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READ IT HERE: Norfolk County Circuit Court Clerk George Schaefer’s reply brief in Bostic v. Schaefer at Fourth Circuit

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Fourth Circuit map
Fourth Circuit map
Final reply briefs were due yesterday in Bostic v. Schaefer, the Fourth Circuit challenge to Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban. The case is being litigated by the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), and Lambda Legal is intervening to represent the interests of their own plaintiffs in Harris v. Rainey, a class-action challenge to Virginia’s ban.

The latest filing, via Kathleen Perrin and Equality Case Files, is a reply from Norfolk County Circuit Court Clerk George Schaefer, who is defending the ban.

The first brief can be found here. The second brief can be found here. The third is here. The brief filed by the Bostic plaintiffs is here. The brief filed by the Harris plaintiffs is here.

You can read the latest brief here:

14-1167 #211 by Equality Case Files

For more information on Bostic v. Rainey (formerly Bostic v. McDonnell)from The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, click here.


  • 1. Keith  |  May 1, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Does anyone know when we'll find out the names of the judges sitting for this hearing?

  • 2. Tim  |  May 1, 2014 at 8:41 am

    I read it's day of in this circuit.

  • 3. Marriage Equality Round-U&hellip  |  May 1, 2014 at 8:46 am

    […] USA, Virginia: Norfolk County Circuit Court Clerk George Schaefer, defending the marriage equality ban, filed a brief in the case this week. full story […]

  • 4. Matt N  |  May 1, 2014 at 9:03 am

    I think the conservatives are vastly misreading Schuette. Kennedy is against special treatment (giving preference to certain races in admissions) and completely for equal treatment (allowing all couples to marry). How is that so hard to understand?

  • 5. Guest  |  May 1, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Also, wasn't the voting on rights question addressed in Perry and Windsor, but answered in Windsor? I'm under the impression that this argument isn't anything new, and that it has already been trashed. However, I don't have time to dig in a cite evidence of this. I may be wrong.

  • 6. Dann  |  May 1, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Matt, you're exactly right!!

  • 7. Rose  |  May 1, 2014 at 9:32 am

    I wonder why these anti-gay folks spend so much time trying to justify their hatred by using Baker vs Nelson? I mean since Minnesota has essentially made that case moot by now giving the right to marry to Gays and Lesbian and that SCOTUS dismissed it as there was NO federal question at the time.

  • 8. Bruno71  |  May 1, 2014 at 9:52 am

    It's all they have left.

  • 9. Zack12  |  May 1, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Exactly, they have nothing else.

  • 10. Zack12  |  May 1, 2014 at 10:12 am

    I like how they cite there are non-bigoted reasons for passing the marriage ban.
    That's nice but the people who passed it and put it on the ballot didn't use any of those reasons.
    They made it perfectly clear it was done out of animus.
    As for having a public debate, kind of hard to do when the legislators in gerrymandered districts have made it clear they won't allow a vote to repeal the ban to get through the house.
    This brief is just throwing everything out there and hoping it sticks.

  • 11. Steve  |  May 1, 2014 at 10:23 am

    They aren't even interested in a debate. Talking about it endlessly is just a stalling tactic for them. If there were a real "debate" and it turned out to favor same-sex marriage, they'd be happy to have delayed things for some times, but then they'd find a new excuse to be against it.

  • 12. StraightDave  |  May 1, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Oh boy, are they really reaching here! They're trying to make a distinction between "homosexuals" and "same sex couples desiring a [Virginia] marriage license", as if they have nothing to do with each other. As a result, they are claiming the laws "do not discriminate on sexual orientation". Apparently, they're just discriminating against SSM, which they think they're perfectly entitled to do, not against homosexuals as a class.

    Sure, if that makes you feel like you've put in a good day's work and earned your fiction writer's fee. Thanks for playing. Next state, Please!

  • 13. Steve  |  May 1, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Hey, at least it's something new 🙂

  • 14. Eric  |  May 1, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Just as a tax on yarmulkes is not a tax on Jews, but anyone that wears hats.

  • 15. Bruno71  |  May 1, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Like when Switzerland banned the building of new minarets, I doubt it was because they didn't like the architectural aspects.

  • 16. sfbob  |  May 1, 2014 at 10:59 am

    The argument is pathetic. It was foreclosed by Christian Law Society vs Martinez from 2010 which stated "we have declined to distinguish between status and conduct." So for them to continue to invoke such a distinction is ludicrous. As are the assertions in the beginning of the brief stating that Baker still has any precedence and that the purpose of marriage is procreation. Upon reading those I concluded there was no particular point in trying to slog through the rest of it.

  • 17. Deeelaaach  |  May 1, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    I stopped slogging through them a year or two ago, mostly as a defense mechanism from the "same carp, different day."

  • 18. Lymis  |  May 2, 2014 at 10:17 am

    I agree, something is still fishy.

  • 19. Margo Schulter  |  May 1, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    On the whole Baker v. Nelson thing, I agree that the defenders of the ban are arguing whatever they have left — which is little at best!

    Justice Ginsburg, in the oral arguments last year, pointed out that Baker v. Nelson has been undermined in part by doctrinal developments in the years immediately after that appeal was summarily dismissed in 1972 regarding gender discrimination.

    The very term “genderless marriage” favored in a number of briefs defending the bans reminds us that a gender-based distinction is involved. And without “reading the tea leaves” of statements made by justices and judges in oral argument as clues to their actual viewpoints, it’s easy to see that Justice Ginsburg’s logic is compelling on gender discrimination, quite apart from the issue of sexual orientation as a suspect or quasi-suspect classification.

    Finally, it’s tempting to ask: If the continuing force of Baker v. Nelson as binding precedent is so clear, why didn’t Justice Scalia mention it in his Windsor dissent when he stated that Windsor left challengers of state marriage bans well armed for the coming judicial fray?

  • 20. Hire a cherry picker  |  May 7, 2014 at 4:07 am

    You seem to be reading day and night looking for good stuff to post lol Hire a cherry picker

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