Virginia AG asks for review marriage of equality ruling

Attorney General Mark R. Herring
Attorney General Mark R. Herring

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) – Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring filed a petition Friday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision that struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Herring announced his plans Tuesday.

Herring, who is in favor of same-sex marriage, says he wants to answer the question of whether the state’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.

Last week, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law.

On Monday, the plaintiffs in the case challenging Virginia’s ban, a Norfolk couple, said they wanted a federal appeals court to allow gay marriages to occur before the U.S. Supreme Court can rule on the issue.

“Many brave men and women have fought for years for the constitutional guarantee of marriage equality, and now, we are almost there,” Herring said in a news release. “It is time to discard these discriminatory bans and to recognize the humanity, dignity, and rights of gay and lesbian Americans seeking to forge life-long bonds. I believe this case will prove compelling for the Court because of the stringent, discriminatory nature of Virginia’s marriage ban, the range of critical questions presented, the clear legal standing of the parties, and Virginia’s historic role in 1967′s Loving case ending bans on interracial marriage. Virginia got that case wrong. Now, we have a chance to get it right, and to help extend to all Americans the right to marry the person they love.”

According to a news release from the Attorney General’s office, Herring is the first state attorney general to successfully argue in court at the district and appellate levels that a state marriage ban is unconstitutional, and the first who supports marriage equality to petition the Supreme Court for review.

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