Constitutional amendment; marriage (first reference). (SJ5)

Introduced By

Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston) with support from co-patron Del. Marcus Simon (D-Falls Church)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate


Constitutional amendment (first resolution); marriage. Proposes the repeal of the constitutional amendment dealing with marriage that was approved by referendum at the November 2006 election. That amendment to the Bill of Rights (i) defines marriage as "only a union between one man and one woman"; (ii) prohibits the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions from creating or recognizing "a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage"; and (iii) prohibits the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions from creating or recognizing "another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage." Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


12/04/2013Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/14 14101656D
12/04/2013Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
01/14/2014Continued to 2015 in Privileges and Elections (14-Y 0-N)


ACLU-VA LGBT Rights, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of Virginia supports the repeal of the amendment to the Virginia bill of rights that limits the freedom of Virginians to marry the person they love and prohibits any recognition of a relationship between two people other than a marriage between a man and a woman.

Claire Gastanaga writes:

The ACLU of Virginia supports the repeal of the Marshall-Newman amendment and the related statutes that deny the freedom to marry and all legal recognition for the relationships of same sex couples. With the national ACLU and Lambda Legal, we filed suit, Harris v. McDonnell, on August 1, 2013, challenging the Virginia laws as unconstitutional under the equal protection and due process clauses of the Federal Constitution.

Equality Virginia, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

Equality Virginia supports this bill because all Virginians should enjoy the fundamental human right to marry the person they love. This resolution that is the first step toward repealing the Marshall-Newman amendment to the Virginia Constitution that denies relationship recognition to gay and lesbian couples.