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Race Question Removed from Marriage Licenses

Couples who are applying for a marriage license in Virginia no longer have to disclose their race, according to new guidance from Attorney General Mark Herring.

Herring notified circuit court clerks of the change late Friday after three couples were denied a marriage license when they refused to divulge their race on an application.  The couples filed a federal lawsuit earlier this month, challenging the requirement. The complaint called the policy "offensive," and "reflective of a racist past."

Virginia is one of only eight states that requires couples to identify their race before getting married.

Herring told the Richmond Times Dispatch his latest directive will ensure that no Virginian will be forced to label themselves in order to get married.

Whittney Evans is VPM News’ features editor.
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