Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe Rejects GOP Call to Defend State’s Gay Marriage Ban

On Saturday we reported that dozens of Republican lawmakers had called on Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to defend the state's gay marriage ban after Attorney General Mark Herring declared it unconstitutional and said he wouldn't be defending it in court.

McauliffeMcAuliffe has now rejected that request in a letter, the WaPo reports:

In his letter to [Del. Robert G.] Marshall (R-Prince William), McAuliffe noted that other officials outside of the attorney general’s office are fighting the ban.

“I share your view that the effective administration of our legal system requires zealous advocacy on all matters before the courts. In the present case, Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban is being vigorously and appropriately defended by the Clerk of Court for the City of Norfolk and the Clerk of Court for Prince William County,” as well as other parties, McAuliffe wrote. “Accordingly, I respectfully decline to appoint special counsel in this matter.”

The Virginia Pilot adds: "With or without McAuliffe, Marshall, an architect of the 2006 state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, said Monday that he plans to pursue a Virginia State Bar complaint against Herring for neglecting his duty to uphold state law."

A hearing in the case is set for Thursday morning at 9 am.


  1. says

    I wish at some point people would call the Republicans on their single-minded obsession over marriage equality at the expense of every other problem in our world. Why won’t someone say, “Healthcare? The economy? Can’t do anything, because the Republicans are worried about who people love.”

    I know it won’t make a difference but damn.

  2. HadenoughBS says

    GOPer haters will not give up. It makes no difference how many times the courts rule in our favor or how a growing number (a majority in many areas) of our fellow citizens support our right to marriage equality. GOPers just will not give up.

    And, they will not give up the right to restrict women’s reproductive rights or women’s rights to control their own bodies.

    No, GOPers cannot stop thinking about sex – sex – sex and their own sexual repression that drives them (and many of us) absolutely NUTZ!!!

  3. tristram says

    I’m with you all the way @LARRY!

    Millions on food stamps? Impending second recession? Unsustainable oil dependency? The end of the American Empire? Who cares – just don’t let those gays get married!

  4. scooternva says

    Larry, I’ve lived here in Virginia for 25 years now, and “single-minded” is giving Bob Marshall too much credit (one has to have a mind for it to be single-tracked). Unfortunately, his district is lower middle income and fairly conservative, so his constituents don’t mind that he spends most of his legislative energies on his anti-gay witch hunts. He’s a sick, evil little man.

  5. Howard B says

    @Wolf. I’m not a lawyer but my understanding is, I’m not sure what the bar could do at this point. There are plenty of examples of Attorney’s General on both the state and federal level who did not defend laws they felt were unconstitutional (and nothing happened to them). That is much different than enforcing laws they disagree with. They are duty bound to enforce the law even if they disagree with it, no matter how unconstitutional they may feel it to be. But defend it in court? I don’t think they can be made to defend a law in court that they feel is unconstitutional.