Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation

Bills to end Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban flood 2014 General Assembly

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. — While Delegates and Senators of the Virginia General Assembly were swearing into session Wednesday, there had already been efforts set in motion to end the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

A group of six delegates and three senators have sponsored resolutions that would amend the commonwealth’s Constitution to remove the 2006 voter-approved Marshall-Newman Amendment which defined marriage to be between one man and one woman.

Virginia state capitol in Richmond.

Virginia state capitol in Richmond.

Delegate Joseph Morrissey (D-Henrico County), who on Wednesday proposed the bill, is confident equality is inevitable, despite the current rough patch.

“I am not confident it’ll pass this year, but I do know this with absolute certainty: Our commonwealth and the country is on a irreversible path to allow same-sex marriages. When the Supreme Court of the United States overruled part of (the Defense of Marriage Act), they made it clear in their language that it is humiliating to children of same-sex marriage couples to have these restrictions,” Morrissey said.

“The point is, we’re on our way and hopefully it’ll get done this year, but it doesn’t make any difference, it’s on an irreversible course and we’re gonna get it done.”

Morrissey said he prepared his bill in the summer shortly after the SCOTUS struck down parts of DOMA, so he was ready to get his bills on its way this morning when the General Assembly officially opened.

This is all happening while Terry McAuliffe waits to move into the Governor’s Mansion later this week. Days after winning the gubernatorial election, McAuliffe said that his first executive order will be to ban discrimination against LGBT state employees, he’s also voiced his support for marriage equality, though he has not gone into detail on the subject.

Delegate Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon) was the patron of last year’s proposed amendment to remove the same-sex marriage ban. Megan Howard, Surovell’s legislative aide, said that McAuliffe’s imminent administration hadn’t played a role in in the drafting of this legislation.

“It’s been something he’s been consistently fighting for regardless of who the governor is. He feels like it’s the right thing to do and he’s trying to move this issue forward,” Howard said.

Gay marriage is actually banned twofold in Virginia: in the Code of Virginia and in the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, but Surovell’s trying to take down both. Howard said the Delegate has two bills in action, one to remove the ban in the Code, and another for the ban in the constitution.

Beyond the specific language of bills and the unequal message the state’s constitution sends, Virginia’s first openly gay senator Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, feels like the wave of support for same-sex marriage from elected officials shows Virginia is finally moving forward.

“Virginia is the birthplace of our civil liberties, and it’s time to catch up with forward-thinking states that allow equality,” Ebbin said. “Virginia is slowly waking up from its history and now is the time to prod it along.”

There isn’t much hope for the passage of the bills, however. Virginia’s Republican controlled house will likely kill any efforts in committee, but a floor vote on the issue would put the state’s elected officials on record over the issue for the first time since 2006.


© GayRVA.com. Virginia'a statewide LGBT news source.
An LGBTQ Nation media partner.
Share this article with your friends and followers:

Archives: ,

Filed under: Virginia, [ Trending ]

21 more reader comments:

  1. Someday Virginia will be for ALL lovers :)

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 9:48pm
  2. comeon Virginia be the first in the south to give equality to our lgbt sisters and brothers in va

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 9:48pm
  3. Darn it!!! Why don’t they Let people love each other and able to prove it….. Just wondering what would happen to have a license to be a parent…

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 9:48pm
  4. sometimes I want people to have licenses to be a parent.. it's a PRIVELAGE. Not a right!

    Replied on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 9:59pm
  5. yeah, but it's very authoritarian. who gets to say what's good parenting? :/

    Replied on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 3:07am
  6. This would be good news. Sometimes people need to read the heading carefully, or actually read the articles :)

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 9:51pm
  7. Wow

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 9:55pm
  8. The best revenge is to vote! These idiots are not life long rulers vote them all back to the caves they came out of. Its time to flex our muscle and vote

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 10:20pm
  9. go for it !

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 10:41pm
  10. Retrograde verdict!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 10:46pm
  11. With love from RVA ✌

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 1:13am
  12. if u need a license to be married, then u should need to license to have children

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 3:39am
  13. Good!

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 3:50am
  14. My home state :)

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 3:52am
  15. I hope this redneck piece of shit state finally gets its head out of its ass and does the right thing for a change

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 5:06am
  16. Go Virginia!

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 5:17am
  17. people should accept change

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 10:57am
  18. It is about time Virginia came into the years 2014, not 1932 anymore.

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 12:16pm
  19. It a US Supreme Court ruling to end the common wealth’s ban on interracial marriage.

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 1:39pm
  20. i hope so soon

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 3:06pm
  21. Virginia still has a law that you cannot serve liquor to Homosexuals.

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 3:34pm