January 19, 2014
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Almost overnight, Virginia has emerged as a critical state in the nationwide fight to grant gay men and women the right to wed.
With the recent court gains in deeply conservative Utah and Oklahoma, gay rights advocates are heartened by the new mood in Virginia ushered in by a Democratic sweep at the top of the ticket.
Symbolically as well, they say, court challenges of Virginia's gay marriage ban resonate because of the state's role in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision involving interracial marriage.
In that 1967 decision, the high court declared laws against interracial marriage unconstitutional.
Camilla Taylor is marriage project director for Lambda Legal. She says the narrative of how marriage plays into Virginia history is a significant one.