Virginia's ban on gay marriage challenged in court

VIRGINIA -       A federal judge heard arguments in Norfolk today on whether Virginia's ban on gay marriage is constitutional.

     Virginia voters approved a constitutional amendment back in 2006, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. In July, two men filed suit against that amendment after their application for marriage was denied in circuit court. They say the ban denies them liberties guaranteed by the 14th amendment.

     Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, a democrat, attended the oral arguments in the case of Bostic versus Rainey. The case centers around a gay couple who wanted a marriage license but were denied. They filed a lawsuit challenging the ban last year.

     People on both sides of the issue demonstrated outside the courthouse today. Herring has said he doesn't agree with the state's same sex marriage ban and will not defend it in court. "Whether it was the right to public education regardless of race in Brown vs. Board of Education, or marry the person you love regardless of skin color in the Loving case, or the right to attend state colleges and universities regardless of gender in the CMI case... Virginia has found itself on the wrong side of landmark civil rights cases."

     The judge said she would give her ruling "soon."

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