Witness for LOVE!

What We've Done

The Witness for LOVE! campaign continues to grow as local communities hold witnesses to show support across Virginia for ending marriage discrimination. 

You can see what communities have been doing here.  We've got reports, photos, videos and news coverage about recent local Witnesses for LOVE!

Find Witness for LOVE! Near You

Join friends and neighbors at the next Witness for LOVE! near you!  Communities are holding Witnesses for LOVE! through the year and would love to have you join them! 

To learn where and when a Witness for LOVE! events near you will be, visit our Find Witness for Love Near You page here and click on the map of your region! 

If you don't find an event nearby, contact us at robin.gorsline@pofev.org for more information.

Get New Witness for LOVE! Resources Here

We've prepared two new resources to help you plan for the Valentine's Day Witness for LOVE! Download Why Witness for LOVE! and What Is Witness for LOVE! by clicking on the icons below.  ("Why" can be printed front-to-back and divided as a half sheet or bulletin insert or can be used as a single sheet.  "What" is set up to be printed front to back and folded into a 4-page brochure.)

                 Why Witness for LOVE!                                    What Is Witness for LOVE!

Why_Witness_for_LOVE.jpg What_happens_on_February_14_icon.jpg







 

 

How can we make marriage equal?

 

Witness for LOVE!

Wait a minute, you say. Isn’t the issue of marriage equality in Virginia in federal court now in Harris v. McDonnell and Bostic v. Rainey? Hasn't Virginia's Attorney General changed the Commonwealth's position to side with the plaintiffs to say that, yes, Virginia is violating their federal constitutional rights?  What can the rest of us do? Don’t we just have to wait until the court rules?

No, we have a part, a big part, to play. Virginia has reversed its position in the courts, but others have intervened to defend Virginia's marriage discrimination statutes and constitutional provisions.  What the courts ultimately say is still being shaped by public witness. 

The court may end legal discrimination on marriage, but many other policies will need to be addressed, and even success in the courts and legislature will not change the hearts and minds of all.  Much work remains to move Virginians from intolerance, misunderstanding, and prejudice to love, understanding, and openness.  For equality to be both law and practice in Virginia, we must make it happen. 

POFEV_Witness_for_LOVE_logo.jpgWhy We Must Act

The defendants continue to misrepresent the lives of gay and lesbian Virginians in court.  In Harris v. McDonnell, [1] the Defendants say that same-sex couples have not suffered under Virginia’s marriage ban and do not want to marry.

  • In opposing class certification, defendants argued that lesbian and gay Virginians who “wish to marry a person of the same sex in the Commonwealth but have not attempted to apply for a marriage license” should not be allowed to sue because they have not suffered any injuries that are “actual” or “concrete.” [2]
  • Defendants also argued the couples who brought the suit should not be allowed to represent all Virginia gay couples because “so far as the public record makes out there are possibly four people known” who “have applied for marriage licenses in the Commonwealth with a person of the same sex, and have been denied a license.” [3]

Such arguments, rooted in the same demeaning prejudice that led the General Assembly to enact the marriage ban in the first place, demand a response from all Virginians – a response that unequivocally states, ALL Virginians deserve the freedom to marry the person they love.

What Can We Do?

  • Never miss an opportunity to share your story—as a couple, or as a person wanting to be married, or as a straight ally. The groundswell we need is created person by person, voter by voter.
  • Become part of the great public witness near you:
    • Find the next Witness for LOVE! event near you here.
    • Share info about the Valentine’s Witness for LOVE! with friends - download our flyer below!
    • Join us to Witness for LOVE! at a courthouse to support others asking for the freedom to marry.
    • Help us organize a Witness for LOVE! celebration at your courthouse (use our sign up form below to let us know you're interested!).
    • Ask for a marriage license and let us support you!
  • Learn more about the Virginia federal court cases.
  • If you are a person of faith, pray, in your own way, for full justice and equality. And spread the word in your spiritual community, join with others to create an Equality Group.
  • Join POFEV, contribute funds, friend us on Facebook, share our emails with your friends and neighbors.

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[1] Harris v. McDonnell, W. D. Va., Civil Action No. 5:13-cv-00077, filed Aug. 1, 2013.
[2] Id., Def. Brief in Opp. to Pl. Motion for Class Cert., at p. 7.
[3] Id., at p. 3.

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POFEV (People of Faith for Equality in Virginia), P.O. Box 4919, Richmond, VA 23220 • www.facebook.com/pofev

email info@pofev.org