Legislators Fight for Gay Marriage in Virginia - ABC 8NEWS - WRIC | Richmond, Virginia News & Weather

Legislators Fight for Gay Marriage in Virginia

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RICHMOND (WRIC)—Same-sex couples looking to tie the knot might not have to travel out of state, that's if a ban is repealed on gay marriage in the Commonwealth.

Back in 2006, a measure defining marriage as only between a man and a woman was approved by referendum. Now, some state Democrats are hoping to repeal that ban, saying it's only a matter of time before it is overturned.

While an increasing number of states are moving toward allowing same-sex marriage, Virginia lawmakers have repeatedly killed proposals that would do the same. But some Democrats will make another attempt this session.

"This is the start of something that will pass, if not this year … if not next year, soon," said Sen. Adam Ebbin, a Democrat representing Virginia's 30th District in Alexandria.

Sen. Ebbin, joined by fellow Democrats and gay rights activists, is introducing a resolution to repeal Virginia's amendment that currently defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and forbids the Commonwealth to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

"The leaders of our Commonwealth who continue to hide behind the distortion that God only wants to marry one man and one woman have chosen to lock God up in a box and throw away the key," said Dr. Rev. Robin Gorsline, of People of Faith for Equality in Virginia.

Sen. Donald McEachin, who represents Virginia's 9th District in Richmond, said, "I do believe that Virginia is on an irreversible course towards equality for all of her citizens."

Advocates hope mounting pressure from Supreme Court decisions in other states allowing same-sex marriages will earn support from critics.

"We hope all that momentum puts pressure on people to realize that it is the right thing to do," said James Parrish of Equality Virginia.

Delegate Bob Marshall, a Republican representing Virginia's 13th District in Northern Virginia, is against the proposal, calling it fraud and unnatural.

"You might as well repeal the rising of the sun and the setting of the moon; marriage is what it is," Marshall said. "They don't provide any definitions of what marriage is; they just say two guys can do it or two ladies can do it and frankly, there's no reason why you should stop with two."

A spokesperson for House Republicans says GOP legislators are disappointed that Democrats would choose to make divisive social issues a centerpiece of their legislative agenda.

 

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