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AFER’s Major New Marriage Announcement


By Matt Baume

We have major breaking marriage equality news. Earlier this year, AFER successfully overturned Proposition 8, restoring the freedom to marry in California. And today, AFER announced its next steps to expand that victory and win full federal marriage equality.

Here’s what you need to know about today’s announcement.

Starting in 2009, AFER was the sole sponsor of the federal lawsuit that eliminated California’s Proposition 8. Earlier this summer, the US Supreme Court issued a ruling in AFER’s case that resulted in the resumption of marriage in California, but stopped short of AFER’s goal: full federal marriage equality.

Today, AFER is announcing that it will join an existing case in Virginia known as Bostic v. Rainey. The state constitution of Virginia prohibits marriage equality, and our challenge puts forth the same successful argument as the Prop 8 lawsuit: marriage bans are unconstitutional because they violate the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the US Constitution. Just as in California, Ted Olson and David Boies are the lead co-counsels on this case.

The plaintiffs in the case are Virginians Tim Bostic and Tony London, and Carol Schall and Mary Townley. Both couples have been together for over 20 years. You can learn more about them at, where we’ve posted video interviews about the couples’ history, their lives together, and why they decided to file this case.

AFER is joining this case at the invitation of the plaintiffs and their legal team. Virginia’s the right state for this challenge because the state’s law is so extreme, and because the courts there are committed to rapidly resolving complex cases. In addition, public support in Virginia is strong and steadily growing: earlier this year, a Washington Post poll showed 56 percent support the freedom to marry the person you love.

And Virginia is also the state that gave us the first marriage equality case: Loving v Virginia, which eliminated bans on interracial marriage.

We have more details on the case over at You can learn more about the strategy and timing of the case, the people involved, and what to expect next.

You can also subscribe here on YouTube to stay up to date. And remember to like and share this video — the more people talk about marriage equality, the more people come over to our side.


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