Friday, February 14, 2014

More Loving in Virginia

We made a commitment to each other in our love and lives, and now had the legal commitment, called marriage, to match. Isn’t that what marriage is? … I have lived long enough now to see big changes. The older generation’s fears and prejudices have given way, and today’s young people realize that if someone loves someone they have a right to marry. Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. … I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.
– Mildred Loving, “Loving for All”
This quote appears on the cover page of Federal District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen's decision handed down yesterday in the court case brought by Tim Bostic & Tony London and Carol Schall & Mary Townley against the state of Virginia involving the state's marriage ban for their LGBT citizens. This is a huge and sweeping decision for marriage equality in Virginia. Judge Wright Allen declared not only Virginia's marriage ban to be unconstitutional, she also nullified some of the state's civil code as well as “any other Virginia law that bars same-sex marriage or prohibits Virginia’s recognition of lawful same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions,” as she writes in her decision.

Of course the decision was immediately stayed to give marriage equality foes the chance to appeal her decision which they most definitely will, so marriage equality in Virginia will not be a reality just yet. However, this is still a big day for equality and another nail in the coffin of state sponsored discrimination toward LGBTQ's. Congratulations Virginians! Happy Valentine's Day!

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