Virginia AG Says Couples No Longer Need to Disclose Race on Marriage Licenses

The federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia.

The federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia. Shutterstock


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STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Florida legal marijuana push raises more than $1.2 million ... Gun rights protests in Columbus, Ohio ... Drugstores and drug distributors ask for a new judge in opioid lawsuit.

People getting married in Virginia do not need to disclose their races when applying for a marriage license, the state attorney general said Friday. Virginia AG Mark Herring said while the state requires clerks of court to ask for the information, people aren’t required to provide it. The decision came after a federal lawsuit was filed by three couples, saying the state’s law requiring people getting married to state their races is unconstitutional. The county where one set of plaintiffs applied for a marriage license listed racist terms people could use to describe themselves, such as “quadroon,” as well as various nationalities. “We’re looking and we see Aryan, Mulatto, all these terms that are not only outdated, but deeply offensive,” Brandyn Churchill told the New York Times. But now people applying for a marriage license will be able to say they “decline to answer,” checking a box on a new form the state sent clerk offices. Plaintiffs said they appreciate the AG’s actions, but will continue with the lawsuit to get the state law changed. [Richmond Times-Dispatch; CNN; New York Times]

FLORIDA POT PUSH | Recreation marijuana advocates in Florida have raised more than $1.2 million since they began the push to legalize in the state three weeks ago. Proponents, which includes the marijuana industry, are raising money to get the issue a constitutional amendment on the ballot. [Miami Herald]

GUN RIGHTS PROTEST | Gun rights protestors rallied in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday, voicing their opposition to proposals by Gov. Mike DeWine and others after the mass shooting this summer in Dayton. DeWine, a Republican, wants legislators to pass bills to implement universal background checks and create “red-flag” procedures that would allow people to bring concerns about a particular person owning a gun to a judge. [Toledo Blade]

OPIOID LAWSUIT | Drug distributors and drugstores filed a motion to dismiss the Ohio-based judge who has been presiding over a complex lawsuit about the opioid epidemic. That judge, Dan Polster, has been pushing all sides to work out a settlement. The drug manufacturers did not join the request. As Route Fifty reported last week, Polster signed an order that will include all local governments in any settlement with many manufacturers in the litigation. [New York Times]

FIRED OFFICER | The city of Muskegon, Michigan fired a police officer after a prospective homebuyer found Confederate flags and a framed, vintage KKK application in his home. The buyer posted photos of the racist memorabilia on his Facebook page. The police department finished a month-long inquiry into former officer Charles Anderson in late August, with Chief Jeffrey Lewis saying they didn’t find much more evidence. “Some questions arose that we’d like to have further answered. But I can tell you this, after reviewing this—and it was a quite lengthy investigation—what you saw on social media pretty much stands the way it is,” he told city commissioners. Anderson’s wife, Rachel, told a TV station her husband wasn’t involved in the KKK. Rob Mathis, the man who found the memorabilia, said he was “glad the city was moving forward in a positive direction.” [MLive; WoodTV]

Laura Maggi is the Managing Editor of Route Fifty.

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