Court Hearing Set Over Gay Marriage Ban in Commonwealth

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- A federal judge is preparing to hear arguments over whether Virginia's ban on gay marriage is constitutional.

Virginia voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2006 defining marriage as the union of a man and woman. In July, Timothy B. Bostic and Tony C. London filed a lawsuit after they were turned down when they tried to obtain a marriage license at the Norfolk Circuit Court.

They contend the ban denies them liberties guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. Virginia's recently elected Democratic attorney general agrees with the plaintiffs. In January, he said his office would not defend the state's ban in court. Republicans have claimed he's abandoned his duty to uphold the state's laws, regardless of his personal views.

Lawyers for Norfolk's clerk will defend the ban during Tuesday's hearing.


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