Virginia State Attorney General Mark Herring has announced that the state will no longer defend its marriage equality ban in court. This is a major shift in the state's position, and it will have a big impact on AFER's federal lawsuit. We had a hearing scheduled for Thursday of this week, but after the announcement, the court ordered all parties to file new reports about whether oral argument is still warranted. Those reports were due on Friday of last week.
Now, the court could make any number of rulings at any time. They could decide to go ahead with the hearing this Thursday. Or they could skip the hearing altogether and rule right away. We could have a decision from the court at any time, so be on the lookout for major breaking news from Virginia.
Meanwhile, Virginia lawmakers have killed a marriage equality bill. House Republicans vetoed the bill in committee last week. That means that for now, AFER's case is Virginia's best shot at winning the freedom to marry for all.
Plus, lawsuits continue to advance in other states -- Florida, Michigan, and Oregon -- and Arkansas just began gathering signatures to repeal its ban on marriage equality, but the state faces some formidable odds when it comes to polling.