Dozens of Republican lawmakers are
calling on Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to appoint legal counsel
to defend the state's ban on gay marriage.
Delegate Bob Marshall, an architect of
the state's 2006 voter-approved constitutional amendment which
defines marriage as a heterosexual union, and 31 other state
lawmakers signed a letter Friday urging McAuliffe, a Democrat who
supports marriage equality, to intervene.
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“Our attorney just quit on us,”
Delegate C. Todd Gilbert told The
Washington Post. “I guess we need someone to stand up for
us in court.”
Gilbert was referring to Attorney
General Mark Herring, who on Thursday announced that his office would
support the efforts of two plaintiff couples challenging the ban. In
response to Herring's announcement, the judge in the case asked
parties whether a trial was necessary. A hearing in the case is
scheduled for Thursday, January 30.
All but one of the signatories to the
letter were Republican.
In a separate but related development,
a Virginia House panel fast-tracked a bill that would give lawmakers
standing to defend laws when the state's top elected officials
Herring spokesman Michael Kelly said
the ban was being defended by the clerks of Prince William and
“The case doesn't stop because of the
state's change of position,” Kelly said. “The case will