Gay Marriage

Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

Attorneys for a lesbian couple say they're receiving a public apology and $10,000 in damages from a county clerk's office in West Virginia where they were disparaged when applying for a marriage license last year. Amanda Abramovich and Samantha Brookover sued Gilmer County Deputy Clerk Debbie Allen and Clerk Jean Butcher, saying Allen told the couple while processing their application that they were an "abomination," what they were doing was wrong and that God would "deal" with them.

Secretary Karen Bowling
West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

More than a year after West Virginia officials began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, state birth certificates for adopted children still list "mother" and "father" next to the blanks for parents' names.

Jesse Anderson

Across the country, there’s been sweeping change in the last few years in the way the law treats gay people - and how society in general feels about gay relationships. Here in Appalachia, the acceptance of this change has been mixed.

Ibrahim.ID / wikimedia Commons

A federal judge has ruled that West Virginia must pay about $92,000 to lawyers who fought the state's same-sex marriage ban.

The Charleston Gazette reports that fees approved Thursday by U.S. District Judge Robert Chambers were less than one-third the amount the lawyers requested. He said the number of hours billed and the hourly rates were excessive for West Virginia.

Logo courtesy of Mark Lerner

 Americans are as divided as they’ve ever been. A recent Pew Research Center study found that “Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines – and partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive – than at any point in the last two decades.” The report found the percentage of Americans who express consistently conservative or consistently liberal opinions has doubled over that period, to 21%, and that “ideological overlap between the two parties has diminished.”

Decades before same-sex marriage became legal, the Reverand Jim Lewis of Charleston, West Virginia, sparked outrage by blessing the unions of gay men and lesbians. 

From West Virginia Public Broadcasting, this is "Us & Them" the podcast where we tell stories from America's cultural divides.

Americans' attitudes toward gay relationships have changed dramatically in a short time. Host Trey Kay returns to his home state of West Virginia to see how this change is playing out in a state where 53 percent of residents believe the Bible is the literal word of God.

From West Virginia Public Broadcasting, this is "Us & Them" the podcast where we tell stories from America's cultural divides.

Brynn Kusic

Racism and homophobia, love and tolerance--none of these are new to Appalachia. Today, we explore the stories of Appalachians who are moved to spread love, not hate.

In West Virginia, a racist hate crime shakes a community to spread a message of tolerance.

And a Kentucky songwriter’s high lonesome tune is inspired by a gay coal miner’s true story.

Courtesy of the West Virginia and Regional Historic Collection, WVU Libraries

Thanksgiving comes in two parts “giving” and “thanks.”  

This week, we’ll talk to a man in North Carolina, who’s collected over 1,000 varieties of heirloom apples.

And Layuna Rapp shares her memories of raising turkeys on her family farm in West Virginia

And we also want to take some time to hear from two young women who know what it’s like to struggle.

Troubled Youth Thankful For Youth Systems Services: Glynis Board visits the Youth Services System in Wheeling, serving at risk children and young adults.

Fairness Focused on Next Steps in Fight for Equality

Nov 16, 2014
Fairness WV

The LGBT advocacy organization Fairness West Virginia held their annual conference in Charleston Saturday and this year, the group had plenty to celebrate. 

After saying he would no longer fight an appeal to the state's gay marriage ban, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's decision essentially made the practice legal in the state and on Oct. 9, county clerks began issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples across the state.

Fairness Executive Director Andrew Schneider said Saturday that's certainly something to celebrate, but the fight isn't yet over. Now, the organization is looking on to its next legislative battles. 

Same Sex Couples Are Now Covered by PEIA

Oct 16, 2014

A spokeswoman for the Department of Administration confirmed Thursday that married, same sex couples in West Virginia are now able to apply for coverage under the state's Public Employee Insurance Agency.

The change comes after Attorney General Patrick Morrisey decided last week to no longer defend the state's gay marriage ban in federal court. Governor Tomblin soon after released a statement directing state agencies to "take appropriate action" to make the practice legal in West Virginia, including the reprinting of marriage license applications.

The race in the 2nd Congressional District has gotten more and more ugly over the past few weeks as candidates dig in for the final push before Election Day. Democratic candidate Nick Casey talks about his view of the partisan politics in Washington and how he thinks he can make a change, as well as discusses the major issues facing the district.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Just a few hours after Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced he would no longer fight a challenge to West Virginia's gay marriage ban in court and Governor Tomblin directed state agencies to begin taking steps toward allowing the practice, Chris Bostic and David Epp of Charleston were the first couple to apply for a marriage license in Kanawha County.

Moments before, Justin Murdock and William Glavaris, as well as Casie McGee and Sarah Adkins received their licenses to marry in Cabell County.

Counties across West Virginia are issuing the licenses after orders from the state saying not to turn couples away.

Flickr / davidwilson1949

 

  Update:   The state Department of Health and Human Resources says it expects that county clerks across the state will be able to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples by Tuesday, October 14 at the latest.

  Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today issued the following statement regarding same-sex marriage in West Virginia. 

Palosirkka / wikimedia Commons

  A federal judge has lifted his hold on a lawsuit challenging West Virginia's ban on same-sex marriages.

U.S. District Judge Robert Chambers on Tuesday ordered the state and two county clerks to respond to a motion by plaintiffs by Oct. 21.

The motion filed Monday by attorneys for three same-sex couples asked Chambers to grant their motion for summary judgment based on the outcome of a similar case in Virginia.

Pine / en.wikipedia.org

When the United States Supreme Court ruled Monday not to consider the appeals before them against lower courts’ same sex marriage rulings that meant five new states could now issues marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. 

Gay Marriages in Va. Can Begin Monday, W.Va. Ruling to Come

Oct 6, 2014
Palosirkka / wikimedia Commons

The Richmond-based federal appeals court says its ruling authorizing same-sex marriages in Virginia will take effect this afternoon.

According to the clerk's office, the mandate will be issued at 1 p.m. Court clerks will be able to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after that time.

In West Virginia, the issue of same sex marriage is in the court of Federal Judge Robert Chambers in Huntington.  Chambers had set aside ruling on the matter citing the same issues were at stake in Virginia.  Chambers entered an order in June that stayed the case filed in West Virginia by three couples last October.

aqff.org

The Appalachian Queer Film Festival will host showings of the documentary “The Campaign, in Charleston Friday and Huntington Monday.

As a kickoff to their Film Festival in late October in Lewisburg, The Appalachian Queer Film Festival will host a showing of “The Campaign,” along with the Kanawha Players Theater. “The Campaign” which was filmed over a four-year period, examines the fight to defend same-sex marriage against Proposition 8 in California. Tim Ward is the Founder and Director of the AQFF.

West Virginia Attorney General's Office

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has asked a judge to postpone ruling on a federal lawsuit challenging West Virginia's same-sex marriage ban until the U.S. Supreme Court reviews a ruling in a similar case in Virginia.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, struck down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban on Monday.

Another Appeals Court Tosses Same-Sex-Marriage Ban

Jul 28, 2014

For the second time this summer, a federal appellate court has voted to strike down a ban on same-sex marriage.

A panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday upheld a district court judge's decision that Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

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