In Virginia, marriage is strictly defined as a union between one man and one woman.There is no legal recognition of gay marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships in Virginia. Marriage attorneys are set to challenge the constitutionality of the the state's legal definition of marriage in Virginia.
Marriage was defined in
the Marshall-Newman Amendment which was ratified and added to the state's
constitution in 2006. The amendment explicitly defines marriage as a union of
an opposite sex couple. In Virginia, marriage attorneys are set to challenge
the validity of the law and its implications on equal rights for the LGBT
The Marshall-Newman Amendment explicitly denies legal recognition for same sex relationships in Virginia. Marriages and any agreements that result form a marriage, must be between opposite sex couples to ensure legality. In fact, the amendment is under fire for containing language that bans any legal contracts between same sex couples.
Many claim that the amendment removes many rights from same sex couples that they are otherwise afforded in many other states. In addition to prohibiting same sex marriages, the state also prevents legal recognition for any documentation that results form a same sex relationship. Perhaps, as many claim, the amendment prevents couples from entering into any legal contracts whatever.
These contracts could include wills, medical and legal powers of attorney, and ownership of joint property or assets. However, the law is not yet clear and is set to be challenged by several Virginia marriage attorneys. If in fact agreements between same sex couples are held to be invalid, The United States Supreme Court will certainly be asked to intervene.
Because of unclear laws, Virginia marriage attorneys may be hesitant to help same sex couples enter into any legal contracts at all. In fact, those contracts may be invalidated by the courts, based on the Marshall-Newman Amendment and attorneys may not wish to be involved in contracting agreements that will not be upheld by the courts.
In Virginia, marriages between same sex partners are prevented from being legally recognized, and any documentation that results form that relationship has the potential of being invalidated by the courts. Virginia marriage attorneys may advise same sex couples that their relationship is afforded no legal rights at all in Virginia. Marriages performed legally in other states, will also not be recognized in Virginia, unless they adhere to Virginia's laws. Currently, there is noting that resembles equal rights for the LGBT community in Virginia. However, legal challenges are likely to change that.