Federal Judge Rules Virginia’s Ban on Same Sex Marriage is Unconstitutional

Thursday, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled that Virginia’s ban on marriage for lesbian and gay couples is unconstitutional in the case Bostic v. McDonnell brought by the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER). Her ruling is stayed pending appeal, meaning marriages will not occur immediately in the commonwealth.

Tim Bostic and Tony London as well Carol Schall and Mary Townley are the two plaintiff couples challenging Virginia’s amendment. Tim and Tony have been together for nearly 25 years, and Carol and Mary, who are also raising a teenage daughter, have been together for 30.

The Virginia ruling comes on the heels of a year-long string of electoral, judicial and legislative victories for marriage equality. Recently the New Mexico Supreme Court and a federal district judges in Utah, Oklahoma, Ohio and Kentucky have ruled in favor of marriage for lesbian and gay couples.