Virginia’s AG takes on state’s gay marriage ban

Virginia’s top cop will ask a federal court Thursday to strike down the state’s ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional, according to reports in numerous newspapers.

Attorney General Mark R. Herring will announce that Virginia will join two same-sex couples in asking a federal court to strike it down, The Washington Post reported, citing an official close to the attorney general with knowledge about the decision.

“The action will mark a stunning reversal in the state’s legal position on same-sex marriage and is a result of November elections in which Democrats swept the state’s top offices,” writes the Post’s Robert Barnes.

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Virginia’s previous attorney general, Republican Ken Cuccinelli II, is a staunch opponent of gay marriage and defender of the eight-year-old ban.

Herring, a Democrat, will file a brief Thursday in federal court in Norfolk, as notification of the state's change in position in the case, according to an Associated Press story published early Thursday.

"After a thorough legal review of the matter, Attorney General Herring has concluded that Virginia's current ban is in violation of the U.S. constitution and he will not defend it," spokesman Michael Kelly told the AP.

Check out the full Washington Post story here, and the AP story here.