SCOTUS Blocks Virginia Same-Sex Marriages

BTL Staff

VIRGINIA - The United States Supreme Court agreed to stay the decision made by a federal appeals court in Virginia last month, blocking same-sex marriages from taking place this week.

The court issued a one-page order mandating a stay until the filing and deposition of a petition for a writ of certiorari, that if declined, will terminate the stay automatically. However, if the court does agree to hear the case the stay will continue until judgment is issued.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to stay or freeze the decision made on July 28th. Had the stay not been issued, Virginia clerk's offices would have started distributing marriage licenses on Aug. 21.

Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry says that this decision has a big impact on marriage equality cases nationwide.

"This Supreme Court's stay of yet another freedom to marry ruling underscores the urgency of the Court's granting a full review and bringing the country to national resolution by next year," Wolfson said. "Americans across the country are being deprived of the freedom to marry and respect for their lawful marriages, as well as the tangible protections and precious dignity and happiness that marriage brings. It is time for the Supreme Court to affirm what more than thirty courts have held in the past year: marriage discrimination violates the Constitution, harms families, and is unworthy of America."

SCOTUS issued the stay after Prince William County Circuit Court Clerk Michele McQuigg requested the stay from the justices. McQuigg is defending the state's ban on same-sex marriage against plaintiffs Timothy Bostic and Joanne Harris.

The SCOTUS decision to stay the same-sex marriages in Virginia is consistent with other stays the high court has issued.

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