Late yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on the exercise of same sex marriages in Virginia, only hours before the first such marriage would have become legal in the state. Equality Virginia had circulated a list of clergymen who were prepared to be at the ready at county courthouses throughout Virginia to begin to conduct weddings today had the Supreme Court not intervened.
“We are disappointed that the 14,000 couples we represent in Virginia will have to continue to wait to exercise their fundamental right to marry, or to have their marriages recognized in Virginia,” said Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, executive director of the Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. “Until the Supreme Court rules on marriage equality, many gay and lesbian Virginians will live without legal recognition of their relationships with their children, access to their spouse’s health insurance benefits, the ability to make medical decisions for their spouse, and countless other rights that other married couples take for granted. We hope that the Supreme Court will decide this case as quickly as possible so that families will not have to wait any longer than necessary to exercise these rights.”