Gay Marriage Suit to Move Forward, without Gov as Defendant - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Gay Marriage Suit to Move Forward, without Gov as Defendant

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A federal lawsuit challenging a gay marriage ban in Virginia is moving forward. Monday, a judge denied the motion to dismiss the case filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The case, filed by two Virginia couples, will move forward - but the judge did remove Governor Bob McDonnell from the lawsuit as a defendant. Two other defendants, the Staunton Circuit Court clerk and the state registrar of vital records, remain.

A couple from Staunton and a couple from Winchester are in the midst of a legal battle, fighting for the right to be married. When the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act over the summer, Joanne Harris and Jessica Duff, who have been together for 12 years, went to the Staunton Circuit Court to tie the knot. But the clerk said he could not marry the couple because the state of Virginia does not recognize their union. That attracted the attention of the ACLU and sparked the lawsuit.

A statement released by the ACLU says, "All loving families deserve the protection and dignity that come with marriage."

It’s unclear when a ruling in the case will come down but it is certainly one a lot of people across Virginia are eager to hear.

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