State Senator introduces bill to repeal same-sex marriage ban
RICHMOND -- A Virginia lawmaker introduced a measure last week to start the process to repeal the state's 2006 constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Alexandria Democratic Senator Adam Ebbin's bill was joined by companion legislation introduced in the House of Delegates by Richmond Democrat Joseph Morrissey.
According to political analysts in Richmond, the effort to repeal the 2006 constitutional amendment, which was approved in 2006 by a 57-percent-to-43-percent majority of voters statewide, is a long-shot at best to even gain passage out of committee and then to a full vote by both houses.
Public support over the intervening seven years since 2006 has increased in Virginia for same-sex marriage with a July Quinnipiac University poll showing that fifty percent of registered Virginia voters support same-sex marriage compared to 43 percent who don’t.
Politicos also note that GOP legislative opposition is somewhat mitigated by the election of an incoming Democratic Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General, who as the state's top three elected executives have publicly supported same-sex marriage.
To repeal the 2006 amendment, legislation would have to pass the General Assembly two times with an intervening election, then would go on the ballot in the next succeeding general election. If it won first passage in the 2014 session, the measure would have to again pass the legislature in the 2016 session after the next state election, meaning the earliest the measure could go before voters would be November 2016.
A measure introduced in the 2013 session failed to make it out of a House sub-committee and had no Senate sponsorship.
The constitutional amendment that banned marriage equality approved by the General Assembly passed on votes of 73-22 in the House of Delegates and 29-11 in the state Senate, and had bipartisan support. It later passed the statewide vote with 57.1 percent of the vote.