Chesterfield couple at center of Virginia marriage equality fight

Published: Jan. 24, 2014 at 5:21 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 3, 2014 at 8:20 AM EST
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State Attorney General Mark Herring is joining the fight over gay marriage. Herring says he will not defend Virginia's constitutional ban.

Herring argues Virginia needs to be on what he says is the right side of history.

"You had the state of Virginia saying they changed their minds," said University of Richmond law professor Kevin Walsh noting Virginia now considers the marriage ban unconstitutional.

Herring says he will join the case of two couples suing to overturn the state's ban in federal court.

One of those couples is from Chesterfield. Mary Townley and Carol Schall recall their first meeting.

"We clicked together," said Mary.

"It just grew to love," said Carol.

Mary and Carol later welcomed a child named Emily. Emily is their pride and joy. She is the reason they are fighting for marriage equality.

"Because in order for the state to recognize me as her mom," said Carol in a YouTube video. "They have to recognize that we are married."

Walsh says there will still be a great deal of uncertainty even if a judge agrees the marriage ban is unconstitutional

"It doesn't necessarily mean that people should go rushing out to get marriage licenses," said Walsh who notes appeals can be expected. "So think of it in terms of months, not weeks or days before you have a change."

Carol and Mary are due in federal district court Thursday, January 30th.

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