HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — U.S. District Judge Chuck Chambers put a hold on a case Tuesday challenging West Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Chambers’ brief order said he’ll wait until a federal appeals court makes a decision on a similar case challenging Virginia’s ban.

The case was argued May 13 and a decision from the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is expected sometime this summer.

Lambda Legal filed the case in West Virginia last October after three same-sex couples were denied marriage licenses in Kanawha and Cabell counties.

The plaintiffs sought a ruling from Judge Chambers earlier this year.

Since we filed our lawsuit in October, same-sex couples in four more states have secured the ability to marry,” said Beth Littrell, a Senior Attorney in Lambda Legal’s Southern Regional Office said at the time. “We do not want a country divided by unfairness and discrimination. Same-sex couples are in loving, committed relationships in every state and should be treated the same way. When same-sex couples in West Virginia are denied the freedom to marry, the government sends a message that they are second class citizens and their families are not worthy of equal dignity and respect.”

The plaintiffs include: Nancy Michael, 45, and Jane Fenton, 43, together for 16 years, and their six-year-old son, Drew; Casie McGee, 30, and Sarah Adkins 32, together for more than three years; and Justin Murdock, 32, and William Glavaris, 31, together for more than two years.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has intervened in the case on behalf of the state.

bubble graphic

77

bubble graphic

Comments

  • Abram

    (Abraham) With God, all things are possible. Ask my son Isaac.

  • Hillbilly

    Gay couples aren't used to nasty divorces, splitting up everything... welcome to the new world. Another "benefit" huh?

  • flossrancher

    Homosexuality, tattoos, wearing clothes made from blended fabrics, beard trimming, eating fruit from trees less than five years old--these are abominations, saith the Lord!

    • Gary Karstens

      Yes but we all know Christians love to pick and choose which scriptures apply to society.

      • Silas Lynch

        Your disdain of Christians is remarkable. Perhaps you would be more comfortable with the Scriptures revealed to The Prophet in the Qur'an. Just a thought.

  • MOCO man

    They aren't denied anything. The law is the law and they are free to take their ass to San Francisco and marry. It's not this state that is backwards dude.........it's the whackos that are wanting to marry someone of the same fricken sex........sicko's

    • Aaron

      If every other state recognize that marriage and the individuals could move to any state and receive the same benefits a man and woman receive, you might have a point.

      As a same-sex couple is denied all of the rights, privileges and legal benefits of the contract of marriage, you do not.

      The easiest way for conservatives to end this issue is to simply pass civil union laws that bestow the same legal benefits as marriage and are recognized by every state. Otherwise, they will lose on this issue.

      • kensgirl

        Agreed. I'm not opposed to giving them legal civil protections, tax breaks or whatever else, but in every country that condones same-sex marriage, the next step has been prosecutions against ministers who refuse them or churches who don't allow their facilities to be used. The US wouldn't be any different in that regard, no matter how much we like to pretend otherwise. The religious objections of privately-owned businesses are already being trampled down. Ministers and churches would inevitably be next.

        • Aaron

          I don't disagree which is why churches need to get out of the business of sanctioning state marriages.

  • Grey4449

    Let each state decide by vote not by judges . I believe that the right to own a gun, abortion, pot smoking, and gay marriage should be put before the people. If a state votes for an issue you don't like simpley move to a state that allows the issue. Letting one or two judges decide for an entire state is wrong. It's the vote that counts. The will of the people.

    • Gary R

      Grey it doesn't work like that. California as liberal as they are voted and ruled that marriage is between a man and a woman three times only to have liberal judges over rule them Back in I believe 2010 Virginia voters voted 54 percent to 46 percent that marriage is between a man and a woman onli to have one of obamas liberal judges recently over rule it. The majority and states rights doesn't mean a thing any more.

    • Aaron

      The Equal Protection Clause has been affirmed to the states, thus the contract of marriage is a federal issue.

  • wondering

    metro news needs to grow some instead of censoring out my opinion. they have more problems with 1st amendment then gays

  • wondering

    guess u still haven't heard it says Adam and eve NOT Adam and Steve. but if u claim u were born that way u probably still don't know the book.

  • Gary R

    Marriage is between a man and a woman. As a Christian I'm appalled about what is going on in this country.

    • Hillbilly

      Likewise.. but there are too many out there who will not stop until they have freedom FROM religion (which is what most anti-gay beliefs are about... myself included). The good book says its a sin.

  • wondering

    let them fa#% go somewhere else. not here. they claim they were born that way well let them be that way in the closet or elsewhere. but i shouldn't have to see it

  • preacher

    I'll give my license up before I perform a marriage between same sex couple.

    • Hop'sHip

      You need a license to be a preacher? Who issues these? God?

