Part of this was because the media continues to report that the Marshall-Newman Amendment passed in 2006 banned gay marriage in Virginia. That is not correct. The ban dates to 1975 and is contained in the Code of Virginia. The Marshall-Newman Amendment reaffirms the ban and constitutionalizes it. Removing the language from the Constitution of Virginia will not legalize gay marriage in Virginia without removing it from the Code - it will only make it possible.
Last year, I introduced legislation to repeal the Marshall-Newman Amendment. It died in subcommittee on a party-line vote.
This year, the leadership of the House of Delegates has announced that they are not going to provide hearings for any first reference constitutional amendments (amendments that have not been passed in prior sessions). However, I introduced legislation (HB 939) to remove both (1) the prohibition on same sex marriage and (2) the prohibition on recognition of out-of-state gay marriages or civil unions from the Code of Virginia.
The legislation will be heard Monday, January 19, 2014 after the floor session in the Courts of Justice Civil Subcommittee.
There are many reasons to support gay marriage in Virginia and I have created an infographic at the below highlighting the five of the best reasons (click to enlarge).
|Delegate Scott Surovell's Top Five Reasons to Support Marriage Equality|
You can also email the members of the Courts of Justice Civil Subcommittee whose information can be found here: