May 3, 2016 at 1:52 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Va. Supreme Court: Cohabitation law applies to same-sex couples

Virginia Supreme Court, gay news, Washington Blade

Virginia Supreme Court (Photo by Morgan Riley; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

The Virginia Supreme Court last week ruled that the state’s cohabitation law applies to unmarried same-sex couples.

Justice William C. Mims issued the April 28 ruling in the case of Michael Luttrell, a Fairfax County man who had requested to stop paying spousal support to his ex-wife, Samantha Cucco, after learning that she was engaged to another woman.

A Fairfax County Circuit Court judge ruled against Luttrell in 2014.

Luttrell appealed the decision to the Virginia Court of Appeals, which upheld a 1997 law that said “cohabitation” could only occur between a man and a woman.

Same-sex couples have been able to legally marry in Virginia since 2014.

“The court made the correct ruling in this case, which is to recognize that all laws regarding marriage must be applied equally regardless of the gender of the individuals involved,” said Gail Deady of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia on Monday in a press release that announced Mims’ ruling. “Marriage equality means marriage equality.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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