    • Gary Karstens

      Clean up your own church that is full of sinners first! Never liked a preacher that wears his holier than thou attitude on his sleeve.

    • proudlyconservative

      Good.

  • Spartan

    They (homosexuals) won't stop until religious institutions are coerced into accepting as well as blessing their union. Naturally, they want the same benefits that hetrosexuals enjoy, but it goes much deeper than that. This is about forcing broader society to not only accept their lifestyle, but also demanding social engineering of our children in the public school system.
    Wake up people...

  • ricardo

    Good move by the judge. A certain appeal of a decision striking down the constitutionality of the ban by WV Attorney General would have ended up in the 4th. So Judge Chambers move makes sense.

    • mark

      Agreed

  • mountaineer

    What has happened to traditional marriages. Homosexual has not been recognized for 100's of years. It has allways been between a man and a woman since the beginning of time

    • mark

      Polygamous marriages were also the norm. Want those back too?

      • ricardo

        Where do you live Mark, Utah? But you make a good point. The bible has no problem with polygamy. It has no problem with bringing a slave wife into a marriage if the wife is barren. The point you make is a good one. Marriage is a construct of society and it has been changing, with changes in societies throughout time. This is more a societal change, like others throughout history, than anything else.

        • mark

          The same arguments against interracial marriage in the 1950s are being used against gay marriage. We see what an epic fail that was. I love how those who quote the Bible on the issue of homesexuality fail to mention that it's a violation of the 10 Commandments to commit adultery. Jesus also said aldultery was the only sanctioned reason for divorce. Yet divorces are now granted for more reasons like "irreconcilable differences." It may turn out another way, but as of yet NO COURT which has overturned a statutory or constitutional ban on gay marriage has been reversed by an appellate court, and thus far the Supreme Court has refused to intervene.

    • ricardo

      Used to be divorce wasn't recognized, nor was inter-racial marriage. The father of a friend of mine was refused the right to marry his Japanese warbride in Virginia upon return from serving in WW2. Once marriage went from a church function to a civil function, access to the institution was guaranteed to everyone. It was inevitable. Luckily, churches can still decide who is to be married under their respective roofs. In essence there are two types of marriage those sanctioned by the state and those sanctioned by churches.

      • Silas Lynch

        How you wrote that makes me wonder if it wasn't a church that refused to marry the father of your friend to his Japanese war bride and not the state. If that the case I'm sure it was on religious convictions and not race.

      • Aaron

        The only ones that matter regarding the law are those sanctioned by the state. As marriage bestows hundreds of rights and laws upon a couple not available to a single individual, to deny those rights based on sex is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

        It really is that simple.

        • peeker

          I rarely add my two cents but always read the comments with great interest. More and more I find myself wondering "what qualifies this guy named Aaron to speak with such authority on EVERY SINGLE ISSUE/ARTICLE?" This is not a simple issue. And, I doubt anyone sitting around posting comments at midnight has such an esteemed position as to act like he has the final say!

          • Aaron

            I see you have a sense of humor.

            Who's Ayn Rand?

          • Silas Lynch

            The "Founders" speak to us loud and clear each and every day. You just ignore them.

          • Hop'sHip

            Well your snarky, whinny (whinny? Horse-like?) comment inspired me to look at the Communist Manifesto for the first time and nope, doesn't reflect my thinking much. I am not much of an ideologue. You are closer to the Ayn Rand than I am to Karl Marx. My favorite Marx is still Groucho. Now you can address peeker's observation.

          • Aaron

            I hardly see how it's self explanatory. Would you have preferred that I describe your comment as snarky or whinny? Would that have been less offensive?

            And I didn't insinuate you are a communist. The insinuation is that rather than adhere to the principals of the founding fathers, you are more closely aligned with the writing of Herr Marx and Herr Engels and I didn't mean to insinuate it as I believe your writings codify EXACTLY that point.

            I do wonder though, can you point out anywhere that I've called FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Kennedy, Ford, Carter, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II or Obama communist? It seems that next to championing Marxist policies, fabricating stories is your second favorite thing to do.

            Are you sure you're not from Ravenswood?

          • Hop'sHip

            As someone once told me , I think it's self-explanatory. By the way, I might have been offended by your insinuation that I'm a communist, but I just remember that by your standards, every president since Calvin Coolidge, with the possible exception of Reagan - at least what he said rather than what he did - was a communist.

          • Aaron

            How is the adjective bi+chy offensive?

          • Hop'sHip

            I have no objection to same sex marriage. I admit that I was uncomfortable when I watched Mr. Sam kissing his partner when he was drafted, but I am mature enough to admit the problem is with me and not them. Old prejudices and phobias are not easy to overcome but as Bookie would say, we have to accept responsibility for our own shortcomings and not blame religion or tradition. Part of that is to avoid using offensive terms like bi+chy.

