ACLU Launches Flight For Marriage Equality In Virginia, Pennsylvania
With the path to full federal equality now cleared of its DOMA brush by the Supreme Court, the ACLU has wasted no time to start the journey. In two plans announced this week, the ACLU has its sight set on winning civil marriage rights for same-sex couples in Virginia and Pennsylvania.
First up, Virginia, according to a release:
Today Lambda Legal announced that it is in the planning stages of a new federal lawsuit seeking the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Virginia with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
"The end of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act opens a new chapter in our work to ensure same-sex couples and their families across the country are treated with dignity and respect," said Greg Nevins, Supervising Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal's Southern Regional Office based in Atlanta. "We know that many same-sex couples and their families have waited a long time and we are excited to announce that the campaign for the freedom to marry is coming south."
"We do not want a country so divided by unfairness and discrimination. Same-sex couples are in loving, committed relationships in every region of our nation and should be treated the same way, whether they live in Maine or Virginia. This is one America," added Nevins.
Pennsylvania plans, according to the AP:
The lawsuit, to be filed in federal court in Harrisburg, also will ask a federal judge to prevent state officials from stopping gay couples from getting married. It names Gov. Tom Corbett, Attorney General Kathleen Kane and three other officials. The plaintiffs are one widow, 10 couples and one of the couples' two teenage daughters, and they include four couples who were legally married in other states but whose marriages go unrecognized by the state of Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania would become the 14th state to legalize gay marriage if the lawsuit is successful. It also would force the state to recognize the legal marriages of all same-sex couples in other jurisdictions. The plaintiffs, including Deb and Susan Whitewood, who have been together for 22 years, said their willingness to join the lawsuit was driven both by a desire to have the same legal and financial protections afforded to opposite-sex couples and the emotional satisfaction of seeking social justice.
If you are in a same-sex relationship in Virginia, the ACLU and Lambda Legal want to hear from you! Head here for more info.