Civil liberties and gay-rights groups are challenging Virginia's same-sex marriage ban in court.
The ACLU of Virginia and Lambda Legal say they will file the lawsuit today, arguing that the 2006 voter-approved constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage and denying recognition of such marriages sanctioned by other states is unconstitutional. A Norfolk couple already is challenging Virginia's gay marriage ban in another federal lawsuit.
Earlier this summer, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that denied federal benefits to married gay couples. The justices also left intact a lower court ruling overturning California's gay marriage ban. That decision was based on a legal technicality and did not address the law's constitutionality.
Both D.C. and Maryland allow same-sex marriage, and a recent poll found that 50 percent of Virginians similarly think the commonwealth should. Forty-three percent of those polled said they remained opposed to the unions.