Virginia Marriage License Applicants No Longer Have to Disclose Race

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Virginia’s attorney general announced that couples who are seeking a marriage license in the state will no longer have to disclose their race after three couples filed a lawsuit earlier this month challenging the state’s law.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring told the Richmond Times-Dispatch on September 13 that the Division of Vital Records revised the marriage certificates so it is clear that applicants will not have to disclose their race and can decline to answer the question on the application for a marriage license. Clerks were notified about the rule change by the Virginia Supreme Court’s Office of the Executive Secretary.

In a memorandum to Janet Rainey, the director and state registrar of the Division of Vital Records, obtained by the newspaper, Herring wrote that the law “does not require a clerk to refuse to issue a marriage license when the applicant declines to…

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