The attorney general of the US state of Virginia has filed a brief which condemns the state’s same-sex marriage ban, saying it is unconstitutional.

The brief filed by attorney general Mark Herring on Friday, states that gay couples have the same constitutional right to marry as straight ones.

It was filed in the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals, where arguments are set to be heard on 13 May in a case challenging the state’s equal marriage ban.

The attorney general supports two gay couples who filed a lawsuit against the state for the ban.

Judge Arenda Wright Allen struck down a law banning same-sex marriage in the state last month, but delayed enforcement of the ruling while it is appealed.

Herring said Judge Wright Allen was right in citing the 1967 Supreme Court case which which invalidated state laws which prohibited interracial marriage.

He said the US Constitution’s equal protection clause protects every citizen’s fundamental right to marry ahead of any state’s authority to decide whether or not they can get married.