Virginia's definition of marriage is
based on “procreation and the ability to procreate naturally,” a
lawyer defending the state's ban on gay marriage said Friday.
David B. Oakley, an attorney for court
clerks in Norfolk and Prince William County, also said that U.S.
District Judge Arenda Wright Allen overstepped her authority when she
declared the state's ban invalid last month.
strikes down Virginia's ban on gay marriage.)
“Judge Allen erred as a matter of law
when she awarded Plaintiffs preliminary injunctive relief,” Oakley
argued in a brief filed in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Although the preliminary injunctive relief was stayed during the
pendency of this appeal, if for some reason this matter is remanded,
this Court must find awarding a preliminary injunction which alters
the status quo and creates a right to same-sex marriage in the
Commonwealth which never before existed is clear error and an abuse
Oakley said that states cannot be
forced to allow gay couples to marry, adding that clerks could be
faced with lawsuits from other people excluded from marriage.
“For example, if the definition of
marriage is no longer based on procreation and the ability to
procreate naturally, then what is the purpose of prohibiting marriage
between persons of close kinship,” Oakley wrote.
A three-judge panel of the appeals
court will hear arguments in May. Virginia Attorney General Mark
Herring, a Democrat, announced in January that he would not defend
the ban in court. He subsequently filed a brief in support of