Gay Marriage: Should Virginia Vote Again?

Supreme Court cites human rights and "dignity" in marriage decision. Is it time for Virginia to reconsider?

A number of gay couples applied for marriage licenses in Arlington County on Valentine's Day 2013, despite knowing they could not get a marriage license. Patch file photo/Rachel Hatzipanagos
A number of gay couples applied for marriage licenses in Arlington County on Valentine's Day 2013, despite knowing they could not get a marriage license. Patch file photo/Rachel Hatzipanagos

By Greg Hambrick

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that federal benefits should be available to married gays and lesbians, but the court punted a more controversial question about the legality of gay marriage bans, like the one in Virginia.

The court did not decide on the legality of state bans like Virginia's. In a 5-4 majority, the court decided that a challenge to gay marriage in California failed on technical reasons limited to that case.

What do you think? Is it time for legislators and Virginia voters to revisit the state's marriage ban? Tell us why in the comments.

The ACLU's Rebecca Glenberg told Virginia Public Radio that the ACLU's lobbying arm will be reaching out to Virginia lawmakers regarding the state's ban.

In 2006, 57 percent of Virginia voters supported the state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Del. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax) introduced legislation to repeal Virginia's gay marriage ban, but it failed in committee.

Intuitive Leaper June 30, 2013 at 08:17 AM
Countries Allowing Gay Marriage Include: New Zealand, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands, France, Canada, Belgium Countries Which Punish Gays Include: Iran, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Nigeria, Somalia Which group would you like to see America included in?
Rich (That's my name, not my status) June 30, 2013 at 08:52 AM
Don't have a prob with civil unions, but MARRIAGE is between a man and a woman. What other countries do is none of our business and should not be a factor is what we do here. You do or don't like what another country does, then do or don't go there.
Barbin June 30, 2013 at 09:34 AM
If gay marriage completes a couple, and it is apparent it does, then Virginia needs to set about legalizing gay marriage. So many problems faced by gay couples will be ended. And gay marriage does not pose problems for any of the rest of us. No one has said that religions have to recognize gay marriage--that's between the members and their church hierarchy. I love being in my straight marriage of more than forty years. I don't see why other couples should not enjoy the same. State of Virginia: get on with it!
aab June 30, 2013 at 09:49 AM
Does Virginia want to be the caboose of the equality train? We should never been allowed to vote on a groups equal rights- in the first place; and I am hoping Virginia's courts will follow SCOTUS, and find the Va marriage amendment and the Marshall/Newman amendment unconstitutional. The practical implications of the DOMA overturn.. married couple in one state that moves to Va will be un-married. Why would someone take a job in Virginia. Businesses won't want to move her (ie) FBI is looking at either Maryland or Va for relocation--I think Va has just taken themselves out of the running.
Locally Involved June 30, 2013 at 10:45 AM
Yes. If you accept the premise that the objective of our state representatives (governor on down) is to represent the view of Virginians, then it is clear that a plurality of Virginians support marriage equality (just google "poll virginia gay marriage"). Sadly, this has not been true of the current representation in Richmond.
Sally Linderman June 30, 2013 at 11:39 AM
All the laws accorded Married Couples (unions between a man and a woman) should be changed to include Civil Unions (union between man/man and woman/woman). However, the term Marriage should remain between a man and a woman. Civil Unions are same sex unions. In a nutshell, give same sex couples the same laws accorded married couples, but maintain the distinction between Marriage and Civil Unions.
Locally Involved June 30, 2013 at 11:45 AM
Sally - Looking for some clarity on your comment. In the eyes of the state and law (and technically, justice should be blind), why should there be any distinction between a civil union and marriage?
aab June 30, 2013 at 12:22 PM
Rights and privileges are given to those that are "married"--not to those that are civil union-ed. That was why DOMA was unconstitutional on the federal level. Laws use that word to carry weight. You would have to legally say civil unions = marriage in all contexts.....and if that were the case....then what is your point. Seems pretty silly to be fighting for a word.
bill mcnair June 30, 2013 at 12:48 PM
Completely agree Aab...besides the idea of fighting for a word, the whole argument comes across time and time again as simple bigotry. Of course those who disagree with gays being 'allowed' to use the word 'marriage' won't see that, but at the end of the day, it's simple bigotry.
bill mcnair June 30, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Oh and to further explain why you can't reserve 'marriage' for mixed-sex and 'civil union' for same-sex; separate but equal didn't work for black people and separate but equal won't work for gays. Again, it all comes down to simple bigotry.
Sharon G July 01, 2013 at 09:18 PM
Of course it should. Live and let live. A straight man, Joe, went into a Subway shop. The man ahead of him ordered a turkey sub. The woman behind the counter asked Joe if he wanted a turkey sub as well. Joe said no, that was what the other customer wanted and that had nothing to do with Joe. What does gay marriage have to do with straight folks? Why are straights scared? Their lives will be affected how? It's time for Virginians to do the right thing.
Rich (That's my name, not my status) July 02, 2013 at 08:29 AM
Separation of church and state is the law of the land, and it is the correct law of the land. Marriage was an institution ushered in by religion and it should stay within those confines. Civil Unions are a function of the state and they should administered there. ALL persons being joined in marriage and agree to be bound by those rules, must abide by those marriage rules. ALL persons being joined by the government in a civil union and agree to be bound by those rules, must abide by those civil rules. Religion should make their rules and the government should make theirs, and neither should force their way on the other.
aab July 02, 2013 at 10:07 AM
Rich, I would agree, except that the word "marriage" is written into laws carries benefits and responsibilities that go with that word. Right now the words civil union does not equal marriage.
aab July 02, 2013 at 10:15 AM
can't say it any better than Rachel Maddow "Gay people exist. There's nothing we can do in public policy that makes more of us exist, or less of us exist. And you guys have been arguing for a generation that public policy ought to essentially demean gay people as a way of expressing disapproval ofthe fact that we exist, but you don't make any less of us exist. You just are arguing in favor of more discrimination, and more discrimination doesn't make straight people's lives any better." Rachel Maddow to Gov Demint and Ralph Reed on Meet The Press sunday
bill mcnair July 02, 2013 at 10:34 AM
Rich, I wouldn't agree at all. Your comment only attempts to shield bigotry.


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