By Casey Given
Last week, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring made waves by announcing he would not enforce the Commonwealth’s ban on gay marriage, concluding that the state constitutional amendment violated the U.S. Constitution. Moreover, Herring announced that the state will join a federal lawsuit on behalf of two gay couples who are challenging the law, claiming it was time for Virginia to be on the “right side of history.” As Politico explains:
He pointed to the state and some of its counties being on the losing side of landmark cases like Brown v. Board of Education, which ended school segregation on the basis of race; Loving v. Virginia, which struck down a ban on interracial marriage; and United States v. Virginia, which held that female applicants must be admitted to Virginia Military Institute along with males.
Naturally, Herring’s announcement roused a predictable outcry from many of the state’s so-called conservatives. Republican House Speaker William J. Howell raised concerns about “the dangerous precedent” Herring’s decision “sets with regard to the rule of law,” noting that “The Attorney General has a constitutional and statutory obligation to enforce and defend the duly adopted laws and Constitution of Virginia.” The National Organization for Marriage even called for his impeachment.
This outrage, unfortunately, rests on a complete misunderstanding Continue reading