RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Attorney General Mark Herring says Virginia has a dark past of arguing against interracial marriage and school integration, and he wants the state to be on the right side of history with gay marriage.
The newly elected Democrat said Thursday he will fight against Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage, angering Republicans and conservatives who accused him of abandoning his job.
With Herring's decision, gay marriage moved closer to gaining its first foothold in the South and gay rights activists cheered the latest in a string of victories -- this one in a conservative and usually hostile region of the country.
The move reflects the rise of a new Democratic leadership in Virginia and illustrates how rapidly the political and legal landscape on gay marriage in the U.S. is shifting.
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