Lawyers hope win in California will open Virginia to same-sex marriage

Sept. 30, 2013 at 3:08 PM
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NORFOLK, Va., Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Two lawyers, one a Republican and the other a Democrat, say they will challenge a Virginia law prohibiting same-sex marriages.

Theodore Olson and David Boles of the American Foundation for Equal Rights hope to have the same success they experienced in overturning a similar ban by California, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Virginia voters decided in 2006 to amend the state Constitution to ban not only same-sex marriages, but also civil unions and same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. The neighboring jurisdictions of Maryland and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage.

Olson and Boles have joined attorneys representing Timothy Bostic and Tony London of Norfolk and Carol Schall and Mary Townley.

Bostic and London are suing the state of Virginia because their marriage application was turned down. Schall and Townley have a 15-year-old daughter, but their marriage in California is not recognized in Virginia.

Virginia is an "attractive target" for a legal challenge, Olson said, because of the state's rejection of same-sex marriage and civil unions.

"The more unfairly people are being treated, the more obvious it is that it's unconstitutional," he said.

The case is moving quickly at the state's request.

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