Published: Monday, Aug. 3rd, 2020

Will Virginia remove discriminatory language from the State Constitution?

The Supreme Court may have established marriage equality for gay couples more than five years ago, but some states are still playing catch-up. Late last month, legislation introduced in Virginia sought to remove discriminatory language from their constitution, which currently only treats marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman. 


The update was proposed by representative Adam Ebin, of District 30 which includes Alexandria City, Arlington County, and Fairfax County. 


The proposal to repeal Section 15-A of Article I of the Constitution of Virginia removes the following language:


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.


Representative Ebin in meeting with civic leaders, taken from Ebin's website.


We are encouraged by this development, and regard it as part of a slow-but-steady effort to bring the commonwealth’s marriage law in line with national standards. 


Virginia continues to unjustly obstruct online-ordained ministers from registering to officiate weddings, and American Marriage Ministries will follow the situation and do everything that we can to support our Virginian ministers. 


Earlier this year, we were on the ground in Richmond with AMM Ministers to help legislators better understand our role in their communities. While the legislation failed to make it through committee, there is much widespread support for non-traditional ministers, and we are confident that the state will soon recognize the constitutional rights of our ministers.


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