VA’s new AG seeks to overturn traditional-marriage law

VA’s new AG seeks to overturn traditional-marriage law

[Ed. – But he was for it before he was against it.]

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

Conservatives 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.

“It’s a nice day to be an American from Virginia,” Tom Shuttleworth, one of the lawyers for the gay couples challenging the ban, wrote 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.

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