Va. AG files brief against gay marriage ban

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's attorney general has officially joined a lawsuit challenging the state's 2006 ban on gay marriage.

Attorney General Mark R. Herring argues in a brief filed Thursday in federal court that the state's prohibition on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. He calls marriage a fundamental right and the ban discriminatory.

The brief was filed in U.S. District Court in Norfolk, where two couples are taking on the ban.

A hearing is scheduled for Jan. 30 before a judge who was nominated by President Barack Obama.

Herring's decision marks a seismic political shift in Virginia, a battleground state in the national fight to grant same-sex couples the right to wed. It comes less than two weeks after he took office in an historic Democratic sweep of the state's top political offices.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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