Friday, March 24, 2023

Virginia Senate Approves Removing Same-Sex Marriage Ban from State’s Constitution

The Virginia Senate Monday approved a proposed constitutional amendment to remove same-sex marriage ban from state’s Constitution. Four Republicans joined the effort, which was killed in the House last week.The move passed with a 25-14 vote.

The amendment would allow Virginia voters to make the decision repeal a provision in the state Constitution that defines marriage as “only a union between one man and one woman” in the November election. Despite the vote, prospects for the amendment to be revived looked dim after House Republicans rejected the proposal.

Democrats used their majority in the General Assembly last year to pass the measure. But the proposed constitutional amendment required a second vote by the legislature this year to be added as a voter referendum in November during the midterm elections. House democrats reported that they would try to revive the proposal for a full floor vote Tuesday.

In 2006, Virginia voters approved a constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage. A panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down that ban in 2014 and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a right guaranteed under the Constitution in 2015.

While the vote in the House will likely retain the language in the Constitution, it would not impact the legality of gay marriage.

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