UPDATE 5 P.M.: As expected, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has asked the Supreme Court to stay a lower court ruling that would end Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage this week. The Attorney General's office filed a response to the motion filed by Prince William County, asking for the stay.
In a statement, the Attorney General's office says that a stay is warranted 'because of unintended negative consequences if the Court later rules against marriage equality, and asks theCourt to expedite its review of the case.'
'Throughout this process we have fought for equality while also recognizing the need for an orderly process,' said Attorney General Herring. 'I've worked to move the case along quickly and asked the Supreme Court to take this extraordinary step because I don't want this discriminatory ban to stay in place one day longer than necessary. However, a stay is warranted in light of the negative impact on Virginia children, families, and businesses if the Supreme Court eventually rules against marriage equality and forces an unwinding of Virginians' marriages, adoptions, inheritances, or workplace benefits.'
The Attorney General's office is working with clerks offices around the state to prepare for the possibility that same-sex marriages do go into effect on Thursday morning.
WASHINGTON D.C./NORFOLK- U.S.Supreme Court ChiefJustice John Roberts has given supporters of same-sex marriage in Virginia until 5 p.m. Monday to respond to a request for a stay asked for by PrinceWilliam County that would delay the potential legalization of gay marriage in the commonwealth.
Last week, the 4th CircuitCourt of Appeals in Richmond rejected a motion that would have delayed implementation of their ruling tossing out Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage. That ruling clears the way for gay marriage in Virginia to begin on August 21st unless the U.S.Supreme Court jumps into the fray.'
The ACLU of Virginia and Lambda Legal Fund announced Monday that they will ask the Supreme Court to deny the stay motion.
'We will fight these last-ditch desperate attempts to delay the inevitable arrival of the day when same-sex couples can marry in Virginia,' said John Davidson, Legal Director of Lambda Legal in a statement. 'But if the court grants a stay, we want this issue to be decided as quickly as possible.'
The office of Attorney General Mark Herring has received clarification that the appeals court ruling goes into effect onThursday, August 21st at 8 AM.Barring a change from the SupremeCourt, that is when clerk's could begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Virginia. Herring's office announced they will also file a response by 5 p.m.
'You never know what could happen, but I can't believe the Supreme Court would not put gay marriage on hold until they hear the case. Otherwise, you might have the result of thousands of gay couples getting married in VA beginning next week only to have their marriages put in limbo by a Supreme Court ruling upholding the same sex marriage ban next year.', Norfolk City Clerk George Shaefer told 13NewsNow in a statement last week.
For now, same-sex couple may not even apply for licenses in Virginia. Thursday would be the first time they can apply if the Supreme Court does not act.
Portsmouth ClerkCynthia Morrison says they are 'not issuing licenses until all legal rulings are complete.'
Virginia Beach ClerkTinaSinnen also says nothing will change until Thursday.
On Wednesday, the an attorney for Tim Bostic told 13News Now that his clients would not apply for a marriage license until the court issues are worked out.