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Gay Couple Denied Marriage License at Arlington Courthouse

In a symbolic Valentine’s Day act, a gay couple submitted an application for a marriage license to the Arlington County Circuit Court Clerk’s office this morning — only to be denied because Virginia does not permit same-sex marriages.

James Fisher and Ron Bookbinder were joined outside the Arlington County courthouse by several dozen supporters of gay marriage, including County Board member Jay Fisette, Clerk of the Circuit Court Paul Ferguson, four local ministers and a local rabbi.

Following speeches and prayers outside, Fisher and Bookbinder went inside the courthouse to submit their marriage license application. Ferguson accepted the application but explained that state law prohibited him from issuing the license. He then promised to keep the application on file until gay marriage is legalized in Virginia, according to Elizabeth Wildhack, one of the event’s organizers.

The event was one of three such events in Virginia today planned by a group called People of Faith for Equality in Virginia. Religious leaders and their congregants were expected to witness several gay couples attempting to get married in Richmond and in Fairfax later in the day.

“These actions are part of a growing movement in Virginia to recognize the value of all families,” said Rev. Dr. Robin Gorsline, President of People of Faith for Equality in Virginia, in a statement.

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Wildhack

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If you are a lifelong learner over 50+ who wants to make new friends, power up your brain, and enjoy a wide-variety college-level courses, Encore Learning is for you. An Arlington based nonprofit, Encore Learning offers courses in the arts, theater, literature, history, technology and more. This semester we offer our most popular course, Global Hot Spots as well as 25 new courses. Courses are presented either online or in-person at George Mason University at Virginia Square and other Arlington locations.

Join the free presentation to learn about courses and meet the instructors. This is Encore Learning’s signature event to highlight the upcoming semester with brief presentations by each instructor.

The Spring Course Preview event is Thursday, February 2nd at 9:30 AM via Zoom: 

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