Gender-neutral terms; prohibitions on same-sex marriage and civil unions removed from Code. (HB623)

Introduced By

Del. Marcus Simon (D-Falls Church) with support from co-patron Del. Mark Levine (D-Alexandria)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Gender-neutral terms; prohibitions on same-sex marriage and civil unions removed from Code; certain gender-specific crimes; penalty. Replaces the terms "husband" and "wife," as well as related terms, with gender-neutral terms throughout the Code to comport with the United States Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (June 26, 2015). The bill also repeals the statutory prohibitions on same-sex marriages and civil unions or other arrangements between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges and obligations of marriage, and it makes conforming changes to various laws involving married individuals and their rights stemming from marriage. Further, the bill makes applicable to all persons, regardless of the gender of the victim, the crimes of (i) assisting or aiding in the abduction of or threatening to abduct a female under 16 years of age for the purpose of concubinage or prostitution; (ii) placing or leaving one's wife in a bawdy place; and (iii) defaming the chaste character of a female. The bill provides that a defendant placed on probation may be ordered to provide support for the defendant's spouse; currently, the law only provides for support of a defendant's wife. The bill also amends various criminal and criminal procedure laws to make them applicable to both same-sex and opposite-sex married couples. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/06/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20100908D
01/06/2020Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/08/2020Impact statement from VCSC (HB623)
02/04/2020Assigned Courts sub: Criminal
02/06/2020Impact statement from DPB (HB623)
02/06/2020Subcommittee recommends reporting (6-Y 1-N)
02/07/2020Reported from Courts of Justice (9-Y 8-N) (see vote tally)
02/09/2020Read first time
02/10/2020Read second time and engrossed
02/11/2020Read third time and passed House (57-Y 41-N)
02/11/2020VOTE: Passage (57-Y 41-N) (see vote tally)
02/12/2020Constitutional reading dispensed
02/12/2020Referred to Committee on the Judiciary
02/19/2020Reported from Judiciary with substitute (8-Y 5-N) (see vote tally)
02/19/2020Committee substitute printed 20108628D-S1
02/19/2020Rereferred to Finance and Appropriations
02/21/2020Impact statement from VCSC (HB623S1)
02/21/2020Impact statement from DPB (HB623S1)
02/26/2020Reported from Finance and Appropriations (11-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
02/27/2020Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/28/2020Read third time
02/28/2020Reading of substitute waived
02/28/2020Committee substitute agreed to 20108628D-S1
02/28/2020Passed by for the day
03/02/2020Passed by for the day
03/03/2020Read third time
03/03/2020Passed by temporarily
03/03/2020Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute HB623S1
03/03/2020Passed Senate with substitute (24-Y 16-N) (see vote tally)
03/04/2020Placed on Calendar
03/04/2020Senate substitute agreed to by House 20108628D-S1 (53-Y 43-N)
03/04/2020VOTE: Adoption (53-Y 43-N) (see vote tally)
03/12/2020Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB623ER)
03/12/2020Signed by Speaker
03/12/2020Signed by President
03/13/2020Impact statement from DPB (HB623ER)
03/17/2020Enrolled Bill communicated to Governor on March 17, 2020
03/17/2020G Governor's Action Deadline 11:59 p.m., April 11, 2020
04/09/2020G Approved by Governor-Chapter 900 (effective 7/1/20)
04/09/2020G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0900)


Ronald N Quasebarth writes:

What will we have next speech codes for religions, churches and more? This is only the beginning that will end up creating state speech code sections with legal authority to frighten all who step out of line.