Three couples file federal lawsuit challenging West Virginia’s gay marriage ban

Suit claims state law 'sends a purposeful message that lesbians, gay men, and their children are second-class citizens'

Three couples file federal lawsuit challenging West Virginia’s gay marriage ban
01 October 2013

Three West Virginia couples are the lead plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday (1 October) that seeks to overturn the state’s ban on gay marriage.

The lawsuit, filed by Lambda Legal in the US District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, argues that West Virginia’s marriage ban unfairly discriminates against same-sex couples and their children.

It also claims that the law sends a purposeful message that lesbians, gay men, and their children are second-class citizens who are undeserving of the legal sanction, respect, protections, and support that different-sex couples and their families are able to enjoy through marriage.

The three couples named in the suit are: Casie McGee and Sarah Adkins, Justin Murdock and Will Glavaris, and Nancy Michael and Jane Fenton and their son Drew (pictured).

Michael, a life-long West Virginian, states: ‘Jane and I have been together for 16 years. We live and work together, and we are raising our son, Drew, together. We have done everything we can to protect and take responsibility for our family but we worry all the time that it isn’t enough. We need the protection that marriage affords.’

Michael, 45, and Fenton, 43, have been together for 16 years while the other two couples are just starting their lives together.

McGee, 30, and Adkins 32, have been together for more than three years and Murdock, 32, and Glavaris, 31, have been together for more than two years.

‘West Virginia’s state motto ‘Mountaineers are Always Free’ is hollow until all West Virginians – no matter who they love – have the freedom to marry,’ stated Beth Littrell, Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal’s Southern Regional Office based in Atlanta.

Littrell added: ‘The fight for the freedom to marry has come south. We do not want a country divided by unfairness and discrimination.’

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

15 must-haves from the Mad Men props auction

15 must-haves from the Mad Men props auction

From Bob Benson's record player to art from Don Draper's apartment, these Sterling Cooper & Partners-related trinkets will make the trip down memory lane that bit more authentic
No thumbnail available

Jessie J teases new series of The Voice UK

Bisexual pop star has given fans a behind-the-scenes look at the BBC reality competition show
No thumbnail available

Jaden Smith wears dress to prom

See more photos inside
No thumbnail available

KFC franchise apologizes for kicking lesbian couple out of restaurant in UK

Father of one of the women tweeted: 'Dear @kfc the manager at your Bath,UK store just kicked my daughter and her g/f out for being #gay. Is this one of your policies ?'
No thumbnail available

We love the 10,000 who love GSN

Gay Star News hits 10,000 likes on Facebook: And we say a massive thank you for all your amazing support
No thumbnail available

Gay activist fights UK minister for straight marriage rights

Peter Tatchell criticizes UK Equalities Minister Maria Miller for opposing civil partnerships for straight couples, saying it amounts to discrimination
No thumbnail available

South African Police admit there is a serial killer targeting gay men

Police in South Africa have admitted that a serial killer has been targeting gay men in Johannesburg after a sustained campaign by family members and activists to have the prospect taken seriously
No thumbnail available

Tel Aviv voted best gay city in the world

Israeli city Tel Aviv won the Best City category in a gay travel website's online poll.
No thumbnail available

Pat Robertson says it is possible to 'un-acquire' gayness

Pat Robertson tells a father on the air that a happy heterosexual relationship still possible for his son
No thumbnail available

Gays can't be 'heroes and wizards' says fan page

Russian firm Expedition's Facebook fan page claims homosexuality will lead to extinction of human race after quizzed on retailer's ban on gay applicants