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Reaction to ACLU's fight against Virginia same-sex marriage laws

By Susan Bahorich, sbahorich@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jul 09 2013 05:12:53 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 09 2013 10:35:25 PM EDT

Today, the American Civil Liberties Union announced its plans to file a federal lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of Virginia's marriage laws.

ROANOKE, Va. -

There were celebrations last month when the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and said California's Prop8- against gay marriage, was unconstitutional.

But, the fight is far from over, Tuesday, the ACLU announced it would challenge Virginia's same-sex marriage laws.

"Step in the right direction. It was expected, it was hoped for.. the ACLU announced before DOMA ruling this was what it was going to, so it's pretty much predictable and hopefully successful," says Richard Sifton.

Richard Sifton is with the Roanoke Diversity Center.
He says the filing wasn't a surprise, but certainly needed.

Explains Sifton, "Right now, we have another separate but unequality kind of situation where 13-states have marriage equality and 47 don't -that is an unequal situation. And, our history as a country, separate but unequal doesn't always work out very well. "

But opponents say same-sex marriage isn't an equality issue, but a morality issue.

"Essentially same-sex marriage as the ACLU wants to have it is a policy statement that says children don't need moms and dads," explains Mat Staver.

Mat Staver is the Founder and Chair of Liberty Counsel.
He says his group will fight to defend marriage.

"It's something that has transcended time, cultures, religion and societies, and it's part of the very foundation of who we are and if we destabilize it, we ultimately destabilize our communities and our state and our nation," says Staver.