A bipartisan group of delegates demanded Friday that Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe appoint a special counsel to defend the state’s voter-approved constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, just one day after Virginia’s top law enforcement official said that he will actively seek to overturn the law.
Republican Delegate Bob Marshall, who is spearheading the push for the counsel, joined 31 others in signing a letter to Mr. McAuliffe, calling for him to uphold the marriage amendment passed by voters in 2006.
Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring, saying it’s “time for the commonwealth to be on the right side of history and the right side of the law,” announced Thursday that he would join a federal lawsuit on behalf of two gay couples who are challenging the ban.
“In light of the fact that newly installed Attorney General, Mark Herring, has announced that he will not only, not defend the Constitution as he swore to do just 13 days ago, but will actively support the litigation pending to overturn the Marriage Amendment, we are calling on the governor to appoint a special counsel to do the job that Mr. Herring is refusing to do,” Mr. Marshall said in a statement released by his office.
Virginia House Speaker William J. Howell, Stafford Republican, said Thursday he is also “very concerned” about the announcement and “the dangerous precedent it sets with regard to the rule of law.”