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Proposed legislation in Virginia and Texas would protect same-sex marriage in 2023

Published Tuesday, Dec. 6th, 2022

Lawmakers in Virginia and Texas seek to codify same-sex marriage rights 



It’s that time of year again: That festive season when lawmakers around the country begin to pre-file proposed legislation for the coming year. 


As new bills and acts trickle in, two legislative measures stand out right away: Virginia House Joint Resolution 460 and Texas Senate Joint Resolution 15. Both of these bills would amend the states’ constitutions to protect same-sex marriage rights.



In Virginia, HJR 460 picks up where previous attempts left off to repeal Section 15-A of the state’s constitution and protect same-sex marriage rights. Section 15-A discriminates against same-sex couples by defining marriage a union only “between one man and one woman.”


Although the Section 15-A ban against same-sex marriage has been unenforceable since SCOTUS ruled in favor of marriage equality in 2015 (Obergefell v Hodges), anti-gay lawmakers have continued to vote against it’s removal. The ban could be reactivated if the Obergefell decision is ever overturned and sends a terrible message to LGBTQ+ couples and allies in the state… So let’s hope this resolution gets passed! 


Virginia’s Regular Session convenes on Jan. 11, 2023.


Read the full text for HJR 460 here. 


(Read about previous attempts to repeal this ban: Va. Republicans block bill to remove same-sex marriage ban from state constitution; Lawmakers in Florida and Virginia take steps to codify same-sex marriage)



In Texas, SJR 15 would repeal Section 32, Article I of the Texas Constitution to protect same-sex marriage rights. Section 32, Article I discriminates against same-sex couples by stating that marriage “shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman,” and prohibits recognition of “any legal status identical or similar to marriage,” such as civil unions. Similar legislation was introduced last year but failed to pass. 


Like the similarly defunct ban in Virginia’s constitution (and others), Section 32, Article I is unenforceable. But it poses a continued risk to LGBTQ+ couples and their families as long as it remains on the books, and sends a message that same-sex marriages are still not respected in Texas.


We’ll be keeping a close eye on this bill in the new year and will let you know if it comes to a vote. Texas’s Regular Session convenes January 10th, 2023.


Read the full text for SJR 15 here. 


What’s next… 
Stay up to date on marriage laws in your state


Lawmakers around the country will be proposing hundreds of new laws in the coming days and weeks as the 2023 legislative session draws closer. To stay informed on what’s new and what might change regarding marriage laws in your state, visit the AMM News Page on the blog, and subscribe to AMM’s Monthly Newsletter: 








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American Marriage Ministries is a non-profit, interfaith and non-denominational constitutional church that provides free ordination, advocacy, and training for our ministers to ensure that all people have the right to get married and to perform marriage. Learn more here.




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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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