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SSM FPP-in-Progress: Virginia

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Requested Information for Each State:

  • Background of the relevant laws and court cases
  • Links to the actual text of bills, rulings, opinions, statements from government officials, etc. to date
  • Links to profiles and human interest stories about the plaintiffs and other affected couples in the state
  • Suggested draft text for various potential outcomes
  • Links to previous MeFi posts about SSM in that state

Please sign your user name on each state page you work on so that whomever eventually posts that state's FPP can thank everyone who contribute.

Virginia Factoids

  • The Commonwealth of Virginia was also the defendant in Loving v. Virginia. The Supreme Court ruling in this case in 1967 voided state laws banning interracial marriage in the US.
  • The Martin Agency, based in Richmond, VA, came up with the slogan "Virginia is for lovers" in 1969 to promote tourism in the state.
  • The Williams Institute estimated there were about 14,243 same-sex couples living together in Virginia as of 2010 based on their analysis of census data.
  • Virginia officially refers to itself as the "Commonwealth of Virginia" rather than the "State of Virginia". This doesn't really mean anything, but it explains references to "the Commonwealth" and "the Commonwealth's Attorney General" rather than "the State Attorney General".

Marshall-Newman Amendment

In 2006, the Commonwealth of Virginia approved a constitutional amendment banning state recognition of same-sex marriages as well as civil unions for unmarried couples. Constitution of Virginia, Article I, Section 15-A

Text of the amendment:

That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions. This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.

The ballot measure was approved by voters 57% to 43%. Voter turnout was 53%. Virginia Department of Electons, 2006 General Elections

Legislation passed in 1975 already prohibited same-sex marriages in Virginia, and an amendment passed in 1997 prohibited the recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states. Senate Bill No. 884, a bill to amend and reenact § 20-45.2 of the Code of Virginia, relating to same sex marriages

Bostic v. Rainey

In 2013, Timothy Bostic and Tony London sued the Commonwealth's Attorney General after being denied a marriage license by the Norfolk Circuit Court. They were later joined in the suit by Carol Schall and Mary Townley, a Virginia couple who had been legally married in California.

Appeals court seems divided

Harris v. Rainey

The following users contributed to this page:

--Nangar (talk) 00:28, 21 July 2014 (UTC)