Virginia GOP Calls on Governor Terry McAuliffe to Defend State’s Ban on Gay Marriage

After Attorney General Mark Herring's declaration this week that Virginia's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional, dozens of Republican lawmakers have sent a letter to Governor Terry McAuliffe calling on him to defend it, the Washington Post reports:

Mcauliffe“Our attorney just quit on us,” said C. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah), one of 32 delegates who signed the letter. “I guess we need someone to stand up for us in court.”

The move put new pressure on McAuliffe (D) to involve himself with Attorney General Mark R. Herring’s decision Thursday to bow out of defending the ban. Herring’s decision was applauded in some quarters as a historic stand for civil liberties, and by others as a devious end run around the will of Virginia legislators and voters.

Although McAuliffe was an outspoken supporter of same-sex marriage during the campaign, a spokesman on Friday stuck with the hands-off posture the governor took when Herring (D) announced his plans, saying the governor had been out of the office all day and may not have seen the lawmakers’ request.

Every one of the delegates signing the letter, except for Johnny S. Joannou of Portsmouth, is Republican.

Watch Herring make his announcement HERE, if you missed it.