MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The founder and president of Freedom To Marry, a marriage equality campaign, says marriage cannot be defined by those who are kept from it in the eyes of the law.

“The best definition of marriage in our country and in our culture and under our Constitution is a commitment made, hopefully in love, between two people that is reinforced and regulated by the state through the issuance of marriage licenses,” said Evan Wolfson, an attorney.

Wolfson was scheduled to discuss the issue with Hoppy Kercheval, host of MetroNews “Talkline,” at 6 p.m. Tuesday at West Virginia University’s College of Law during a free event that was open to the public.

Ahead of that talk, which student organization OUTLaw sponsored, Wolfson was a guest on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

Wolfson said his message is a simple one.  “If you or other Americans have the freedom to marry the person that matters most to you, so should a gay person have that freedom in the United States,” he said.

In West Virginia, state law defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

“Marriage is not defined by who is denied it.  The fact that some people are kept out of marriage doesn’t define marriage, it simply restricts marriage to certain people and not to others,” argued Wolfson.

Wolfson was co-counsel for Baehr v. Miike, one of the first lawsuits to challenge the denial of same-sex marriage.  He also contributed to the legal teams in a Vermont case which lead to the creation of civil unions and a Massachusetts case that dealt with marriage equality.

In 2000, Wolfson was in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to argue Boy Scouts of America v. James Dale.  In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court supported the right of the Boys Scouts to expel Dale, a scoutmaster and Eagle Scout, because of his sexual orientation.

Wolfson wrote the book “Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality and Gay People’s Right to Marry.”

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  • Roger

    Don't think of it as not being allowed to get married..... think of it as half of you are being spared having to go through a divorce.... trust me, its ugly.

  • rick

    Like it or not we are stuck with the Constitution that allegedly guarantees the same rights to all of us.

  • griff

    hoppy k & morgantown must be desperate for people to interview. It NEVER ceases to amaze me that people are infected with aids daily BUT the fags just keep spreading it. Each one will stand before God one of these coming days & stand accountable for their sins

  • george

    these liberals always amaze me- they will use the " law or anthing else to override what is wrong and what is right. Never in the history of mankind has the Government consiered such requests until certainly is not mentioned in the Bible about same sexes marrying.......................whew what a crazy word.............

  • Sparta

    The path that the LGBT community is taking to achieve recgonition for gay marrage is through the courts, however, they like to put spin it in the media (which is all to eager to spread their lies) that the state's support it and, with the exception of California, is a lie.

  • TB

    Why is it so important to gays that other people recognize their love for one another? Will a marriage license make their love stronger?

    • wvu

      Perhaps its the hundreds of legal rights and benefits that are afforded to legally married couples. Maybe?

      • jeremy

        Those benefits are there because a man and woman can reproduce. Gays only need a civil union without the child burden benefits.

      • Shawn H

        This is why we need to eliminate government from marriage. Eliminate all of the perks given to married couples. Kick gov out of the marriage business. They have no right in anyone's marriage. Then, if you want to marry a tree and you can find a church to do it, then have at it. YOU are the one who will stand before God and answer for it. This is the fight we need to be having.

      • TB

        The benefits maybe but everyone has the same "rights." Poor reason to get married in my opinion.

      • The bookman

        Then lobby for civil union, not marriage, as marriage is between one man and one woman.

  • john

    The Bible speaks of Adam & Eve, not Eve and Evelyn nor Adam & Alex....This guy can fight for gays to marry, but whats he going to do one day when he stands before the judgement bar of God and answers for what he has done. See what good his constitutional rights will do him then.

    • RDC

      John, what if the bible and the man in the sky are pure fiction. Open your mind, if someone is truly gay and there is a god, then god made him/her that way. Stop judging and try and live a good life.