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Virginia Bishops “step up” in amici brief

Virginia Bishops “step up” in amici brief

The Friends of Jake blog rejoice over the Virginia Episcopal Bishops (Diocese of Virginia and Southern Virginia) joining a multi-faith group in an amici brief in the marriage case in Virginia:

This is what they pulled from the brief:

Amici curiae represent a broad range of religious stakeholders who support equal treatment for same-sex couples with respect to civil marriage. While Amici come from faiths that have approached issues affecting lesbian and gay people and their families in different ways over the years, they are united in the belief that, in our diverse and pluralistic society, particular religious views or definitions of marriage should not be permitted to influence whom the state allows to marry. Such rights must be determined by religiously neutral principles of equal protection under the law….

Any attempt to have the Court embrace specifically religious views or definitions of marriage must be rejected –among other reasons because that result would disfavor and disadvantage other religious believers, like Amici here, who do not embrace the arguments or conclusions of amici seeking reversal. By affirming the judgment below without reference to religiously based arguments, and affirming the constitutional promise of equal treatment for different-and same-sex couples, this Court will ensure that civil law neither favors nor disfavors any particular religious viewpoint, and it will leave individual faith communities free to determine for themselves whether to provide religious sanction to particular unions.


For the foregoing reasons, Amici respectfully submit that the Court should affirm the judgment of the court below that Virginia’s ban on marriages of same-sex couples is unconstitutional.


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I think it is important to note that the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Attorney General withdrew from this lawsuit. The Commonwealth via the executive branch no longer opposes same sex marriage. It is unfortunate that Mr. Schaffer, Ms. Rainey, and Ms. McQuigg continued to pursue this case after the Governor and Attorney General withdrew. Maybe these three people continued their opposition because they are affiliated with a political party different from that of the Governor and Attorney General of Virginia. Not only are the Bishops of Virginia and Southern Virginia doing the right thing. The Governor and Attorney General are doing the right and just thing too.

The Reverend Emmetri Monica Beane


Diocese of Virginia

John B. Chilton

Go to page 52 of the brief to see which bishops: bishops of the Diocese of Virginia and the bishop of the Diocese of Southern Virginia.

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