VIRGINIA

Delegate proposes bill to remove same-sex marriage ban from Virginia state code

Delegate Marcus Simon (VA-53

Delegate Marcus Simon (VA-53

While same-sex marriage may be legal in Virginia thanks to the Supreme Court, the state’s law book still says otherwise.

But not if Delegate Marcus Simon (VA-53) has anything to say about it. He’s proposed a bill, HB05, which aims to remove the language banning same-sex marriage and unions from the state’s code of laws.

“The Supreme Court has told the General Assembly that we may no longer deny all Virginians the right to marry the one they love,” said Simon (top image) in a press release sent out today. “It’s now time to remove that offensive statute from the code books here in the Commonwealth.”

Simon’s bill points to two specific lines in the books – 20-45.2 and 20-45.3.

Take a look at the language of both laws below:

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20-45.2. addresses Virginia’s original ban on same-sex marriage, written in 1975 following the first same-sex marriage case to make headlines, Baker V. Nelson. Virginia was one of the five states who codified same-sex marriage bans within years of the now-debunked Minnesota case where two men wanted to wed but were denied and called “faggots” by the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS).

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20-45.3. deals with the Commonwealth being able to void any same-sex unions which couples might have entered into in other states, rending those unions moot as long as thed resided in the state.

Of course neither law is enforceable thanks to SCOTUS, but for Simon is about message the law still sends.

Simon has fought and lost this battle before, last year he authored HB1288 which would have similarly removed the words from the law books. That bill failed to make it out of committee.

The delegate was an outspoken supporter of LGBTQ issues in other ways as well. Last session he authored a bill which would have made it illegal to deny housing to someone because of who they love, but it also failed to make it out of committee.

Virginia’s history of keeping out of date laws on the books doesn’t end at same-sex marriage bans. It took 11 years for the state to remove the language banning sodomy which was banned in the famous 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case.


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