Attorney General Mark Herring will announce today that after a legal review, he has concluded that Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, his spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday.
Herring will not defend the constitutionality of the ban in federal court in Norfolk, where two same-sex couples are suing to overturn it, said the spokeswoman, Ellen Qualls.
“The attorney general has concluded that the ban violates the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution on two grounds — one, marriage is a fundamental right being denied to some Virginians, and two, the ban unlawfully discriminates on a basis of sexual orientation and gender,” Qualls said.
...Herring’s decision does not change the 2006 amendment to the state constitution, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Under a directive from Herring’s office, court clerks around Virginia are still prohibited from handing out marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
“The attorney general has a strong interest in the courts adjudicating this matter, which will ultimately be decided by the United States Supreme Court,” Qualls said.
Herring, who took office Jan. 11, succeeded Ken Cuccinelli, a Republican who believes marriage is between a man and a woman.
Herring’s move marks a dramatic shift from his previous position on marriage equality. In 2006, as a state senator from Loudoun County, he voted for the ban on same-sex marriage. He says that in recent years, he changed his views.
“I talked to a lot of people, I thought a lot about it, talked to my family, and I have seen how I would not want the state to tell my son or my daughter who they can and cannot marry,” Herring said last August.
After the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that struck down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act, some Republicans charged that Herring, as attorney general, would not defend Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage if it were challenged in federal court. Herring eventually said that when a state law’s constitutionality is questioned, he would have his team of attorneys review the issue and make a recommendation.In other words, he was dishonest to voters and narrowly squeaked out a victory, thanks to votes that suddenly turned up out of thin air when his opponent, Mark Obenshain, had a narrow lead after this past November's election. Herring eventually was able to find enough votes and Obernshain had to abandon a recount, after getting no support from the national GOP, since Virginia's three candidates were not Karl Rove-approved candidates.
So much for the "common ground" that Terry McAwful promised. Then again, when a liberal Democrat promises you something, bank on the fact it will be a lie.
But there's also the hypocrisy. Liberals always lecture conservatives not to let their "personal beliefs" (ie Christianity) influence how they interpret the law. Liberals always let the beliefs of their Religion of Liberalism dictate whether or not they uphold the oaths they took.
Obviously, Herring the liberal election thief refuses to acknowledge either that the issue of marriage was already determined by a Higher Authority.