Newly elected Attorney General, Mark Herring, has announced his office would not fight for Virginia's same sex marriage ban. in the courts. In a surprise development, the Attorney General said he felt the ban was unconstitutional under Federal law.
The ban was passed in a state wide referendum in 2006 as a state constitutional amendment.
Legislation was introduced in the General Assembly this session to rescind the ban by another statewide vote. The legislation was given little chance of passing the Republican dominated House of Delegates.
Opinion polls in Virginia indicate there has been a major change of opinion from anti-same sex marriage to acceptance. Chances were good, if the vote was held today, Virginia would rescind its ban.
This development in Virginia on same sex marriage mirrors national trends.
What started as a then peculiar sounding court decision stating that bans on same sex marriage violated the Massachussets constitution have become mainstream. Courts and legislatures over the last ten years have granted wider approval of same sex marriage. Public opinion has also changed with the legislative and judicial decisions.