Landmark hearing on ban of same-sex unions to be heard today in Norfolk

A Federal court will hear both sides of the historical Bostic v. Rainey case today in Norfolk. Timothy Bostic and his partner Tony C. London filed the suit last year after the couple was denied a marriage license at the Norfolk Circuit Court clerk’s office. Mary Townley and Carol Schall of Chesterfield County also joined Bostic and London in suit.

Newly elected Attorney General Mark R. Herring will attend today’s arguments in support of Bostic and London, and will hold a press conference following the oral arguments. Herring recently announced that he considers Virginia’s ban on same sex marriage unconstitutional and that he would not only refuse to defend the ban in court but side with the plaintiffs. Republicans and religious groups criticized Herring, accusing him of not doing the job he was supposed to when he was sworn in. Virginia Solicitor General Stuart Raphael will argue in court on behalf of the Commonwealth.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the hearing will last at least 2 hours, but an immediate resolution is unlikely. It could be as late as June 2015 before a final decision is reached. If the court decides to hear the case and favors the plaintiff, then same sex marriage will be legal in Virginia. 

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