RICHMOND -- Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring will file a brief Friday in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals backing the decision which declared Virginia's Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional.

Herring supports U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright-Allen's ruling from February.

Judge Wright-Allen struck down Virginia's 2008 voter-approved Defense of Marriage Act that states marriage is between one man and one woman.

'I agree with the judges decision. The constitution requires that states not pass laws that unfairly discriminate like this,' said Herring.

Critics say Herring needs to focus on upholding the law.

Former Republican candidate for lieutenant governor E.W. Jackson calls it a dereliction of duty.

'He took an oath to uphold the constitution of the United States and to uphold the constitution of Virginia,' said Jackson. 'He come's right into office and tells us that it does not matter to him.'

Opponents of same-sex marriage are appealing the judge's decision. Oral arguments are set to take place in May. A ruling from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals is expected later this year.

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