Attorney General Mark Herring has quickly followed through on one of his largest campaign promises: defending the civil rights of gay Virginians across the Commonwealth. He has filed a brief with a federal court stating that his office will challenge the law on constitutional grounds.
In a news conference Thursday morning explaining his decision, Herring said Virginia has a history of arguing on the wrong side of landmark civil rights cases.
“Too many times in our history, our citizens have had to lead the way on civil rights while their leaders stood against them,” Herring said. “This will not be another instance. It’s time for the Commonwealth to be on the right side of history and the right side of the law.”
Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) Chair Charniele Herring released the following statement on Attorney General Herring’s finding that Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.
“Today, Attorney General Herring fell on the right side of history. Discrimination of any kind has no place in this country or Commonwealth. I support Attorney General Herring in his legal assessment and conclusion that ‘to defend a[n] unconstitutional law…would be a violation of [his oath], misuse of office, and would be inconsistent with precedents’.
“As we’ve seen in just a few short days, Virginia Democrats are focused on working to improve the lives of Virginians which includes working to repeal unconstitutional laws and making access to affordable healthcare possible for our working poor. We will continue our work to make sure Virginia continues to move forward.”
You can read the official petition here.
Photo credit: AP