American Foundation for Equal Rights

AFER Hails Virginia Attorney General’s Decision to Actively Oppose State’s Ban on Marriage Equality


 Bostic v. Rainey Marriage Equality Case Set for January 30 Hearing in Norfolk

 Norfolk, VA – The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the sponsor of Virginia’s leading marriage equality case, Bostic v. Rainey, today hailed the decision by the Commonwealth’s Attorney General, Mark Herring, that he will actively oppose the state’s onerous and discriminatory Constitutional ban on marriage equality.

Attorney General Herring’s statement comes exactly one week prior to the first hearing in the Virginia marriage equality case of Bostic v. Rainey, which will be held at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia before Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 9 a.m.

“This is a great day for the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Plaintiffs’ lead co-counsel Theodore B. Olson. “Virginia’s marriage laws are needlessly mean-spirited and cause harsh and gratuitous pain and humiliation to gay and lesbian Virginians and their families.  Attorney General Herring’s actions today have brought Virginia that much closer to the quintessential American ideals of equality under the law and the freedom to pursue happiness.  We are grateful for his leadership and look forward to working with him to strike down Virginia’s odious marriage ban.”

The Bostic case – first filed in July 2013 in Norfolk – argues that the Virginia Marriage Amendment is unconstitutional because it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, violates Due Process, and singles out gay and lesbian couples for a disfavored legal status, thereby creating a category of “second-class citizens.”

“The time has come for political leaders of all stripes in Virginia to follow Attorney General Herring’s lead in supporting the freedom to marry for all Virginians,” said AFER Executive Director Adam Umhoefer. “The majority of Americans and the majority of Virginians agree that loving, committed couples like our plaintiffs Mary & Carol and Tim & Tony deserve the dignity and respect that comes with marriage.”

More information about the Bostic case and the Plaintiffs is located here:


About the American Foundation for Equal Rights

Since its founding in 2009, the American Foundation for Equal Rights has fought for full federal marriage equality for all Americans.  As the sole sponsor of the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, AFER brought together bipartisan attorneys Theodore B. Olson and David Boies to secure a victory at the United States Supreme Court that restored marriage equality to our nation’s most populous state.  AFER continues its legacy of fighting for marriage equality for all Americans through Bostic v. Rainey, the federal constitutional challenge to Virginia’s discriminatory and harmful Marriage Amendment. To learn more, visit