“The last word on the marriage lawsuits in America rests with the U.S. Supreme Court, said Byron Babione, Senior Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, who represents Prince William County Clerk of Court Michéle B. McQuigg’s defense of the state amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
“It has already said that lower-court rulings on state marriage laws should be placed on hold for now,” Babione continued in an Aug. 14 statement. “The 4th Circuit was wrong to ignore that and deny Virginians an orderly, dignified, and fair resolution to the question of whether they will remain free to preserve marriage as the union of a man and a woman.”
In late July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, based in Richmond, upheld a lower court’s decision saying that the state’s 2006 amendment defining marriage as a union existing between a man and a woman is unconstitutional.
The county clerk asked the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to delay marriages for same sex couples as the case moved through the legal system, but was denied. On Aug. 14, Alliance Defending Freedom filed an official request with the Supreme Court for a stay on the decision on behalf of McQuigg. A similar request was granted to Okla. earlier this year.
Marriage licenses for same-sex couples could be granted as early as Aug. 20 unless the Supreme Court grants a stay against the implementation of the lower courts’ decisions.
Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage said he hoped the high court would intervene while the decision is appealed.
“As the Court stayed a similar decision in the case coming out of Utah, we urge them to find the same good reasons for staying the present decision,” he added, “maintaining the dignity and credibility of the judicial process and giving the people of Virginia the respect they deserve to defend their vote for marriage before our highest court.
Local Virginia representatives are asking the Supreme Court to uphold the definition of marriage as existing between a man and a woman following a federal Appeals Court’s decision not to postpone same sex marriages in the state.