The Senate Privileges and Elections Committee passed 11 to 3, the proposed marriage amendment which defines marriage as between a man and a woman and also declines to recognize relationships of unmarried individuals that intend to “approximate the design … or effect of marriage."
This bill passed despite public passionate appeals and claims that the amendment could create legal headaches.
Conservatives, such as Bob Hodous, head of the Charlottesville Republicans, sees the bill as a good preemptive measure. "There's a provision in the US Constitution, called the 'Full Faith and Credit' clause which says one state must recognize what another state does. This makes it unclear as to what could happen in Virginia, so by amending the constitution we are protecting our laws."
Still, Blake Caravati from City Council says it's too soon to react. Mr. Caravati said, "I'm very disappointed, but the chickens haven't come home to the roost yet.”
And Mr. Caravati is right. To amend the Constitution, as with every bill, it must first pass in committee to get to the floor. Then it must pass through both the Senate and House in this assembly session, then again in 2006. Finally it will be voted on in a state–wide referendum in the 2006 November election.
With Republicans dominating both houses, it's likely to pass this session. Similar amendments have passed in eleven other states.