Lawsuit Puts Virginia Closer to Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage

By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email
By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email

Harrisonburg, Va. (WHSV) -- Virginia is one step closer to legalizing same-sex marriage. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Virginia, U.S. District Judge Michael Urbanski certified a class action lawsuit.

"He has signaled that if he rules against the constitutional amendment, his intent is to have it apply to all couples in the state of Virginia," said Dr. Bob Roberts, who is a political analyst at James Madison University.

The suit enables same-sex couples from our the Valley to challenge the state's ban on gay marriage.

"It's hard to describe to someone what it feels like to wake up and fundamentally feel less than your neighbors," said Victoria Kidd who is a plaintiff in the class action lawsuit.

Kidd is one of two couples from the Valley who along with the ACLU and Lambda legal, filed the class action lawsuit back in August.

"Never in my life, did I feel or believe that I would see this type of lawsuit, be granted in the state of Virginia. Especially in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley," said Dale Fulk who is in a same-sex relationship.

Fulk said he has struggled with his sexuality in the past because of the widely conservative beliefs in the area.

"Defining marriage as a permanent exclusive union between one man and one woman, simply is the best public policy," said Rita Dunaway, who opposes same-sex marriages.

"To be openly gay in this area has a lot of challenges, and they are not treated as equal citizens and that in America, we need to change that," said Cindy Carr who is a heterosexual pastor.

If the ban on same-sex marriage is lifted by the judge in this case, the attorney general, Mark Herring, has said he will allow the decision to stand.

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