Marriage Equality & Politics

Jul 11, 2013

On the heels of the recent Supreme Court decision striking down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, the Human Rights Campaign and other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations are throwing their support behind the three Democrats running for statewide office.

The candidates pledge that upon being elected to office they'll act to reverse certain restrictions on the LGBT community. But other officials say they will also champion the cause regardless of the election’s outcome.

The Democratic candidates for Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor, Senators Mark Herring and Ralph Northam, say a new poll suggests that more Virginians on both sides of the political aisle support marriage equality.  They believe none of the three Republican candidates are willing to set aside their personal beliefs to help change Virginia's Constitution. They also say this issue may play a huge role on what voters do in November—but then again—it may not.  So they were asked what will happen should the candidates not be elected. 

Senator Donald McEachin said no specific legislation has been drafted yet. "But the people of Virginia and particularly the fifth estate, the media, you all need to keep your eye on the ball on this one. Because this is a legislative prerogative. The change in the Constitution originated in the legislature, it's not subject to a Governor's veto, the only thing it's subject to is the 140 of us voting on it then the people of Virginia voting on it."
Senator Adam Ebbin added that with the Virginia ACLU now suing to overturn the state constitutional provision, he's confident that either through the legislative process or through the courts, changes inevitably will come.