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Hearing Set in Federal Lawsuit Challenging Virginia’s Marriage Ban

Tuesday Oct 29, 2013
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VA Gov. Bob McDonnell
VA Gov. Bob McDonnell  (Source:Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo)

HARRISONBURG, Va. - A hearing is set in Harrisonburg on the lawsuit challenging Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban.

Lawyers for the two Shenandoah Valley couples who filed the lawsuit are asking a federal judge to certify the case as a class action representing all same-sex couples in the state. Judge Michael Urbanski will hear arguments Tuesday morning.

The judge also will consider whether to dismiss Gov. Bob McDonnell and Staunton Circuit Court Clerk Thomas E. Roberts as defendants. The other defendant is Janet Rainey, the state registrar of vital records.

The merits of the case won’t be argued until Jan. 3. The plaintiffs claim Virginia’s constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage and denying recognition of such unions sanctioned by other states violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the Constitution.

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