NORFOLK Va. - Virginians voted back in 2006 to ban gay marriage across the state. Now, in 2013, a Norfolk couple is not only taking the Commonwealth to court over it, they want the law to stop being enforced while their lawsuit is being decided.
“We have lived our lives with dignity, honesty, and openness. We are a married couple, and we would like to be recognized as a married couple,” said Tim Bostic, a professor at ODU and one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit told CBS 6 affiliate WTKR.
Bostic and his partner of 24 years, Navy vet Tony London, filed a lawsuit in federal court back in July, after they were denied a marriage license by the Clerk of Circuit Court in Norfolk.
“I served my country, got injured serving my country, and its very important to me to know that I am part of this country,” said London.
Monday, this couple added some major firepower to their case. The attorneys who successfully fought against California’s Prop 8 Amendment will now help represent them.
Those lawyers immediately filed several motions in Norfolk Federal Court asking a judge to make a quick ruling in their favor to avoid a jury trial; and to actually make Virginia’s constitutional amendment immediately null and void, so gay couples around the state can marry until the case is settled.
I don’t want to go to Maryland and come home and not be married,” said Bostic. “I want the real thing.”
Their goal is to eventually get this case in front of the Supreme Court, and overturn the state’s constitutional amendment.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has already said he will fight to uphold the ban on gay marriage.
Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk George Schaefer is actually named as a defendant in the case, since his office denied Bostic and London their marriage license.
Schaefer didn’t want to comment to NewsChannel 3, instead referring WTKR to his lawyers, who sent this statement:
“Poole Mahoney has been retained to represent George Schaefer, the Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk in the lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Virginia federal court challenging the constitutionality of Virginia law as it relates to same-sex marriage. Mr. Schaefer cannot comment on the case since this is pending litigation. However, as a constitutional officer, he is required to follow all existing laws and regulations when fulfilling his duties and responsibilities.”