          • Aaron

            I'm curious though hip, do you have an opinion on the issue or was the bi+chy comment your only purpose?

          • Aaron

            A group you know nothing about as your hero's or of 18th century European decent. You really should read the Constitution sir, it's a fairly short document and does set this nations rule of law, not the Communist Manifesto you so cherish.

          • Hop'sHip

            Aaron is here to speak for the Founding Fathers since they no longer can speak for themselves.

        • The bookman

          Until the court determines where to place sexual orientation in its tiered scrutiny hierarchy as it applies to equal protection, it really isn't that simple. Until then it is a guess at best. It is also important to note that the court struck down Certain provisions if DOMA on Fifth Amendment grounds, not Fourteenth. If it were that simple, they would have cleared it up a long time ago. Old argument.

          • Aaron

            The reason the court ruled as they did in the Windsor Case is because that was the question ask; whether the federal government could treat state sanctioned same sex marriages differently than they do heterosexual marriages. The question was due process by the government and whether it was being violated and the Roberts Court kept the focus strictly on that single question. It should be noted that the Court questioned whether the government had standing to ask the court to rule on the case. The narrow view taken by the court, according to Justice Scalia “"has cheated both sides, robbing the winners of an honest victory, and the losers of the peace that comes from a fair defeat." He also said this issue would have an impact on state sanctioned bans as it was just a matter of time before “the other shoe drops.”

            That shoe has dropped under the Equal Protection Clause, as well it should. The problem with your argument as you view marriage as a sanctified institution whereas in the eyes of the government, it’s nothing more than a contract between two individuals that bestow numerous rights, privileges and other legal benefits that are denies sole individuals. To deny entrance into that contract based solely on gender is discrimination and violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. That is the essentially the stance ruled on by at least 8 Federal judges and one the Supreme Court will have a hard time in overcoming.

            Perhaps were there a Civil Union law that recognized same sex rights equal to marriage rights, an argument could be made to prevent same-sex marriages but as there is none and the Republican Party, despite decades of opportunities are not interested in creating one, it’s only a matter of time until the Court rules. Sadly, I do agree with those who argue that this will force clergy to perform all marriages or none as that is how the law works but in all honesty, the best way to rectify that problem is to take all STATE sanctioned marriages out of the church and if a man and woman want to have a church wedding, that’s fine but until the go to the courthouse and file the proper paperwork, signed by a judge, they are not legally married in the eyes of the state.

          • Aaron

            Old but correct.

  • Tony

    The government has NEVER granted marriages to people based on "loving, committed relationships." That's simply a fantasy. Moreover, the government should never be allowed to determine whether two people love each other or do not love each other. The government recognizes marriage as a means to stabilize society and to promote the most appropriate conditions for child rearing.

  • Gary Karstens

    How long are we going to keep putting this off?!?!?!?!?! YEESH!

    Who does it harm for a loving homosexual couple to marry? Who? I want to know! YEESH!

    This state is so backwards sometimes. YEESH!

    • jcsmith

      Homosexual lifestyle is sick and I believe its time people need to start standing up against this sin.

    • hondo

      and just who determined that backwards isn't best ........ sometimes!

    • The bookman

      Main Entry: mar·riage
      Pronunciation: \ˈmer-ij, ˈma-rij\
      Function: noun
      Etymology: Middle English mariage, from Anglo-French, from marier to marry
      Date: 14th century
      1 a (1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage b : the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock c : the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage 2 : an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected ; especially : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities 3 : an intimate or close union

      The above is the complete Merriam Webster Definition of marriage. Notice it dates to the 14th century, so marriage is a very well establish custom. Anyone who has researched the topic would immediately tell you the custom of marriage originated as a method of social stability and assignment of parental responsibility and rights. As societies developed more structure, the responsibility of raising children to adulthood needed the additional structure that marriage provided, and thus the institution was born, no pun intended.

      The argument isn't who is harmed by same sex individuals seeking marriage. The argument is why do same sex individuals seek to call their union marriage, co-opting a Centuries old tradition that doesn't meet the historical definition of marriage? The answer is benefits.

      If the LGBT community would work towards an equivalent civil union that leaves marriage in its proper cultural and social place, they would have support of people like myself.

      • Aaron

        That definition ignores the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.

