News

Advocates urge Supreme Court not to block gay marriage

Advocates urge Supreme Court not to block gay marriage

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Demonstrators in support of same-sex marriage gather in anticipation of two high-profile rulings regarding same-sex marriage at the US Supreme Court in Washington June 26, 2013. Photo: Reuters/James Lawler Dugga

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Gay marriage supporters on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court not to block a court ruling that would allow same-sex couples to wed in Virginia.

Lawyers for gay and lesbian couples who want to get married urged U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts not to grant an emergency stay application filed by a Republican elected official in Northern Virginia.

Prince William County Clerk of the Court Michele McQuigg on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to put on hold an appeals court ruling that struck down the state’s ban on gay marriage.

The lawyers for the gay and lesbian couples said McQuigg could not show there is a high probability that the justices would reverse the lower court, meaning there is no need for Roberts to prevent it from immediately going into effect.

The appeals court’s ruling “directly implicates the rights of tens of thousands of gay and lesbian Virginians whose fundamental right to marry has been denied by the Commonwealth of Virginia,” wrote lawyers for one of the two groups of gay and lesbian plaintiffs.

Separately, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, said in a court filing that he would support delaying gay marriage in the state because he would prefer the Supreme Court to immediately decide the issue once and for all. Herring backs gay marriage.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, invalidated the ban in a ruling issued on July 28. The court said on Thursday that the ruling would go into effect on Aug. 21 if the Supreme Court does not intervene.

Roberts, who has the responsibility of handling emergency applications from the Richmond-based appeals court, can either act on the application himself or refer the matter to the Supreme Court as a whole.

In a case concerning a similar ruling in Utah that struck down the ban in that state, the Supreme Court ultimately blocked the ruling pending further appeals.

The Supreme Court is expected to take at least one gay marriage case in the coming term, which begins in October and ends in June.

Since the June 2013 ruling in the case United States v. Windsor striking down a federal law defining marriage as between one man and one woman, nearly 30 federal and state courts have ruled against same-sex marriage bans at the state level.

Nineteen of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Move over, Myrick! Oswego Republican vying to become youngest mayor in New York

11270702_840190866049725_4155032824795155424_o

Billy Barlow, 24, made campaign announcement Tuesday

in Local

IPD renewing $20,000 offer in five-year-old arson case

crime2

Sergeant Bryan Bangs’ house was burned to the ground in July of 2010.

in Sports

Soccer rocked as top FIFA officials arrested in U.S. corruption probe

fifaarrests

Seven of the most powerful figures in soccer face extradition to the U.S. after their arrest in Switzerland, where authorities also announced a criminal investigation into the awarding of the next two World Cups.

in National

Storm death toll rises as Houston remains underwater

flood

Torrential rains and flooding have turned streets into rivers, killing more than a dozen people and destroying hundreds of homes.

in National

Ford recalls nearly a half-million vehicles

ford

Ford has recalled several models, including the Mustang and Taurus, for a power steering problem.