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Va. House approves bill giving lawmakers standing to defend gay marriage ban

Monday, February 3, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. — Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates want to give lawmakers standing in lawsuits where the attorney general and governor have chosen not to participate.

Va. House of Delegates

Va. House of Delegates

The GOP-controlled House approved a bill Monday giving themselves that power.

The bill, approved on a largely party-line 65-32 vote, is a response to Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring’s decision to fight Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Herring announced last month that he will join gay couples in two federal lawsuits challenging the ban. Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has supported Herring’s move.

Republicans in the GOP-controlled House said McAuliffe and Herring had abandoned their duty to uphold the state’s laws, regardless of their personal views.

But Democrats argued that Herring had a duty to act as he did once he concluded that the state law violates the federal Constitution, which trumps state constitutions.

The measure was authored by Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah County, and Del. Bob Marshall, R-Prince William County. Marshall was a principal architect of the 2006 state constitutional amendment, which was approved by 57 percent of voters in a statewide referendum.

House Democrats scoffed at the bill, arguing that a state legislature has no legal standing to interject itself into a federal court proceeding.

“What a novel concept,” said Del. Joe Morrissey, D-Henrico County, told The Virginian-Pilot. “If you ask any law school professor or constitutional scholar, they will tell you with absolute certainty that no General Assembly can give or confer standing in federal court.”

The House-passed measure faces uncertain prospects in the Senate, where there is an even split between Republicans and Democrats and Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam has the power to break tie votes.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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39 more reader comments:

  1. Good. Now it can’t be dismissed based on procedural grounds in court and the ban can just be overturned flat-out :-D

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 7:56pm
  2. So would it be safe to put the names of republicans in my Death Note? :)

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 7:56pm
  3. It would be better to get equal rights and rub it on their faces.

    Replied on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 8:02pm
  4. ^That's more realistic. I watch too much Anime, lol.

    Replied on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 8:03pm
  5. Well if you do Andy be sure to put a nice flourish to your pen strokes ;)

    Replied on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:13pm
  6. Oh, don't worry. Although I use keyboards for the majority of the time, my penmanship is still very elaborate :-) *evil laugh*

    Replied on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 12:56am
  7. Umm. I don’t think “standing” works that way in Federal court. They’re free to try, I guess.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 7:58pm
  8. Umm, nice try… last I checked, federal courts are not beholden to the whims of a bunch of bigoted state lawmakers. Good luck getting a seat in the galley, much less standing.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 8:04pm
  9. Jeez louise

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 8:04pm
  10. Virginia: the most backwoods fucking state in the US, despite being right next to DC. We just got rid of the co-habitation and oral-sex laws within the last 5 years, and it’s still perfectly ok to beat your kids because it’s “corporal punishment” – which is allowed. I mean what the actual fuck. I’m ashamed to say I live and come from here. These anti-LGBTQ laws they’ve passed violate the constitution outright. LGBTQ peoples are still just that – PEOPLE and under the constitution deserve equal right, treatment, protections, and benefits as those who are not LGBTQ.

    FUCK YOU ASSHOLES, I AM EQUAL TO YOU!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 8:04pm
  11. My new favorite phrase, "I mean what the actual fuck."

    Replied on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 8:06pm
  12. More hate!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 8:09pm
  13. Figues!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 8:12pm
  14. Republicans spending tax payers money.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 8:19pm
  15. OMG I’m so thankful I moved away to Charlotte N.C

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 8:23pm
  16. Assholes! Do they not get it they are going to LOSE!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 8:32pm
  17. celibate society

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 8:40pm
  18. The Supreme Court needs to make an overall ruling to get rid of all of this mess

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 8:42pm
  19. Its funny how the repubs keep saying the voters already decided this issue and we should stick to it,but do they not know all of these bans against SSM were voted on 10 years ago?! people change and attitudes change in that time frame I’ll bet if all the states that have bans did a re vote now we would see a few more states join in full equality a lot more people are accepting now versus 19 years ago.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 8:48pm
  20. FUCK YOU PIECES OF SHIT! VIRGINIA… LIKE THE REST OF THE WORLD WILL BE OWNED BY GAYS AND ALL THE STRAIGHT PPL WHO OPPOSE EQUALITY WILL BE SORRY!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:08pm
  21. Yeah, like THAT won’t be challenged… have these jerks not heard of separation of church and state?

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:17pm
  22. Go ahead give them rope to hang.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:53pm
  23. Face Palm GOP

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:08pm
  24. Virginia lawmakers giving THEMSELVES standing in lawsuits? Isn’t that a little like letting the ‘crazies’ be in charge of the asylum???

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:18pm
  25. Grow up people!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:26pm
  26. time for them to all be replaced! Let them read the constitution!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:43pm
  27. I’m from Virginia, but I left in 2012 for Vermont, where I’m treated equally under the law. Moving was the best thing I ever did.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 12:22am
  28. I LIVE IN THIS STATE THIS IS HORSE SHIT !!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 1:09am
  29. All I ask for Me and My Future Husband to Stand looking at each other With Tears going down our face b/c where in love that much it's time to let us be with the ones we love b/c DAMN IT WE PAY TAXES TOO DAMN IT WHERE PEOPLE TOO DAMN IT WE JUST need to get out of the stone ages Listen MY LOVE FOR HIM IS DEEP SOMETHING MOST OF YOU LAWMAKERS DONT UNDERSTAND B/C YOU OUT TAPPING OTHER WOMEN NOT LOVING ONE YOUR SUPPOSE TO BE WITH JUST LIKE US WE WANT TO LOVE EACH OTHER AND STILL YES BE ABLE TO MAKE DECISIONS IN OUR LIFE THAT YOU REFUSE US THIS IS BULLSHIT !!!

    Replied on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 1:12am
  30. The party of hate discrimination and evil is at it again not concerned about your capitalist economy but taking gay peoples rights away time to for us to play defense a cyber attack on them would be justified.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 1:45am
  31. God, these people are STUPID. You can’t grant yourself standing in a Federal court, as they would know if they weren’t fucking idiots.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 1:58am
  32. they dont get it ,it is still unconstitutional and can not be enforced

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 2:05am
  33. i’m ashamed to call VA my home state. It’s time to move.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 3:12am
  34. Nicely done. Good thing California hadn’t thought of this. That would have gotten a whole different outcome from Hollingsworth v. Perry, which overturned California’s Proposition 8 this past summer.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 4:14am
  35. Matters not. #LGBT already defeated their collective imaginary friend.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:14am
  36. We must stop calling this, “Gay” Marriage or “Same sex” marriage. It should just be called, HUMAN Marriage. If we don’t refer to ourselves as human, no one else will either…..

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 1:06pm
  37. and it will fail in the senate… the democrats control it…

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 2:31pm
  38. WELCOME TO AMERICA: where Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is for Straight Men, but not for Gay Men…….this smells like the German Military Leaders of WWII who invented the PINK TRIANGLE, sew it to the clothing of Gay Men, shot them, then threw them into the ovens: WELCOME TO VIRGINIA…

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 2:51pm
  39. People, RELAX. It has to go through both chambers of our state legislature and it WILL fail in the Senate.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 3:06pm