John M. Becker

BREAKING: West Virginia Will No Longer Fight Marriage Equality

Filed By John M. Becker | October 09, 2014 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: gay marriage, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, West Virginia

gay-west-virginia.jpgBig news out of West Virginia: Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says he will no longer fight to uphold the state's marriage discrimination law after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized marriage equality in the Fourth Circuit.

The Associated Press reports:

Morrisey issued a statement Thursday that his office "will respect" the recent U.S. Supreme Court declining to review a lower-court ruling in July striking down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriages. But Morrisey says he still doesn't agree with the high court's stance.

U.S. District Judge Robert Chambers in Huntington had previously put West Virginia's case on hold. On Tuesday, Chamber ordered the state and clerks in Kanawha and Cabell counties to respond to a motion by plaintiffs by Oct. 21.

The motion filed by attorneys for three same-sex couples asked Chambers to grant their motion for summary judgment based on the outcome of the case in Virginia.

Ray Tomblin, the state's Democratic governor, concurred in a statement today, and says he has directed state agencies to uphold the marriage ruling:

"As the attorney general stated today, recent rulings by several federal courts, combined with the refusal of the U.S. Supreme Court to hear this issue, make it clear that laws banning same-sex marriage have been declared unconstitutional. I do not plan to take any actions that would seek to overturn the courts' decisions. West Virginia will uphold the law according to these rulings, and I have directed state agencies to take appropriate action to make that possible.

"Our state is known for its kindness and hospitality to residents and visitors alike. I encourage all West Virginians - regardless of their personal beliefs - to uphold our statewide tradition of treating one another with dignity and respect."

Marriage equality hasn't officially arrived yet in West Virginia, but these actions pave the way. What wonderful news!

Editor's Note: This post has been updated to reflect the fact that West Virginia's marriage ban was statutory, not constitutional.

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