Virginia's attorney general says the state's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional and he will no longer defend it in federal lawsuits challenging it.
In an email to the Associated Press, Attorney General Mark Herring said the state will instead side with plaintiffs who are seeking to change the definition of marriage.
A spokesman for the attorney general said Herring decided the ban was unconstitutional after a thorough legal review of the matter.
What can traditional marriage supporters do if a state's attorney general refuses to uphold the law? Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council, discusses this and more, on CBN Newswatch, Jan. 23.
The commonwealth has emerged as a critical player in the nationwide fight for gay marriage. The shift comes on the heels of recent court rulings in which federal judges struck down gay marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma.
Virginia voters approved the same-sex marriage ban 57 to 43 percent in 2006. But a July Quinnipiac University poll found that 50 percent of registered voters support legalizing gay marriage while 43 percent oppose it.