A Virginia House of Delegates subcommittee on Monday voted 6-1 to kill a proposal that would have repealed the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
Delegate Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax) introduced HJ665 on Jan. 9, the first day of the current legislative session. He told the Washington Blade after the vote he feels “people affirming their love to each other and living in committed relationships is a universal human right.”
“It’s a civil right,” Surovell said. “I don’t think that the constitution should prohibit the government from recognizing people’s love and commitment to each other solely because of their sexual orientation. I think it’s wrong and it’s hateful.”
Delegate Rob Krupicka (D-Alexandria,) who is among the more than two dozen legislators who co-sponsored HJ665, expressed disappointment that the House Privileges and Elections Constitutional Amendments Subcommittee killed the proposal.
“Virginia is going to have to re-visit this issue either because the public demands it, because we are forced to by the Supreme Court or because corporations make it clear that they’d rather move to D.C. or Maryland in order to protect their employees,” he told the Blade in a statement. “Marshall-Newman is so broadly worded, that it puts even basic contracts in question. Ultimately, I’d like us to be talking about an amendment to add marriage freedom to our constitution. But as today’s action shows, we have work to do to even allow for basic contract rights between two people.”
Delegate David Toscano (D-Charlottesville) agreed.
“I did not support the Marshall-Newman amendment when it passed and believe the time is now for it to be repealed,” he said.
Virginians in 2006 approved the amendment by a 57-43 percent margin.
A similar ban passed in neighboring North Carolina in May by a 61-39 percent margin.