Virginia’s newly-elected Attorney General, Mark R. Herring, announced that will not defend the state’s ban on marriage equality, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.
“The Supreme Court is clear: The United States Constitution is the law of the land, the supreme law of the land,” Herring said at a press conference. “I believe the freedom to marry is a fundamental right, and I intend to ensure that Virginia is on the right side of history and the right side of the law.”
Herring signaled the new direction for the attorney general’s office in a brief supporting the plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the law, which stated that his office found that it ran afoul of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The Virginia Marriage Amendment, as the law is known, was enacted in 2006 after winning the support of 57 percent of state voters. State Republicans were quick to criticize Herring’s move.
“I don’t know what the difference between a dictatorship and this is,” state Sen. Richard H. Black (R) told the Post.
Herring won the office after state Sen. Mark Obenshain (R) conceded the election on Nov. 18, 2013. A recount of the election results showed Herring in the lead by more than 800 votes.
[Image: “Happy Gay Couple Getting Married On The Playground Of A Park” via Shutterstock]