Richmond, VA – This morning, Virginia Republicans, for the second time, killed two historic bills: one that would have removed the shameful and discriminatory ban on same-sex marriage from our constitution and another that would have enshrined the automatic restoration of voting rights for people who have served their time and paid their debt to society into it.
Virginia Republicans have continued to put forward the same voting rights attacks that we’ve seen from them time and time again–choosing to continue to deny returning citizens of the commonwealth the right to vote after they’ve paid their debt to society. The amendment, which passed the General Assembly last year, would have made Virginia a leader in the area of rights restoration. Instead of championing this voting rights legislation like this, Virginia Republicans continue to suppress people’s right to vote in the commonwealth.
Virginia Republicans also had the opportunity to remove the ban on same-sex marriage from the Virginia constitution for the second time this session. But, instead of learning from their mistakes, they doubled down with the same response. Despite the legal recognition of marriage equality by the Supreme Court of the United States, the Virginia constitution will continue to include anti-LGBTQ+ language because of Virginia Republicans, showing a blatant disregard for the law of the land and the LGBTQ+ community.
“Virginia Republicans refuse to be on the right side of history when it comes to issues like voting rights and marriage equality,” said Susan Swecker DPVA Chair. “They continue to stoke the flames of hate by supporting bigoted language and policies that suppress people’s rights. Their efforts to pull us back in these areas will have significant impacts on returning citizens who’ve paid their debt to society and our LGBTQIA+ community members who don’t deserve to be discriminated against by our commonwealth’s constitution.”