ACLU of Virginia Praises Fourth Circuit’s Decision to Deny Stay in Marriage Case

Unless Supreme Court Acts, Same-Sex Couples Could Get Marriage Licenses August 21

*This page has been updated to reflect a date change.  The original version listed August 20 as the date that same-sex couples could begin marrying and having their out-of-state marriages recognized in Virginia.

RICHMOND, VA – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit today denied a request to delay implementation of its ruling striking down Virginia laws denying marriage to same-sex couples.  The court’s action means that, unless the Supreme Court intervenes, couples may begin marrying and having their out-of-state marriages recognized in Virginia on August 21.

Prince William County Circuit Court Clerk Michèle McQuigg had asked the court to stay the ruling while she asks the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.  The ACLU of Virginia, ACLU, and Lambda Legal opposed the stay on behalf of approximately 14,000 Virginia same-sex couples.  McQuigg may still ask the Supreme Court to stay the Fourth Circuit ruling.

“We hope that the Supreme Court will leave this ruling in place, so that same-sex couples may begin marrying right away,” said Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, Executive Director of the ACLU of Virginia.  “Our clients have already waited far too long to exercise their constitutional right to marry, or to have their marriages from other states recognized.”

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