Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Virginia Gay Marriage Case Receives Class Action Status

Rings As I have previously discussed, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring's office is no longer defending Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban. Currently, multiple cases are going through federal courts in Virginia with plaintiffs seeking to end the state ban on gay marriage. In one of the cases, Plaintiffs Joanne Harris and Jessica Duff, an unmarried couple, and Christy Berghoff and Victoria Kidd, a couple married in the District of Columbia, have brought Due Process and Equal Protection claims. Both couples are same-sex couples who live in Virginia. Their case has been faced with many dismissal motions, and their claims against Robert F. McDonnell, Governor of Virginia were dismissed, but their claims against Janet M. Rainey, State Registrar of Vital Records, and Thomas E. Roberts, Staunton Circuit Court Clerk, continue.

In Harris v. McDonnell, a federal judge certified their suit as a class action. It is expected that whatever the outcome of this and related cases in Virginia is, the ruling will likely be appealed. Currently 17 states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriages.

See Gary Robertson, Judge Says to Rule Soon on Virginia Gay Marriage Ban, Chicago Tribune, Feb. 4, 2014.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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