ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered Virginia to stop asking marriage applicants to identify themselves by race. The order issued Monday by U.S. District Judge Rossie Alston in Alexandria comes in response to a lawsuit filed by three couples challenging the requirement. Their lawyer, Victor Glasberg, said the requirement was a vestige of the state’s Jim Crow era.
Alston had already ruled in favor of the couples earlier this month, but he was asked to clarify his ruling. State officials had argued that they could comply with the ruling by keeping the question in place but allowing couples to decline providing an answer. That was the solution Attorney General Mark Herring put forward after the lawsuit was filed.
Alston’s most recent ruling clarifies that the question must be struck entirely.