Virginia AG: Race details not needed for marriage licenses

Mark Herring

FILE – In this Feb. 26, 2018, file photo, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring attends a news conference in Washington. Virginians will elect members of the House of Delegates this year using a map seen as favorable to Democrats, according to a ruling Monday, June 17, 2019 by the U.S. Supreme Court. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, called the ruling a “big win for democracy in Virginia.” (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s attorney general says couples planning to get married in the state will not have to disclose their race on their marriage application.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that clerks were notified of the change in an email late Friday, about a week after three couples filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state requirement .

Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring wrote that circuit court clerks must ask people seeking a marriage license their race, but couples can decline to answer the question. Herring says clerks should issue a marriage license regardless of whether an applicant answers the question.

The lawsuit says one Virginia county provided a list of more than 200 potential races to a couple that questioned the requirement. It included “American,” ”Aryan,” ”Moor” and “Mulatto.” A handful of states still require the information.


Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch,


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