Same-sex couples were married in Fairfax County Monday afternoon after the Supreme Court denied appeals from five states — including Virginia — seeking to ban the unions.
LGBT rights supporters in Northern Virginia celebrated the decision online and at Fairfax Circuit Court as the first same-sex couple began applying for a marriage license at about 1 p.m.
Marriages started eleven minutes ago! Congrats, Virginia!
— Northern VA Pride (@northernvapride) October 6, 2014
Rev. Laura performs the first same-sex marriage ceremony at the Fairfax County Courthouse! Congrats to Melodie… http://t.co/dw3XY0Utkj
— UU Cong. of Fairfax (@UUCF) October 6, 2014
SCOTUS gets it right and allows pro-marriage equality rulings to stand! Great day for justice for families in Virginia and 10 other states.
— Gerry Connolly (@GerryConnolly) October 6, 2014
The 4110 Chain Bridge Rd. courthouse set up ropes as they expected a flood of couples to apply for marriage licenses, according to The Washington Post.
Information on marriage licenses and how to register wedding officiators had been updated on the courthouse’s website as of Monday afternoon. The court’s Twitter account gave tips on what forms to use and a reminder that cameras cannot be used inside.
Yvonne Landis and Melodie Mayo of Falls Church were the first couple to marry at Fairfax Circuit Court, the Post reported.
“I’m just really excited,” Landis said. “We always said we are waiting for Virginia. We wanted it to be legal here.”
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring filed a brief in federal court in Norfolk on Thursday that told the court Virginia has changed its position in Bostic v. Rainey, which challenges the commonwealth’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
Herring (D) filed the brief with the support of Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), and the challenge to the law marks a drastic change from Virginia’s position of just a few years ago. Virginians voted to amend its constitution in 2006 to ban gay marriage.
“I believe the freedom to marry is a fundamental right and I intend to insure that Virginia is on the right side of history and the right side of the law,” Herring said at a press conference in Richmond.
Herring, then a state senator from Loudoun, voted for the same-sex marriage ban in 2006, along with 57 percent of Virginia voters. He now says his views have changed since then.
“The Attorney General has concluded that Virginia’s laws denying the right to marry to same-sex couples violate the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution,” the brief reads.
Seventeen states and the District of Columbia now recognize same sex marriage. Is it time for Virginia to do the same?