Today is a bad day for opponents of marriage equality: the American Foundation for Equal Rights announced that it was joining a lawsuit filed by two Virginia couples seeking to overturn that state's voter-enacted constitutional marriage discrimination amendment.
The Washington Post reports:
The American Foundation for Equal Rights -- with its attention-getting political odd couple of conservative Republican lawyer Theodore Olson and liberal Democrat David Boies -- will announce Monday it is joining a lawsuit against what the lawyers called Virginia's "draconian" laws prohibiting same-sex marriages, the recognition of such marriages performed where they are legal, and civil unions...
The addition of Olson and Boies to a case in Norfolk will probably bring more attention to the challenges to Virginia's ban on same-sex marriages. The state's voters in 2006 amended the state constitution to ban such marriages, as well as civil unions, and to forbid recognition of unions performed elsewhere. Thirteen states, including Maryland, plus the District of Columbia, allow gay marriage.
Olson said AFER was invited to join the case by attorneys for the plaintiffs, Norfolk residents Timothy Bostic and Tony London, whose marriage application was turned down, and Carol Schall and Mary Townley, who have a 15-year-old daughter and whose marriage in California is not recognized by the commonwealth.
Virginia is an "attractive target," said Olson, who lives in the state, because its rejection of same-sex marriage and civil unions is so complete.
"The more unfairly people are being treated, the more obvious it is that it's unconstitutional," Olson said.
The two couples -- Bostic and London and Schall and Townley -- tell their stories in videos released by AFER today.
Meet the couples and hear their stories, after the jump.