Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring held a press conference at 12:30 p.m. today, Monday, Oct. 6 in front of the Arlington County Courthouse on the Commonwealth’s response to the Supreme Court’s decision not to review rulings on same-sex marriage in the Commonwealth and four other states. The Supreme Court’s decision cleared the way for all five states to begin issuing licenses for same sex marriages.
The Clerk of the Arlington County Circuit Court is now issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to review rulings in Virginia and four other states that cleared the way for marriage equality in those states.
Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision and the announcement by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring that Virginia now recognizes marriage equality in the Commonwealth and will recognize same-gender marriages performed in other states. Herring, joined by members of Arlington’s state legislative delegation and Chair Fisette, spoke to reporters outside the Arlington County Courthouse, where marriage licenses are issued.
The Attorney General said that Clerks of the Circuit Court across the Commonwealth will issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples. Those couples “will now enjoy all of the rights and privileges of marriage” in Virginia, Herring said, and the Commonwealth will recognize same-sex marriages performed legally in other states.
Elected in 1997 as the first openly gay elected official in Virginia, “I had absolutely no idea that this day would come in my lifetime – let alone while I was still in office,” Fisette said. “It is a testament to the courage of people to be open and honest, and the courage of others to listen, learn and love. While this day seems to have come fast, it is the persistent work of generations – following untold pain and suffering – that got us to this day.”
Fisette noted that more work is needed to achieve full marriage equality across the nation. “Thirty-to-forty percent of Americans are still without marriage equality and millions of good, kind LGBT people around the world continue to be victimized for who they are,” he said.
Clerk of the Arlington County Circuit Court Paul Ferguson said he had the appropriate forms available, and is prepared to immediately issue licenses to same-gender couples.
Anyone interested in obtaining a marriage license may do so at the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s Office in Arlington, or in any City or County in Virginia. In Arlington, the Clerk’s Office prepares marriage licenses Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information on how to obtain a marriage license, visit the County website.