News

Advocates urge Supreme Court not to block gay marriage

Advocates urge Supreme Court not to block gay marriage

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Demonstrators in support of same-sex marriage gather in anticipation of two high-profile rulings regarding same-sex marriage at the US Supreme Court in Washington June 26, 2013. Photo: Reuters/James Lawler Dugga

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Gay marriage supporters on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court not to block a court ruling that would allow same-sex couples to wed in Virginia.

Lawyers for gay and lesbian couples who want to get married urged U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts not to grant an emergency stay application filed by a Republican elected official in Northern Virginia.

Prince William County Clerk of the Court Michele McQuigg on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to put on hold an appeals court ruling that struck down the state’s ban on gay marriage.

The lawyers for the gay and lesbian couples said McQuigg could not show there is a high probability that the justices would reverse the lower court, meaning there is no need for Roberts to prevent it from immediately going into effect.

The appeals court’s ruling “directly implicates the rights of tens of thousands of gay and lesbian Virginians whose fundamental right to marry has been denied by the Commonwealth of Virginia,” wrote lawyers for one of the two groups of gay and lesbian plaintiffs.

Separately, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, said in a court filing that he would support delaying gay marriage in the state because he would prefer the Supreme Court to immediately decide the issue once and for all. Herring backs gay marriage.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, invalidated the ban in a ruling issued on July 28. The court said on Thursday that the ruling would go into effect on Aug. 21 if the Supreme Court does not intervene.

Roberts, who has the responsibility of handling emergency applications from the Richmond-based appeals court, can either act on the application himself or refer the matter to the Supreme Court as a whole.

In a case concerning a similar ruling in Utah that struck down the ban in that state, the Supreme Court ultimately blocked the ruling pending further appeals.

The Supreme Court is expected to take at least one gay marriage case in the coming term, which begins in October and ends in June.

Since the June 2013 ruling in the case United States v. Windsor striking down a federal law defining marriage as between one man and one woman, nearly 30 federal and state courts have ruled against same-sex marriage bans at the state level.

Nineteen of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage.

Recent Headlines

1 hour ago in Sports

The best sports shots this week

Fresh
A horse is ridden to the track for a workout at Churchill Downs Thursday, May 5, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. The 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 7. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

A look back at some of the biggest plays and best moments in sports this week.

1 hour ago in Sports

The weekend sports schedule

Fresh
derby16125540087682

Here’s a look at some of the sporting events taking place this weekend.

2 hours ago in National

Making headlines this week

A member of the NATO parachute demonstration team lands during a change of command ceremony at NATO military headquarters in Mons, southern Belgium on Wednesday May 4, 2016. U.S. Army General Curtis  M. Scaparrotti was installed as NATO's 18th supreme allied commander Europe (SACEUR). The commander, by tradition an American general or admiral, is responsible for the overall direction and conduct of NATO's global military operations. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

A look back at some of the biggest stories this week and the headlines you may have missed.

2 hours ago in Lifestyle, National

Anti-hunger group uses fake app to fool, educate

18-overlay

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates 14 percent of Americans, or more than 17 million people, are what is called food insecure, meaning at times of the year, they are uncertain of being able to acquire enough food for their household.

5 hours ago in National

Top reason Americans will vote for Trump: ‘To stop Clinton’

trumpREUTERS

The U.S. presidential election may turn out to be one of the world's biggest un-popularity contests.