McGee v. Cole

Take action and meet our plaintiffs (including Justin and Will, pictured above) at our Love Unites US: West Virginia campaign hub.


Lambda Legal has filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia on behalf of three same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry, and the child of one of the couples.  Plaintiffs argue that West Virginia’s marriage ban unfairly discriminates against same-sex couples and their children and sends a purposeful message that lesbians, gay men and their children are second-class citizens who are undeserving of the legal sanction, respect, protections and support that different-sex couples and their families are able to enjoy through marriage.


  • October 1, 2013 Lambda Legal, joined by pro bono West Virginia co-counsel from Tinney Law Firm and cooperating attorneys from Jenner & Block, files the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
  • January 29, 2014 U.S. District Court rules that Lambda Legal will be allowed to proceed with its case.
  • July 30, 2014  Following a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit striking down Virginia’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples, Lambda Legal filed a motion asking a federal court to lift a stay it had entered pending the Fourth Circuit’s decision and enter judgment in Lambda Legal’s case.
  • October 6, 2014 Following the U.S. Supreme Court denying review of marriage cases from three circuits, including the Fourth, Lambda Legal asked a federal court to lift its stay on the West Virginia marriage case, McGee v. Cole, and to enter a judgment in favor of the plaintiffs.
  • October 9, 2014 West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey agreed to end the state’s defense of WV’s discriminatory marriage ban in Lambda Legal’s marriage case. Marriages began in West Virginia.
  • November 7, 2014 Although West Virginia’s Attorney General had already conceded that the state’s marriage ban was unconstitutional and marriages began last month, the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia made it official, ruling in favor of Lambda Legal’s plaintiffs and striking down the discriminatory marriage ban.

Case Information

Status: Open


Casie McGee and Sarah Adkins; Justin Murdock and Will Glavaris; and Nancy Michael and Jane Fenton and their son, Drew


Lambda Legal
Camilla Taylor
Beth Littrell
Karen Loewy


Tinney Law Firm, PLLC
Jack Tinney
Heather Foster Kittredge

Cooperating Attorneys

Jenner & Block
Paul Smith
Luke Platzer
Lindsay Harrison