Virginia marriage records released as gay activists fight to overturn same-sex marriage

By JEFFREY STRAUSAssociated PressWASHINGTON (AP) A collection of nearly 5,000 marriage licenses from Virginia and other states that were issued in recent years is up for auction in a bid to stop opponents of marriage from selling the documents online.

A Virginia Superior Court judge on Friday rejected the bid from the state’s largest gay marriage advocacy group and two of its top attorneys.

The groups’ attorneys argued that the state has no authority to issue marriage licenses, which would violate federal law barring same-gender couples from marrying.

A judge dismissed their case last week.

In the ruling, Superior Court Judge James O. Riggs said the State has the authority to determine the validity of a marriage license, but the plaintiffs have not demonstrated that they have shown they will use the authority.

Riggs also said the plaintiffs failed to show that they were likely to use the state authority.

The legal battle over the marriage licenses was the first major legal challenge to President Donald Trump’s executive order that bars federal agencies from recognizing same- gender marriages and prevents the federal government from enforcing the U.S. Constitution.

Riggers ruled that the plaintiffs did not have standing to challenge the order because they were not legally married to each other or have children together.

The case will now go to a U.C. Berkeley judge, who will make a ruling about the licenses in a few weeks.