Class-Action OK’d for Va. Gay Marriage Challenge
A federal judge on Friday certified a lawsuit challenging Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriages as a class action.
U.S. District Judge Michael F. Urbanski ruled in a lawsuit brought last summer by two couples against the state’s 2006 constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
By granting class action, the plaintiffs in the Harrisonburg case will be representing all same-sex couples who want to get married and those who have already been married in other jurisdictions.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs estimate there are more than 15,000 same-sex households in Virginia.
The Harrisonburg lawsuit is one of two challenging the state prohibition of same-sex marriage. The state’s new attorney general, Mark R. Herring, has informed judges in both cases he will not defend the state ban and will join the couples challenging it.
A hearing in the other lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Norfolk, is scheduled for Tuesday.