A Virginia clerk on Friday asked the
Supreme Court to review an appeals court's ruling striking down
Virginia's ban on gay marriage.
The request was filed by lawyers
representing George E. Schaefer III, the circuit court clerk for
Norfolk County, who is listed as a defendant in the case. Another
request is expected to be filed by Michelle B. McQuigg, circuit court
clerk for Prince William County.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court granted
McQuigg's request to put a hold on the order as an appeal is pursued.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring,
a Democrat, has also asked the court to take the case, stating that
he believes the court should uphold the lower court's decision.
In the new document, Schaefer's lawyers
argue that only the Supreme Court “can bring order to this
nationwide disarray, which will only worsen if the Court does not act
Of the numerous federal decisions
striking down similar state bans, the brief argues that they have
“not expanded freedom; they have reduced it.”
Windsor – last year's Supreme
Court ruling which knocked down federal legislation prohibiting the
federal government from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and
lesbian couples – had been subverted in these cases, the
In supporting states' rights to allow
gay couples to marry and have those marriages recognized by the
federal government, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that states
traditionally have held the “historic and essential authority to
define the marital relation.”
It is then that concept on which the
lawyers hang their arguments, saying that Virginia has decided
otherwise and that Windsor
upheld their right to do so.
“The flood of post-Windsor
decisions invalidating traditional marriage laws represents a
complete subversion of Windsor itself, which was premised on
the idea that the citizens of the States have 'the historic and
essential authority to define the marital relation,' including
whether to recognize same-sex marriage,” the brief states.