      • David

        Can you distinguish heterosexual marriage requirements, apart from gender of the members, from a marriage of two gay men or of two lesbian women? Procreation, or the intent to procreate, has never been a condition by which the state decides who is allowed to civilly marry. And there's no evidence that children raised in stable same-gender parent homes have outcomes any different than those of children raised in stable different gender homes, nor is there any evidence that children raised in unstable same-gender parent homes fair any worse than children raised in unstable different gender parent homes. Unless there's a legitimate governmental purpose, and there isn't, the state has no right to deny marriage to same-gender couples who wish to marry. My opinion only, but I hope the Courts agree. Btw, I'm a heterosexual man, for whom marriage is a 'til-death-do-you-part commitment. I support marriage equality because I truly support marriage as an institution.

        • Silas Lynch

          What if the two homosexuals were brothers, or the two lesbians were sisters,,, or a mother and a daughter; or father and son; or Uncle and nephew?

          Now, David, stop for a moment and think through your premise of: "Procreation, or the intent to procreate, has never been a condition by which the state decides who is allowed to civilly marry" ---- Do you see where the foundation of your argument is grossly flawed?

          • Silas Lynch

            Allow my to try this again and hopefully the post will remain... My bad for substituting the letter "s" with the dollar sign and linking it up with the "hit" word.

            Aaron, NO Kidding brother and sister can't marry. That was the point. And they aren't allow to marry for the very conditions David insist "The State" has never denied people the right to marry. Procreation

          • Aaron

            If a brother and sister, father/daughter, mother/son were allowed to marry, then you might have a point. As they are not, you don't.

        • The bookman

          The above definition speaks for itself, as does the historical etymology of the institution of marriage. You can deny that the institution has its foundations in procreation between a man and woman, but a cursory search on the subject will reveal the truth of my statement. Words mean things, and changing the definition to suit a different arrangement specifically changes the definition. Call it a civil union and demand equal benefits. Because that is what the argument is about.

      • mark

        They ain't gonna need your support because every court that has struck it down has been upheld. The US Supreme Court has refused to intervene in several cases where bans on gay marriage were struck down.

        • The bookman

          You're probably right, however the SCOTUS had the opportunity to clarify the issue in their Windsor decision, but stopped short of it. Eventually they will have to take one of these appeals up, and they will most likely rule against traditional marriage. That doesn't make them correct, but our process would dictate that same sex marriage would be the law of the land, and like abortion, we on this side of the argument would have to accept it. Not the end of the world, thankfully.

          • Aaron

            The question in Windsor was how Due Process and how DOMA dealt with legal, same-sex marriages as compared to heterosexual marriages. The question was very narrow which prevented the court from clarifying the issue. In reality, if the Court could have tossed the case on standing, they would have.

        • the people

          Isn't it ironic that the courts strike it down, when every time it is on a ballot (see CA Prop 8) the people vote for traditional marriage? It's almost like the courts have an agenda....

          • Aaron

            20 plus federal judges disagree with you as they cite the ban of same sex marriage is in violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

            I agree that a civil union that bestows the same legal rights as marriage is the answer but the LGBT community is not going to pursue that course of action. If Republicans want to put this issue to bed, they would trade that recognition with the required Democrats to get the Federal Marriage Amendment passed but I don't see that happening.

            As the defense of marriage will not stand legal scrutiny, they have no one to blame but themselves when same sex marriages are legal and recognized by every state.

          • The bookman

            The point is you can make any number of arguments where equal protection is un equally applied. And using gender as a point of reference is not accurate I. Thus argument, as men and women are treated equally under the law. It is only when two people of the same sex enter into the union and attempt to equate that action as marriage. Even using gender as the point of reference places it in a middle tier of scrutiny, and is still only a marginal argument for equal protection. I agree, and have stated numerous times, the best course is for the LGBT community to pursue universally recognized civil unions that extend marriage like benefits.

          • Aaron

            Nice try except income is not a protected class whereas gender is. By defining marriage based on gender, you open it up to the law.

            I like how you keep switching your arguments though. Discrimination against the rich, that's original.

          • The bookman

            Equal protection is not applied in that way, Aaron. Like it or not , there is an unequal application of that amendment based on level scrutiny. Example: the poor receive state benefits that the rich do not. The rich are discriminated against based on income. The SCOTUS has not ruled on the level of scrutiny assigned to sexual orientation. So until they do, a definitive decision from SCOTUS is conjecture.

          • Aaron

            Silas, it would be the Equal Protection Clause. The part where it says the State cannot "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." When you prevent two people the right to enter into a contract based on gender, that is discrimination and against the law.

          • peeker

            refer to my comments above

          • Hillbilly

            Only problem... every time its on a ballot, the margin of defeat is smaller... its almost 50 -50 now.

          • Silas Lynch

            Aaron, what "agenda" in the Constitution is that, "We The People" or the "pursuit of happiness"?

          • Aaron

            The agenda is the Constitution.