Wednesday, February 18, 2004

RICHMOND — The Virginia Senate approved this week a resolution urging the U.S. Congress to pass a constitutional amendment banning homosexual “marriage.”

The bill passed on a 29-11 vote with no debate. It now heads to the House Rules Committee, where a nearly identical resolution on the House side passed earlier in the session.

“[The resolution would] enshrine in the Constitution effectively what is Virginia law today, and that is that marriage is between one man and one woman and that there are no analogous relationships under law,” said Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, Fairfax County Republican and the bill’s sponsor.

Mr. Cuccinelli and others worry recent protests on the topic are part of an overall strategy by homosexuals, who he thinks plan to “dismantle sodomy laws” and “get education about homosexuals and AIDS in public schools.” On Friday in a 79-18 vote, the House passed a bill that affirms the state’s ban on homosexual “marriage.” It is expected to pass the Senate.

The majority of lawmakers say marriage is under attack nationwide, with court decisions allowing homosexual “marriage” in Massachusetts and the issuing of “marriage” licenses to same-sex couples in San Francisco.

The House version of the resolution, authored by Virginia Beach Republican Robert F. McDonnell, passed on a 77-18 vote last month. It heads to the Senate Rules Committee and will likely pass.

The legislation would have to be approved by Democratic Gov. Mark Warner. It is unknown if he will support it, but he said previously he believed it was unnecessary because Virginia law already bans same-sex “marriage.”

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