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Portrait of state Sen. Mark Herring (D)
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring
Virginia has only just switched from extremist Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to Democrat Mark Herring, and already we're seeing big changes:
Herring said his office will no longer defend the state's ban on same-sex marriages.

"As attorney general, I cannot and will not defend laws that violate Virginians' rights," Herring said. "The commonwealth will be siding with the plaintiffs in this case and with every other Virginia couple whose right to marry is being denied."

That case is coming up soon, with oral arguments starting January 30. Though Virginia voters passed a gay marriage ban in 2006, public opinion has moved quickly there as elsewhere, and last summer a poll showed 50 percent support for marriage equality.

Take this as a perfect lesson that elections have consequences. Even the ones that aren't at the top of the ballot. This was an incredibly close race that went to a recount. But as a result, we have another state government taking the side of equality and progress.

7:32 AM PT:
BREAKING: Virginia attorney general files a brief that officially joins a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on gay marriage.
@AP

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:34 AM PST.

Also republished by Kossacks for Marriage Equality, Good News, Virginia Kos, and Daily Kos.

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