Hearing scheduled for Thursday in challenge to Va. same-sex marriage ban

U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen Staff Reports

Update: Jan. 29, 2014 — The hearing has been postponed due to adverse weather conditions that made travel difficult. The court said it would reschedule the hearing.

NORFOLK, Va. — A federal judge in Virginia will hear oral arguments on Thursday in one of two lawsuits challenging Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage.

U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen

U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen

U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen issued an order Monday in the case brought by two same-sex couples, confirming oral arguments “on the summary judgment motions and the motion for a preliminary injunction” will be heard Jan. 30., at 9 a.m., in U.S. District Court in Norfolk.

The plaintiffs — Tim Bostic and Tony London of Norfolk, Va., and Carol Schall and Mary Townley of Richmond, Va. — are represented by Ted Olson and David Boies, the attorneys who argued against California’s Proposition 8 before the U.S. Supreme Court last June, and are supported by the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

They are asking the court to decide the matter based on written briefs that have been submitted in the case.

“This case is about state laws that violate personal freedoms, are unnecessary government intrusions, and cause serious harm to loving gay and lesbian couples,” Olson said. “As a Virginian and a conservative, I believe these laws stand against the very principles of our nation’s founding.”

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The hearing comes one week after Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring concluded that the state’s ban on same-sex unions is unconstitutional and that he will join the fight against it.

A ruling in the case is not expected immediately, as the order indicates “pending motions will be taken under further advisement at the close of the hearing.”

A second lawsuit challenging Virgina’s same-sex marriage ban has been filed in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg by two couples from the Shenandoah Valley.

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