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I'm overwhelmed! 

I founded Mothers & Others when the odious Marshall-Newman Act of 2006, the so-called Anti Gay Marriage Amendment banning Gay Marriage in Virginia, passed and became an amendment to the Virginia State Constitution. 1.3 million Virginians came out to defeat over 1 million families, friends and fair-minded citizens of the Commonwealth, taking away many rights of LGBT and straight unmarried Virginian couples.

That was the day I came out publicly as a committed activist seeking equal rights for my son and other Mothers' LGBT sons and daughters.  Both of my sons had been born in the Commonwealth of Virginia with the same equal rights as all other citizens, but on the day that my son Jon came out as a gay male at the age of 21, he lost many of those rights and became less a person in the eyes of  Virginia law. 

On the eve of Valentine's Day 2014 and while snow blanketed most of Virginia, the U.S. District Judge in Norfolk struck down the Commonwealth's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that it violates the equal protection clause under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

We have arrived upon another moment in history when We the People becomes more inclusive, and our freedom more perfect.

-U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen

 

The next step forward came on July 28, 2014 when the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court ruling.

I am overjoyed by the news that, as a result of today's ruling, Virginia will become a state where two people who love each other can get married regardless of their sexual orientation. This is a historic ruling for our Commonwealth, and its effect will affirm once again that Virginia is a state that is open and welcoming to all.

-Governor Terry McAuliffe

 

Then on October 6, 2014, the Supreme Court let stand the 4th Circuit Court ruling, making marriage equality the law of the land in Virginia. At 1 p.m. that day, same-sex couples across the Commonwealth could legally be married.

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.

-Attorney General Mark Herring  

 

While we have achieved our initial goal of marriage equality, our work is not done!

Marriage equality effectively extends our our LGBT sons and daughters and their partners in Virginia the legal protections ranging from the adoption of children and insurance benefits to rights of survivorship and the filing of taxes.

However, our LGBT loved ones in Virginia continue to face employment discrimination. This discrimination comes in many form - bias during recruitment and hiring, on-the-job-harrassment, and legal termination soley on the basis of one's LGBT identity.

You and I know "love is love." Now it is up to us to make sure our legislators and corporate leaders do too.

My son Jon was in Virginia just before the Supreme Court released its decision, and he told me how proud he was of our efforts over the past 8 years, but I am so proud of all of you who have stood with me as we fought to bring equality to our loved ones.

Thank you all!

Joyce Signature  

Joyce Scher

Chair and Co-Founder

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Mothers and Others of Virginia
Standing up for our LGBTQ loved ones!