RICHMOND, Va. — In a move that could give gay marriage its first foothold in the South, Virginia’s attorney general said today he concluded the state’s ban on same-sex unions is unconstitutional and he will join the fight against it.
Newly elected Democratic Attorney General Mark R. Herring said he would support gay couples who have filed lawsuits challenging the state’s ban. Herring’s announcement comes on the heels of court rulings in which federal judges struck down gay marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma. Currently the District of Columbia and 17 states allow gay marriage, most of them clustered in the Northeast. None of them are in the old Confederacy.