November 20, 2013
The Washington Blade reports that two state legislators in Virginia have introduced a bill that would eventually repeal the state’s same-sex marriage ban. If the bill is passed in two legislative sessions, an amendment to repeal the same-sex marriage ban will go to Virginia’s voters in 2016.
Voters approved the ban in 2006:
Virginia voters in 2006 approved the so-called Marshall-Newman Amendment by a 57-43 percent margin.
A referendum on whether to repeal the amendment would take place in November 2016 only if members of the General Assembly approve Ebbin and Morrissey’s bills during the 2014 and 2016 legislative sessions. A Virginia House of Delegate subcommittee in January killed a proposal that state Del. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax) introduced seeking to repeal the commonwealth’s gay nuptials ban.
Surovell is expected to co-sponsor Morrissey’s measure.
“Change is coming across the country and eventually we’ll have marriage equality in Virginia,” Ebbin told the Washington Blade on Tuesday. “The road to marriage equality in Virginia might not be a short one, but we’ve got to make sure we’re on our way.”
According to polls from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the Washington Post, around 55 percent of Virginians support marriage equality. A different poll has suggested that when asked, only 36 percent of voters would support a ban on same-sex marriage.
Lambda Legal and AFER have two ongoing lawsuits challenging Virginia’s marriage ban in federal court. Lambda Legal’s suit is a class-action, while AFER, who litigated the challenge to California’s Prop 8, recently joined a federal challenge filed by several couples. Lambda Legal filed a motion for summary judgment in its case on September 30 and it can be read here. AFER’s motion for summary judgment in its case, filed the same day, can be read here.
Thanks to Kathleen Perrin for these filings