Virginia, like many southern and midwest states, had passed a ban on same-sex marriage. As in most states that have passed such a ban, there are legal challenges. As we know in Oklahoma, a challenge to the ban recently succeeded, and a judge ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage is unconstititional (of course, that decision is being appealed).
But something interesting happened in Virginia today. The Attorney General of Virginia weighed in, and submitted a brief stating that Virginia's own law — the statute banning gay marriage — is unconstitutional:
Following a seismic political shift in Virginia, the 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 R. Herring says 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 Attorney General Mark Herring said in an email to The Associated Press.
"After a thorough legal review of the matter, Attorney General Herring has concluded that Virginia's current ban is in violation of the U.S. constitution and he will not defend it," spokesman Michael Kelly wrote.
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.
Yes, Virginia — elections have consxequences.