UPDATE: On October 6, the United States Supreme Court denied review in five marriage cases including a case from Virginia. The decision set a binding precedent throughout the 4th Circuit, including West Virginia. On October 9, same-sex couples were free to marry in West Virginia.
"I went to school in West Virginia. I was born in West Virginia. I work in West Virginia. I'm a West Virginian who wants to get married in West Virginia - there should never be a question about why I'd like to marry in West Virginia."
That's how Will Glavaris explains, quite simply, why he and the love of his life, Justin Murdock, want to get married in their home state of West Virginia. And that's the primary reason that Will and Justin - along with two other loving same-sex couples - worked with Lambda Legal and Fairness West Virginia to file a federal lawsuit seeking the freedom to marry in West Virginia on October 1, 2013. The lawsuit, McGee v. Cole, challenges the 2000 state statute restricting marriage to different-sex couples in the state.
In a new video (below, "Faces of Fairness: A Case for Marriage"), state advocacy group Fairness West Virginia chronicles the story of Will and Justin and gives us a look into thier lives. Watch the great video below:
"It's frustrating to not be able to say, 'Yeah, we're married. This is my husband,'" Justin says in the video. "Because that's what we would be if it wasn't for the laws being what they are currently. West Virginia's where my family is. It's where my family business is. It's where my ties are."
Will and Justin live in Huntington, WV and have been a committed couple for more than two years. Last February, Justin proposed to Will, and they'd like to marry as soon as they have the freedom to marry in their home state.
Will and Justin are especially proud and active in their church community, one of the first open and affirming churches in West Virginia. "They're open to LGBT people, and they're going to welcome us with open arms into their community," Justin said, acknowledging that the entire state should follow the church's lead.
"We're not extraordinary people - we're just ordinary people who happen to be a same-sex couple who wants to get married," Will said.
Read more about McGee v. Cole HERE.