Norfolk couple optimistic about same-sex marriage lawsuit

Stephanie Harris reports on same-sex couple's fight to marry in Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Tim Bostic and Tony London have been together since the night they met at a country bar offering dance lessons 25 years ago.

“I didn’t have a partner and Tony came up said will you be my partner — and that’s been it,” Bostic said.

They’ve never hidden their relationship, but never flaunted it either.

“We’re not trying to put this in your face,” London said. “We are pursuing something that unfortunately we have to do very publicly,  but we are pursing one thing, which is marriage.”

The couple spent thousands of dollars fighting Virginia’s marriage amendment in 2006 and thousands more on attorneys to make sure they can do things heterosexual married couples can do for free, including  making end-of-life decisions, and controlling each others assets.

“We spent our whole lives together, everything we’ve accomplished, we’ve accomplished together, and to think, if something were to happen to me that I couldn’t make sure he was taken care of, that’s problematic,” Bostic told WAVY.com.

Tim Bostic and Tony London (WAVY/Walter Hildebrand)
Tim Bostic and Tony London (WAVY/Walter Hildebrand)

As their court date draws near, they feel optimistic. The polls are now in their favor with 57 percent of Virginia voters supporting  same-sex marriage. It is now legal in 17 states and the District of Columbia. The couple’s legal team is the same one that successfully argued for gay marriage in California, and just last week Virginia Attorney Genearal Mark Herring made this announcement: “As Attorney General, I cannot and will not defend a law that violates Virginia’s fundamental constitutional rights .”

Then, the  Governor denied a legislative request for new council. Conservatives, including Delegate  Todd Gilbert from Shenandoah, are crying foul. WAVY.com talked with him about a bill he proposed.

“Well, this has very little to do with gay marriage and more to do with who will defend our laws when the AG decides he doesn’t want to do that,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert’s bill would allow a member of the legislature to defend the law in court. Lawmakers debated that bill Friday and are supposed to vote on it Monday.

However, other conservatives argue the issue should not be decided by the courts at all.

Family Foundation of Virgina  President Victoria Cobb released the following statement: “Virginians deserve to be able to continue to have a conversation over the issue of marriage without the courts stifling debate.”

“This is not about politics. This is about care, love, family,” London said.

Bostic added, “and the fundamental rights of American citizens.”

Rights Tim and Tony contend have been denied them their whole lives. Their hearing is scheduled for Tuesday morning in Norfolk Federal Court.

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