RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) - The ACLU of Virginia plans to file a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage.
According to the ACLU, state and national lawyers will form a team with Lambda Legal to argue the statutes denying gays and lesbians the freedom to marry. The ACLU says the statutes violate the federal constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law.
"Thousands of Virginia couples are already living the deep commitment associated with marriage, without legal recognition of their relationships. They and their children deserve the legal protections that come with state-recognized marriage," said ACLU of Virginia Executive Director Claire G. Gastañaga. "There is no rational reason for denying these loving couples the freedom to marry and every reason to grant them the same recognition by civil authorities that opposite-sex couples have."
Virginia will not be the first state to file suit a suit. The ACLU filed a freedom to marry lawsuit in Pennsylvania Tuesday as well as the expansion of an ACLU second-parent adoption case in North Carolina to include the freedom to marry. Additonally, Lambda Legal initiated a freedom to marry lawsuit in West Virginia.
"Support for the freedom to marry is part of the Virginia ACLU's DNA," Gastañaga continued. "We were founded by the lawyers who brought the Loving v. Virginia case that established the freedom to marry across racial lines, and we hope that by the time of our 50th anniversary in 2019, we will be able to say that we were part of the court case that brought the freedom to marry to all Virginia couples regardless of sexual orientation."
The ACLU is asking couples and families willing to share their stories publicly to do so by clicking here .
Norfolk Police are investigating an assault on a man Thursday night.
Tributes from those who knew Nelson Mandela began pouring in from across the globe, including words from two Hampton Roads leaders.
A company has been hired to complete the repairs to the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks, but how long those repairs will take remains unknown.