Last week, a ruling struck down a 2006 amendment to Virginia’s state constitution stating that marriage is between a man and a woman. However, on Friday Michael B. McQuigg, a circuit court clerk in Prince William county filed a motion to stay the ruling, reports The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
McQuigg cited concern that allowing same-sex coupes to marry before a U.S. Supreme Court review would create “uncertainty for the public and irreparable injury to the commonwealth.”
The attorney for the plaintiffs, a gay couple from the Norfolk area, expressed to the court that a stay of the mandate would be “inappropriate” because McQuigg did not show “the balance of equities favors the issuance of a stay or that she (the commonwealth) will be irreparably harmed if a stay does not issue.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented a class of same sex couples who eventually signed on to the suit also asked the court to deny a stay for reasons that were similar. Their motion stated “the balance of equities and the public interest weigh heavily against the mandate. The Class consists of approximately 14,00 same-sex couple, who would suffer irreparable harm if the mandate stayed.”
Experts believe that the case may be heading to the U.S. Supreme Court as early as this coming fall, due to McQuigg waiving the right for a rehearing before the appeals court.