RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Republican lawmakers are reacting angrily to Attorney General Mark Herring's announcement that his office won't argue in favor of the state's ban on gay marriage.
The GOP lawmakers said Thursday that Herring has abandoned his role as the chief defender of the state's laws.
But Democratic legislators defended Herring, saying he made both a morally and legally sound decision.
Republican Del. Todd Gilbert of Shenandoah County has proposed legislation that would give legislators the ability to intervene in lawsuits on behalf the state in anticipation of a move like the one Herring made.
Herring's announcement also cast a contentious social issue back into the forefront of Virginia politics, something newly elected Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has appeared eager to avoid.
But the governor said he supports Herring's actions.
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