Lambda Legal Seeks Immediate Action for Marriage in West Virginia

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Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Karen Loewy

Following the U.S. Supreme Court action this morning denying review of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in McQuigg v. Bostic, Lambda Legal asked the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia immediately to lift its stay on the West Virginia marriage case, McGee v. Cole, and to enter a judgment in favor of the plaintiffs.

The Supreme Court’s action today means that the 4th Circuit’s decision in Bostic striking down Virginia’s marriage ban as unconstitutional is now final, and that its legal reasoning is controlling in all the states within the 4th Circuit including West Virginia.

Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Karen Loewy said:

There is no reason for the Court to delay any longer. Same-sex couples and their families in West Virginia have been waiting a long time for the protections and dignity that only marriage can provide. Now that the 4th Circuit’s decision is final, these families deserve a prompt ruling ending their exclusion from marriage.

Lambda Legal filed this lawsuit in October 2013 on behalf of three same-sex couples and their children, arguing that West Virginia’s marriage ban unfairly discriminates against same-sex couples 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. 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.

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.