New Virginia gay marriage ban lawsuit seeks class action status - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

New Virginia gay marriage ban lawsuit seeks class action status

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LARRY O'DELL
Associated Press

    
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Civil liberties and gay-rights groups are challenging Virginia's same-sex marriage ban in court.
    
The ACLU of Virginia and Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court in Harrisonburg. Two couples, one from Staunton and one from Winchester, are plaintiffs.
    
Virginia voters in 2006 approved a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage and denying recognition of such marriages sanctioned by other states.
    
Earlier this summer, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that denied federal benefits to married gay couples. The justices also left intact a lower court ruling overturning California's gay marriage ban. That decision was based on a legal technicality and did not address the law's constitutionality.
    
A Norfolk couple already is challenging Virginia's gay marriage ban in another federal lawsuit.

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