You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

U.S.

  • Scores arrested during protests in Calif.
    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dozens of protesters in Los Angeles and Oakland were arrested late Wednesday during a third night of demonstrations linked to the shooting protest in Ferguson, Missouri.
  • Increasingly, gun sales getting missed
    BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – More gun sales than ever are slipping through the federal background check system – 186,000 last year, a rate of 512 gun sales a day – as states fail to consistently provide thorough, real-time
  • Protesters dwindle to small groups in Ferguson
    FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Business owners and residents boarded up windows and cleared away debris Wednesday as Ferguson sought a tentative return to normal after two nights of unrest over the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case.
Advertisement

Virginia attorney general will fight for gay marriage

Herring

– Gay marriage moved closer to gaining its first foothold in the South when Virginia’s attorney general said Thursday that the state’s ban on same-sex matrimony is unconstitutional and he will join the fight to get it struck down.

“It’s time for the commonwealth to be on the right side of history and the right side of the law,” newly elected Democrat Mark R. Herring said in a state that fiercely resisted school integration and interracial marriage in the 1950s and ’60s.

Republicans accused Herring of shirking his duty to defend the state’s laws after less than two weeks on the job, while gay rights activists exulted over the latest in a string of victories – this one in a conservative and usually hostile region of the country.

“It’s a nice day to be an American from Virginia,” Tom Shuttleworth, one of the lawyers challenging the ban, said in an email.

The move reflects the rise of a new Democratic leadership in Virginia and illustrates how rapidly the political and legal landscape on gay marriage in the U.S. is shifting.

Herring, as a state senator, supported Virginia’s 2006 voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and woman. But he said he decided after a “thorough legal review” that it is unconstitutional, and he will join gay couples in two federal lawsuits challenging the ban.

A federal judge will hear arguments in one of those lawsuits next week.

Herring stressed the ban will be enforced in the meantime, meaning clerks will continue to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In a movement that began with Massachusetts in 2004, 17 states and the District of Columbia now allow gay marriage, most of them in the Northeast. None are in the old Confederacy.

In just the past five weeks, federal judges struck down gay marriage prohibitions in deeply conservative Utah and Oklahoma, but those rulings are on hold for appeal.

Related

Advertisement