There’s mixed reaction in Virginia regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of federal recognition of all legal marriages. In a statement, the Attorney General's office says it will defend the Virginia Constitution, which defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman. But, that position is pitted against another legal juggernaut, the ACLU, which is applauding the decision and says it will fight to pave the way for same-sex marriages within the state.
The ACLU's Rebecca Glenberg agrees that this victory for gay-rights advocates is not an end to the struggle for marriage equality, and the ACLU's lobbying arm will take this fight to Virginia lawmakers:
"I'm not going to discuss specifics of our strategy at this point but certainly we would advocate for the General Assembly to take steps to repeal Virginia's repressive marriage law and constitutional amendment."
But the Family Foundation's Chris Freund says the justices were deliberately not too broad in their interpretation of the law:
"Really, this was a setback for same sex marriage advocates. They went to the Supreme Court---asked the court to find a constitutional right to marriage and impose that decision on 50 states and the court did not do what same sex marriage advocates asked them to do."
Freund knows attorneys on both sides will be mulling over the more complex details, but for now, the interpretation is that federal benefits are extended to couples in states where same-sex marriage is recognized. He says the opinion that Virginia will inevitably be forced into recognizing same sex-marriage is inaccurate.