News (USA)

Virginia is about to protect gay & lesbian couples’ right to marry

Virginia is for (all) lovers

While Virginia is on the path to repealing its useless constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage (as the Supreme Court ruling that legalized marriage equality nullified the amendment years ago), state lawmakers have come up with a workaround.

With both chambers held by Democrats, legislators are pushing a bill that would make it illegal to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples who seek a marriage license.

The legislation has already passed the House of Delegates with bipartisan support and is on a fast track to passing the state Senate.

The Senate’s Courts of Justice Committee passed the bill out of committee yesterday. The bill will now go to the full chamber, where it is expected to pass.

The bill “provides that no person authorized to issue a marriage license shall deny the issuance of such license to two parties contemplating a lawful marriage on the basis of the sex, gender, or race of the parties. The bill also requires that such lawful marriages be recognized in the Commonwealth regardless of the sex, gender, or race of the parties.”

As with national law, “religious organizations or members of the clergy acting in their religious capacity shall have the right to refuse to perform any marriage.”

The General Assembly passed legislation in 2021 that will repeal the state’s constitutional amendment, but Virginia law requires that it pass two successive sessions before being sent to voters to ratify the repeal. The resolution has been delayed so far in this session.

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