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.