The Virginia Senate on Feb. 19 approved a bill to repeal the state’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, bringing the issue one step closer to voters in 2022.
Senate Joint Resolution 270, sponsored by state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), would amend the section of Virginia’s constitution that addresses marriage and would repeal the 2006 amendment that blocked same-sex couples from legally marrying. The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell decision invalidated it.
The Senate’s 22-12 vote follows the Virginia House of Delegates’ 60-37 vote on Feb. 4 to repeal the amendment.
State Dels. Mark Sickles (D-Fairfax County) and Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington County) were the chief sponsors of the House version of the bill.
“For 15 years Virginia’s Constitution has enshrined a bigoted ban on equality,” Ebbin tweeted on Feb. 12 in the run up to the House vote. “It is not enough for the ‘marriage ban’ to be made inoperable by the Supreme Court. It must be repealed and replaced with an affirmative right to marry.”