March 11, 2014
HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) -- A federal judge in Virginia has certified as a class action a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on gay marriage.
U.S. District Judge Michael F. Urbanski granted the class action Friday in a ruling filed in Harrisonburg.
The class action was sought by the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, one of two aimed at the state's 2006 constitutional ban on same-sex unions. Virginia's new attorney general, Mark Herring, has informed judges in both cases he will not defend the state ban.
By granting class action, the plaintiffs in the Harrisonburg case will be representing all same-sex couples who want to get married and those who have already been married in other jurisdictions.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs estimate there are more than 15,000 same-sex households in Virginia.