Tuesday, May 10, 2011

VA: Poll finds Virginians split on gay marriage, but support increases; repeal of Marshall-Newman would be tough

Rosalind S. Helderman and Jon Cohen have a front page story in the Washington Post May 10, “Poll: VA. about evenly split on gay marriage; increase in acceptance marks big change since approval of ban in ‘06”, link here. The article refers to the Marshall-Newman Amendment which defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman in the Virginia constitution (ironically, its Bill of Rights).  It would be very difficult to repeal the amendment as a practical matter, even given the polls.  The amendment might have some beneficial side effects; for example, it might have a bearing if someone tried to challenge Virginia’s filial responsibility laws.

Virginia is one of 34 states where only legally married adults and single adults can adopt children, and the Virginia Board of Social Services recently declined to bar sexual orientation discrimination by adoption agencies. The poll found that 35% of respondents believed that same-sex couples should not adopt children.   

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