In a motion filed Friday, West Virginia
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office said that it would defend
in federal court the state's law excluding gay couples from marriage.
New York-based Lambda Legal is
representing 3 gay couples and the child of one couple in the lawsuit
filed in October in U.S. District Court in Huntington. Lambda Legal
claims in its filing that West Virginia's ban violates the 14th
Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“The right to marry the person of
one's choice, and to direct the course of one's life in this intimate
realm without undue government interference is one of the fundamental
liberty interests protected for all by the Due Process Clause of the
United States Constitution,” the group said in its filing. “The
State's exclusion of plaintiff couples and other same-sex couples
from marriage violates their fundamental right to marry.”
The challenge did not name Morrisey, a
Republican, as a defendant.
Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick was
granted an extension on filing a response to the lawsuit to give
Morrisey's office time to decide whether it would intervene, the