Thank you Attorney General Herring!
Today, the Supreme Court rejected all petitions for certiorari related to Virginia's marriage equality litigation, thereby letting stand the Fourth Circuit's de...cision that same-sex couples in the Commonwealth are entitled to all the rights and privileges of marriage.
The Fourth Circuit is expected to issue its mandate at 1 p.m., meaning marriage licenses for same-sex couples can be issued at that time and the Commonwealth will recognize all marriages that were lawfully performed in other states. Local clerks are receiving guidance and forms necessary to begin performing marriages today, and the Attorney General's Office is working with the Governor's Office and state agencies to implement any needed changes in light of this action.
In response to today's historic ruling, Attorney General Mark Herring, the first state attorney general to argue successfully at the district and appeals level for a marriage ban to be struck down, issued the following statement:
"A new day has dawned, and the rights guaranteed by our Constitution are shining through.
"All Virginians have the constitutional right to be treated fairly and equally, to have loving, committed relationships recognized and respected, and to enjoy the blessings of married life. We should all be proud that our fellow Virginians helped lead us forward.
"This is a tremendous moment in Virginia history. We will continue to fight discrimination wherever we find it, but today, we celebrate a moment when we move closer to fulfilling the promise of equality ignited centuries ago in Virginia, and so central to the American experience."
From the Fourth Circuit Court's ruling affirming marriage equality in Virginia: "We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws. Civil marriage is one of the cornerstones of our way of life. It allows individuals to celebrate and publicly declare their intentions to form lifelong partnerships, which provide unparalle...led intimacy, companionship, emotional support, and security. The choice of whether and whom to marry is an intensely personal decision that alters the course of an individual’s life. Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance."
I checked, and Mr. Pierce was not a contributor to our campaign to defeat Rep. Goodlatte. So while his words are appreciated, it will take more than outrage to remove our congressman.
Bob Goodlatte is pretty bad, but he's not this bad. Wow.
On Christmas Eve I woke up and thought I had suffered a stroke; the left side of my face was paralyzed. After a trip to the emergency room, I learned that a growth was pressing against the nerves in my face, and it had to be removed.
I continued the campaign because the doctors were not sure if the growth was cancerous and there was the possibility that removal would solve the problem. The surgery to remove the growth occurred last week. That’s when I learned how serious this... was.
The surgeon told me they got it “just in time”; the growth was cancerous. In the process of removing it, four of the main nerves in my left cheek were severed. It could be months before my facial muscles form new connections and allow me to smile and talk without discomfort.
Yesterday I learned I will need nearly two months of daily radiation treatments in order to make sure the cancer is gone. These treatments will leave me tired and make it difficult to speak or swallow.
Even then, I wanted to continue the campaign. So much work has been done in the last year, and so many relationships formed, that to bow out now would be such a great loss.
But I cannot continue. It will be months before I am able to talk normally, though I may never regain my pre-surgery abilities. I will not have the energy to campaign or even work for at least two months, perhaps longer.
I appreciate so much the support I’ve received in the last year and the opportunity I’ve had to talk about issues that matter to me and matter to the district and our nation: job creation, immigration reform, financial reform, protecting our water from fracking, and a higher minimum wage.
I am one of the lucky ones; I have insurance and an excellent team of doctors. I welcome your prayers as I beat this thing and join the millions who are cancer-free.
All the best,
Excellent facts about the impact of increasing the minimum wage for Virginia's working families.
Excellent editorial from the News & Advance:
"If hydraulic fracturing were allowed to extract natural gas from deep below the surface of the George Washington National Forest, the result could be ruinous for the forest’s future. It could also be ruinous for those who live in or near the forest, including some 4 million people who depend on water from the Potomac River watershed that embraces much of the forest."
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"[A]dvocates say they are heartened that Boehner has stepped in to direct the process after giving wide latitude in 2013 to Goodlatte, who they do not view as an ally.
“Leaving it to Chairman Goodlatte to try to get to yes was never a viable option,” Fitz said."
"The fact is, there's no causal relationship between abortion restrictions and job creation or unemployment. Goodlatte, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, would like you to believe otherwise.
"Don't fall for it."