad. Sounds like you lack standing, so maybe you should just MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS instead of minding everyone else's. Unless of course you can find SOME reason SSM damages yours-- which of course you can't-- since no attorneys yet have found any such impact, in ANY cases. But best of luck, girl. Have at it."

  • Cody Bernardi: "When can I marry my cat?"

    • Bill Parton responded: "If you have lived long enough with it, you may already have a common-law marriage. Congratulations!!"

    • Etchy McEtchy responded: "As soon as you can teach it how to say 'I do' and sign it's name on a marriage registry."

    • Mike Wallace responded: "As soon as your cat learns the concept of legal consent as it pertains to civil contracts. Run along, socialist troll."

    • James Jones responded: "Did you have an extra three fifths of a vote in the last election due to your cat?"

    • Jonathan Gruver: "And the cat has to be old enough to marry." 6

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2014-AUG-05 to 08: Three officials in the Attorney General's office petitioned the Supreme Court to accept the appeal of Bostic v. Rainey:

On AUG-05, Mark Herring (D), Virginia's Attorney General, said:

"I believe the district and appeals courts ruled correctly in striking down Virginia’s discriminatory marriage ban, but it has long been clear that the Supreme Court will likely have the final word. I want that decision to come as soon as possible and I want the voices of Virginians to be heard. This case has moved forward at an incredibly swift pace, and I look forward to a final resolution that affirms the fundamental right of all Virginians to marry." 11

Reporter Niraj Chokshi, writing for the Washington Post, said:

"... many in the same-sex marriage debate are eager for a quick resolution, with proponents of same-sex marriage encouraged by a string of 35 consecutive legal victories since the Supreme Court granted federal recognition to same-sex married couples last summer. Twenty of those decisions have come from federal courts, twelve from state courts and three from federal appellate courts, according to a count maintained by Freedom to Marry, 12 which advocates for same-sex marriage. 11

On AUG-08, Mark Herring, and Stuart Raphael -- Virginia's Solicitor General -- and Trevor Cox, -- the Deputy Solicitor General -- jointly filed a 53 page "Petition for Writ of Certiorari" with the U.S. Supreme Court. They asked that the Court accept the appeal of the Bostic v. Rainey lawsuit.

The petition describes the "Question Presented" as:

"Whether Virginia violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses [of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution] by denying the right of marriage to same-sex couples and by refusing to recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed outside of Virginia." 13

It also explains that:

  • "The issue presented is exceptionally important, involving questions about fundamental rights that have not yet been resolved. This case is an opportunity to answer questions left unanswered by last year's cases involving Proposition 8 and the Windsor case involving the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA.) The Windsor case struck down the federal marriage ban, but the Supreme Court left the question of state marriage bans unanswered in the Proposition 8 decision."

  • "The [Bostic v. Rainey] case presents important federal questions on which federal and state courts are divided, including whether heightened scrutiny applies to laws that discriminate on the basis on sexual orientation. Virginia argues that heightened scrutiny should apply because courts should be suspicious of laws that discriminate against gay people."

  • "Virginia's same-sex-marriage ban is a particularly good candidate for review. It is one of the most stringent in the country. For example, only married couples may adopt children together, thus preventing same-sex couples who wish to marry from legally becoming parents to the children they are raising. The plaintiffs' relationships also present a number of constitutional questions the court can consider, like whether a state can prevent marriage between same-sex partners, how a marriage between same-sex partners impacts children they are raising, or whether the Commonwealth can refuse to recognize a marriage performed legally in another state."

  • "Virginia's case is procedurally sound and does not suffer from defects -- like lack of standing -- that prevented the Court from reaching the merits last year in the Proposition 8 case." 17

The petition concludes:

"Although the "public is currently engaged in an active political debate over whether same sex couples should be allowed to marry,' Hollingsworth, 133 S. Ct. at 2659, the Court should not entertain pleas to stand on the sidelines to watch.  The same plea for judicial restraint was heard in 1967 from a previous Attorney General of Virginia, who said that striking down Virginia's law banning interracial marriage would be 'judicial legislation in the rawest sense of that term.'   He urged the Court to leave it to the 'exclusive province' of the States to permit or allow 'such alliances.'  And perhaps if the Court had waited long enough, Virginia would have eventually repealed its interracial-marriage ban; 14 other States had done so by the time Loving was decided.  388 U.S. at 6 n.5." 17

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This topic continues in the next essay

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References used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. Richard Wolf, "Appeals court ruling clears way for gay marriage in the heart of Bible Belt ," Washington Post, 2014-JUL-29, at:
  2. Brian Brown, "National Organization for Marriage Condemns Virginia Court for Ignoring History, Reality and Rule of Law," National Organization for Marriage, 2014-JUL-28, at:
  3. "Appeals panel strikes down Virginia gay marriage ban," USA Today, 2014-JUL-28, at:
  4. "Bostic v. Schaefer | 4th Circuit," Equality North Carolina, 2014-JUL-28, at:
  5. Matthew Ward, "Court slams gay marriage ban," Suffolk News Herald, 2014-JUL-28, at:
  6. "Appeals panel strikes down Virginia gay marriage ban," USA Today, 2014-JUL-28, at:
  7. Alan Blinder, "Court Refuses to Stay Its Decision Striking Down Virginia’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban," New York Times, 2014-AIG-14, at:
  8. Robert Barnes, "Supreme Court asked to put hold on ruling that would allow gay marriage in Virginia," The Washington Post, 2014-AUG-13, at:
  9. Debbie Elliott, "In Virginia, Gay Marriages May Begin Next Week," National Public Radio (NPR) 2014-AUG-14, at:
  10. Michael Felberbaum, "Gay marriages could begin in Va,. barring delay," 2014-AUJG-14. ABC News, 2014-AUG-24, at:
  11. Niraj Chokshi, "Virginia, Utah attorneys general take gay marriage fight to the Supreme Court," The Washington Post, 2014-AUG-05, at:
  12. "Marriage rulings in the courts," Freedom to Marry, as on 2014-AUG-05, at: [This essay is continually updated as new court rulings are issued.]
  13. "Herring's petition to the Supreme Court," at:
  14. Jenna Portnoy, "Herring asks Supreme Court to take up Virginia same-sex marriage case," Washington Post, 2014-AUG-08, at:
  15. "Virginia Asks Supreme Court To Review Same-Sex Marriage Case," dcist, 2014-AUG-08, at:
  16. "Va. clerk to ask Supreme Court to stay same-sex marriage ruling," WUSA9, 2014-AUG-14, at:
  17. lowkell, "Virginia asks U.S. Supreme Court to review marriage equality case,"Blue Virginia, 2014-AUG-09. at:
  18. "Gay marriage in Virginia set to begin AUG-21," USA Today, 2014-AUG-14, at:

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How you got here

Site navigation: Home > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > Menu > Virginia > here

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Copyright © 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2014-JUL-29
Latest update: 2014-AUG-16
Author: B.A. Robinson

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