Two lesbian couples raising children are challenging Virginia's
ban on marriage for gay couples.
Joanne Harris and Jessica Duff of Staunton and Christy Berghoff
and Victoria Kidd of Winchester are represented by the American Civil
Liberties Union, the ACLU of Virginia, Lambda Legal and the firm
Jenner Block. The class action lawsuit was filed in federal court in
Harrisonburg on Thursday, the same day Rhode Island and Minnesota
laws legalizing gay nuptials went into effect.
In 2006, voters approved a constitutional amendment limiting
marriage to heterosexual unions and strengthening the state's
marriage law against a legal challenge on unconstitutional grounds.
Supporters believe a Supreme Court case striking down a federal ban
has also left state amendments vulnerable.
“This is one America,” Greg Nevins, supervising senior staff
attorney in Lambda Legal's Southern Regional Office based in Atlanta,
said in a statement. “It's time for the freedom to marry to come
to the South.”
A similar challenge was filed late last month, though it is not a
class action lawsuit.
couple challenges Virginia's gay marriage ban.)