Same-sex couples in Washington may have rejoiced when the Supreme Court expanded the rights for same-sex marriage nationwide. However, 35 states still ban marriage between same-sex individuals. While couples in these states could relocate to states where same-sex marriage is legal, many have ties to their home state. In these instances, many couples, like two from Virginia, are turning to court in an effort to extend their marriage rights. The case, which involves a male couple that has been together for almost 25 years, takes on a state constitutional amendment that prevents any changes to the definition of marriage. The couple had attempted to get married just days after the decisions for Proposition 8 and DOMA were revealed but hit a roadblock when the fee for their marriage license was denied.
A second couple added other issues related to the ban on same-sex marriage to the lawsuit, including the denial of legal marriages, custody and parenthood. The couple, who was legally married in California in 2008, faces a variety of challenges when it comes to raising their 15-year-old daughter as the birth mother is considered by Virginia to be a single parent.
At the time the report was released, there were more than 40 lawsuits in 20 states filed across the nation seeking marriage rights for same-sex couples. However, many advocates for both same-sex marriage and for conservative marriage believe that the rush to court may backfire in states that have conservative political views.
In Washington, same-sex couples are able to enter into same-sex marriages. An attorney may be able to help those who have decided to marry or to divorce with a wide variety of family law decisions, including prenuptial agreements, child support and other associated rights.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Virginia Gay Couples Seek Marriage Case That Could Reach U.S. Supreme Court“, Richard Wolf, December 13, 2013