American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Supreme Court delays marriages in Virginia, Lawyers urge high court for review


On Wednesday, August 20, 2014, the United States Supreme Court granted an emergency request to stay, or delay implementation of, the 4th Circuit Court’s decision that found Virginia’s marriage ban unconstitutional.

Marriages for gay and lesbian couples were set to begin at 8 a.m. on Thursday, August 21, 2014, after the 4th Circuit Court denied an initial request to stay that mandate. Now, the Supreme Court’s stay prevents marriages from taking place pending further legal questions in the case.

Lawyers for the Bostic plaintiffs will ask the Supreme Court to review the Bostic case so that the nation’s high court can rule on marriage equality once and for all and extend equality and freedom to all gay and lesbian couples and their families.

The Supreme Court has been asked by the state of Virginia to take up the Bostic case in its next term to decide the question of marriage equality once and for all. The state filed its petition for writ of certiorari, or request for review, on Friday, August 8, 2014. The Bostic plaintiffs will acquiesce to that request in hopes that the Supreme Court will finally answer the imperative constitutional question at hand.

Should the court take the case for review, the stay issued today will remain in place until the case has been fully briefed, argued, and decided by the high court.

If the Supreme Court does not grant review of the Bostic case, it is expected the stay will be lifted and couples will be able to marry in Virginia at that time.