ADF: 4th Circuit should uphold right of Virginians to affirm marriage

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys available for media interviews after oral arguments Tuesday
Monday, May 12, 2014

Attorney sound bites:  Austin R. Nimocks  |  Ken Connelly


WHO: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys
WHAT:  Available for media interviews following oral arguments in Bostic v. Schaefer
WHEN: Tuesday, May 13, immediately following hearing, which begins at 9:30 a.m. EDT
WHERE:  U.S Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, U.S. Courthouse, 1000 E. Main St., Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. — Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys will be available for media interviews Tuesday following oral arguments at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit regarding the commonwealth’s voter-approved constitutional amendment affirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman. A federal district judge struck down the amendment in February.

ADF attorneys represent Prince William County Clerk of Court Michéle B. McQuigg, whom the district court allowed to intervene in defense of Virginia’s marriage laws in January because she is tasked with issuing marriage licenses in that county.

“Marriage expresses the reality that men and women bring distinct, irreplaceable gifts to family life, especially for children who deserve both a mom and a dad. The laws of Virginia have always rightly reflected this complementary nature of marriage,” said ADF Senior Counsel Austin R. Nimocks, who will argue before the court. “More than 1.3 million Virginia voters approved a constitutional amendment to affirm this definition. The 4th Circuit should affirm the people’s freedom to debate and decide public-policy questions that will have generational consequences.”

“The district court ruling sidestepped the real reasons for Virginia’s definition of marriage,” explained ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Ken Connelly. “The court endorsed the recently conceived notion that marriage is about little more than special government recognition for adult relationships. The court should not have substituted that view of marriage for the real one that Virginia families affirmed at the ballot box.”

The opening brief ADF attorneys filed with the 4th Circuit in Bostic v. Schaefer explained that Virginians were operating within their proper authority to approve the amendment: “The Constitution has not removed this question from the People, and it has not settled this critical social-policy issue entrusted to the States.”
  • Case snapshot: Bostic v. Schaefer
  • Pronunciation guide: Nimocks (NIM’-icks)
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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