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Virginia's House delegation splits on Respect for Marriage Act vote


The House of Representatives voted in favor of a bill that would safeguard gay marriage and interracial marriage. But, it was a party-line vote among Virginia's delegation.

All seven Democrats representing Virginia in the House of Representatives voted in favor of the Respect for Marriage Act – protecting gay marriage as well as interracial marriage from future Supreme Court rulings. 47 Republicans voted in favor of the bill, which had wide bipartisan support. But none of those Republicans were from Virginia.

David Stacy at the Human Rights Campaign says he's disappointed in the lack of support from Virginia Republicans.

"I think it shows that the Republican members of Congress representing Virginia are ultra-conservative, MAGA types," Stacy says. "Obviously we used to have some Republicans in the delegation that were a little more moderate, and they were defeated by Democrats, including Spanberger and Luria and others."

Travis Weber at the Family Research Council says it’s unfortunate that the House voted to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act from 1996.

“It’s showing that we have many political leaders who put their finger in the wind and take their cues based on what those around them are going to say rather than what they believe to be sound policy,” Weber says. 

Several Senate Republicans have already signed on to the effort, and supporters are hopeful that they can identify 10 Republican Senators who will agree to help protect gay marriage and interracial marriage from potential Supreme Court rulings in the future.

Virginia's two Democratic Senators — Tim Kaine and Mark Warner — have said they'll vote yes on the measure.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.