January 13, 2006
The nature of marriage changes from state to state, but in the Commonwealth, lawmakers are trying to give it a clearer definition. The House of Delegates re-visited the issue for the second time in two years and once again voted to ban gay marriage.
The General Assembly reconvened Wednesday and has already taken up the controversial issue of gay marriage for the second time. Passing a constitutional Amendment takes two years, which is why they've seen it twice.
"After it passes the House it will go over to the Senate to be considered by the Senate and obviously if it passes the Senate it will ultimately go before the citizens of Virginia for Referendum. This is not something that the General Assembly can decide on it's own because it's the constitution," said De. Rob Bell (R) 58th-District.
This means we may see the issue on ballots this November. But Virginians stand on both sides. Proponents sight religious reasons and opponents see it as discrimination.
"Biblically it's not in the bible, it's not supposed to happen, but I believe if people are doing what makes them happy and they are not hurting anyone else, to me I think it's ok," said Virginian voter Derrick Blair.
The Assembly reconvenes for 60 days to sort out many issue.
"The bills on the sex crimes, the bills on fixing eminent domain, the bills on transportation, they're all in the committees and so the committees will do their work and for the next couple weeks and then they'll come before the whole house to look at," said Bell.
One Amendment ignited by a local woman is to protect law enforcement in the curse and abuse statute.
"Currently in areas of Virginia you can curse and abuse a police officer and there is no recourse whatsoever--it's considered in the normal course of their business and I think that's wrong," said Mary Loose Deviney who helped create the amendment.
The issue will be heard in the Senate Courts of Justice one of the committees on Monday.
The General Assembly reconvened on Wednesday for a 60 day session.