Virginia Attorney General Plans to Fight State’s Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

by Norris Law Group on January 29, 2014

On January 23, 2014, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that Mark Herring, the newly elected attorney general of Virginia, plans to work to overturn Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage on the grounds that the ban is unconstitutional. Herring, a Democrat, is quoted, “It’s time for the commonwealth to be on the right side of history and the right side of the law.”

As a state senator, Herring supported Virginia’s 2006 constitutional amendment which defined marriage as the union of a man and woman. But now, he says that after a “thorough legal review” he believes that the law is unconstitutional, and will join same-sex couples in two federal lawsuits which challenge the legality of the ban. Herring said, “I have now concluded that Virginia’s ban on marriage between same sex couples violates the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution on two grounds: marriage is a fundamental right being denied to some Virginians, and the ban unlawfully discriminates on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender.” Herring also said that the ban will continue to be enforced in the interim, and that marriage licenses will be denied to same-sex couples.

A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments in one of those lawsuits during the week of January 27. Over the past several weeks, federal judges have overturned bans on same-sex marriage in Utah and Oklahoma. These rulings, however, have been appealed, and are on hold as of this writing.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County and throughout Utah in the area of family law. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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