The ACLU of Virginia says it will file a federal lawsuit challenging the state's gay marriage ban.
In 2006 Virginia voters approved a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex unions and refusing to recognize such marriages performed in other states. But the ACLU says that there is no reason that same-sex couples shouldn't have the chance to be married as they do in various other jurisdictions, such as D.C. and Maryland.
“There is no rational reason for denying these loving couples the freedom to marry and every reason to grant them the same recognition by civil authorities that opposite-sex couples have,” said ACLU of Virginia Executive Director Claire G. Gastañaga.
The ACLU says it will team with the gay-rights group Lambda Legal to argue that Virginia's ban violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law. The organization also is challenging gay marriage prohibitions in some other states.