Attorneys general have increasingly taken supportive roles in the movement to legalize gay marriage, despite their duty to defend state law. In Virginia, Attorney General Mark Herring announced in January that he would not defend a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. Fellow Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe rebuffed calls to appoint outside council. In that case, defense of the ban fell to the legal team of the Circuit Court in Norfolk, where a suit challenging the law had been filed. A judge declared the ban unconstitutional. The decision was stayed while it undergoes the appeals process.
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