Couples File Lawsuit Challenging Va. Gay Marriage Ban

August 1, 2013

Two Virginia couples are challenging the Commonwealth's same-sex marriage ban in court.

The couples, one from Staunton and the other from Winchester, have both filed their cases in Harrisonburg. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Virginia and Lambda Legal say they will both discuss the complaint.

The complaint alleges that Virginia's constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage and denying recognition of such unions sanctioned by other states violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the Constitution.

The ACLU recently announced its plans to sue the state. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act that denied federal benefits to married gay couples.

A Norfolk couple is already challenging Virginia's gay marriage ban in another federal lawsuit.

A Quinnipiac University poll released two weeks ago found that 50 percent of registered Virginia voters support same-sex marriage, while 43 percent are opposed. The poll's results had a margin of sampling error that is plus-or-minus 3.1 percentage points.

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