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Virginia attorney general files brief against gay-marriage ban

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 23, 2014 at 9:46 a.m.

virginia-attorney-general-elect-mark-herring-smiles-during-a-news-conference-at-the-capitol-in-richmond-va-in-this-dec-18-2013-file-photo

Virginia Attorney General-elect Mark Herring smiles during a news conference at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., in this Dec. 18, 2013, file photo.

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia's new attorney general has concluded that the state's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, and on Thursday he joined a lawsuit challenging it.

Attorney General Mark Herring said in a brief filed in federal court in Norfolk that marriage is a fundamental right and the ban is discriminatory.

Virginia, widely considered a battleground state in the nationwide fight to grant same-sex couples the right to wed, is siding with the plaintiffs who are seeking to have the ban struck down, a spokesman for Herring said in an email.

Herring is a Democrat who campaigned in part on marriage equality. The state's shift comes on the heels of court rulings in which federal judges struck down gay-marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma.

The lawsuits in Virginia say the state's ban violates the Constitution's equal-protection and due-process clauses.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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Popsmith says... January 23, 2014 at 11:55 a.m.

Where are the leaders who can see where this moral depravity leads.

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golfinator says... January 23, 2014 at 1:09 p.m.

Get your dog collar out djigoo, this will get you on your knees

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Fdworfe says... January 23, 2014 at 2:14 p.m.

Back-peddling, kicking and screaming and frothing at the mouth has less and less currency these days. Right or wrong, our culture is moving at a pretty rapid pace on abortion rights, gay rights and legalizing recreational drugs. There was a time when it was presumed that someone at the top—some real or imaginary infallible human authority—had the exclusive or even the divine right and duty to tell every other human adult what moral choices he or she could or should make. No more; that time has passed. Is it a totally good or bad thing? We simply won’t know until history tells us. But we are there. To the extent possible, each adult should have the right to choose his/her own way or his/her own poison. We are Americans—and this is not the Middle East.

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Pobucker says... January 23, 2014 at 2:23 p.m.

"To the extent possible, each adult should have the right to choose his/her own way or his/her own poison."
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Very libertarian of you, fdworfe. Very Nice!

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GrimReaper says... January 23, 2014 at 3:52 p.m.

Careful, Po........he may have a coronary.

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Pobucker says... January 23, 2014 at 4:11 p.m.

ah crap, Grimm. That Brenda Looper woman got in my head with her column yesterday. I am trying to be nice and reasonable, but I don't know how long it will last. I wanna take my rod and beat the water into a frenzy. Trolling? nah - full scale barbarian treblehook snagging...

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djigoo says... January 23, 2014 at 4:31 p.m.

Popsmith, leaders who espouse that type of bigotry are dying off like the dinosaurs they are.

That's good news for liberty...bad news for the American Taliban currently controlling the GOP.

Marriage equality will be the law of the land within a decade.

Deal with it, or move to a theocracy more in line with your principles. I hear Iran is lovely.

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GrimReaper says... January 23, 2014 at 4:49 p.m.

Poor ol' goo goo. He's trying sooo hard to convince himself of that.

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Pobucker says... January 23, 2014 at 5:32 p.m.

Grim, goo's probably right. The handwriting is on the wall (or constitution). Equal protection and protected class spell right to marriage in the end. My only beef is the special privileges that accrue to marrieds. That is so wrong. Singles should take a page from the homosexual playbook and start whining, marching and suing for their equal rights.
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I don't think churches will ever be forced to marry homosexuals and I think it would be funny for a "gay" church to spring up that refused to marry hetros. By far the worst thing I see coming out is the spate of lawsuits and criminal filings going on against photographers, cake makers and other wedding industry folks. Gays are being revengeful. Gays are being mean-spirited. Gays are throwing around their weight. Gays are being bullies and using the government as the tool for their beatdowns. I would suppose that gays are feeling like they finally get to kick some ass of their own.
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On the other hand...I remember segregated lunch counters. That was wrong and I can see that business owners who discriminate against the protected class of sexual orientation are just as bad as those who discriminated against the protected class of race at those lunch counters. It is what you open yourself up to when you make the choice to serve the public. I am supposing churches could open photo shops, bakeries and catering for church weddings and legally discriminate. That would be the proper venue for those wishing to work in the wedding business, but have religious convictions which prevent them from serving homosexuals.
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23cal says... January 23, 2014 at 5:47 p.m.

Po.....we don't agree real often, but I am compelled to give you props for your balance and realism in that comment. Go you. Credit where it's due, and all that sort of thing.

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