Federal Court Allows Lambda Legal’s West Virginia Marriage Case to Proceed

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“We are pleased that our West Virginia families will have their day in court to show why they should be treated fairly by the government.”

Date

Date: 
01/29/2014

(Huntington, WV, January 29, 2014) - Today a U.S. District Court ruled that Lambda Legal will be allowed to proceed with its case on behalf of three same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry in West Virginia.

"We are pleased that our West Virginia families will have their day in court to show why they should be treated fairly by the government,” said Karen Loewy, Lambda Legal Senior Attorney. "By moving to dismiss, the government was trying to prevent us from showing exactly how the marriage ban harms families. West Virginia’s exclusion interferes with families like Nancy and Jane’s ability to make decisions for their children in school enrollment, travel, health care, and other matters. These families need marriage and should not have to live with a law that treats them as inferior."

In the lawsuit, Lambda Legal argues 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 undeserving of the legal sanction, respect, protections, and support that different-sex couples and their families are able to enjoy through marriage Today, the Court ruled that Lambda Legal will be able to proceed with its lawsuit for the freedom to marry.

The plaintiffs include: Nancy Michael, 45, and Jane Fenton, 43, together for 16 years, and their six-year-old son, Drew; Casie McGee, 30, and Sarah Adkins 32, together for more than three years; and Justin Murdock, 32, and William Glavaris, 31, together for more than two years.

Read the court’s order: http://lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/mcgee_wv_20140129_memorandum-opinion-and-order

Lambda Legal attorneys Karen Loewy, Beth Littrell and Camilla Taylor are handling the case, joined by West Virginia co-counsel Jack Tinney and Heather Foster Kittredge of Tinney Law Firm, PLLC and cooperating attorneys Paul Smith and Lindsay Harrison of Jenner & Block.

The case is McGee et al. v. Cole et al.

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Contact Info

Jonathan Adams Cell: 646-752-3251; Email: jadams@lambdalegal.org