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Gay Marriage Laws in Virginia

Gay Marriage Laws in VirginiaIn 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

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.