News (USA)

Gay marriage supporters rally in Va. for annual Valentine’s Day demonstration

RICHMOND, Va. — About 50 people gathered in front of the John Marshall Court House Building in Richmond, Va. on Thursday for an annual Valentine’s Day demonstration to support same-sex marriage.

The event, “Witness for Marriage,” was celebrated for the ninth consecutive year and was organized by both religious and political groups to coincide with similar events taking place in four other cities across the state.

“We are gathering, once again, for the justice of the right to marry in the Commonwealth of Virginia” said Reverend Jeanne Pupke of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond.

“It is unfortunate that our county clerk… will only have to receive our applications (for marriage) because he is not allowed for justice to come forward,” she said.

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Virginia is one of 41 states where gays and lesbians are not able to legally marry, and Virginia has in place a constitutional ban on recognizing any unions other than a marriage between a man and a woman. The Marshall Newman amendment, which codified this language, was signed into law after being placed on the ballot in 2006.

At a press conference this morning in Richmond, seven elected officials stood in support for marriage equality and efforts to repeal the Marshall-Newman Amendment: Del. Scott Surovell, Sen. Adam Ebbin, Del. Kaye Kory, Del. Betsy Carr, Del. Rob Krupika, Del. Alfonso Lopez and Del. Mark Keam.

Similar gatherings were held Thursday in Arlington, Charlottesville, Hampton, and Winchester, Va.

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