Arlington County Board Vice Chairman Jay Fisette (pictured) now wears his ring on his left hand following his marriage to his longtime partner, Bob Rosen, this month in DC. Patch file photo by Jason Spencer
"If you had asked about marriage equality 15 years ago, Bob and I both would've said it was a long, long way off in Virginia, but we've revised that," Fisette told Patch. "I actually think Virginia will be forced to change, and it will come through the courts, in the next five years. It just isn't palatable anymore that you can get benefits in one state and your marriage is treated differently in another. I think, through the courts, it will be rectified."
That ruling paved the way for the IRS to subsequently announce it would extend to married gay couples the same benefits straight couples enjoy.
Fisette and Rosen decided to wed following the IRS ruling. They now have the option to file federal tax returns as a married couple, among other things. But they don't have that option in their home state of Virginia.
The growing acceptance of gay marriage around the country is putting pressure on Virginia to follow suit.
One talking point in this year's governor's race has been thatanti-gay rhetoric from conservative candidates has hurt business recruitment, and almost caused aerospace and defense giant Northrop Grumman to not locate 300 high-paying jobs in Northern Virginia.
Fisette said it doesn't stop there.
"The universities are beginning to lose good, talented people and researchers — and research money — because now those good professors can choose to live in a state where their partner has access to a whole array of benefits that the university has denied them, because they're connected to the state," he said. More: