Bostic v. Schaefer

Brief Filed: 4/14 
Court: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Year of Decision: Pending

Read the full-text amicus brief (PDF, 154KB)

Index Topic

Sexual Orientation (discrimination; marriage)


At issue, the constitutional challenge to Virginia’s refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples


In July 2013, Bostic and his partner, London, sought to obtain a marriage license at the Norfolk Circuit Court but were turned down because of the state’s ban on marriage equality. The couple then filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court. In February 2014, the U.S. District Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs declaring that laws prohibiting gay and lesbian couples from marrying are unconstitutional. The ruling was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. State Registrar of Vital Records Janet Rainey and Clerk of the Circuit Court for the City of Norfolk George Schaefer serve as defendants-appellants in their official capacities. Prince William County Circuit Court Clerk Michele McQuigg is an intervenor defendant-appellant.

APA's Position

APA’s brief argues that Virginia’s laws banning recognition of same-sex marriage are instances of institutional stigma and further argues that the laws are unconstitutional in that it denies them the equal protection rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.