The Virginia House of Delegates voted Thursday to repeal the state’s constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage and replace it with one that affirms marriage equality.
Delegates voted 60-33 to repeal the Marshall-Newman amendment that voters approved in 2006. A federal judge in 2014 ruled both the amendment and a previous 1975 statute banning marriage for same-sex couples were unconstitutional, yet both have remained on the books.
State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) sponsored legislation in 2015 to update the Virginia’s statutes banning marriage and civil unions for same-sex couples. Initial efforts failed to pass.
“After several years of fighting, it’s time
for our code to finally reflect the law of the land,” Ebbin tweeted following
last year’s House vote to repeal the ban in the Virginia Code.
The statutory repeal finally passed the General Assembly and was signed into law last session by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.
Thursday’s vote took aim at the constitutional ban. Two successive legislatures must approve a repeal bill before the issue goes before voters.
“We have to pass it again in 2022,” state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) tweeted following the Feb. 4 House vote. “And then it goes to the voters.”
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