West Virginia House GOP to Force Vote on Gay Marriage Ban?

Earlier this month I reported that GOP House lawmakers in West Virginia were planning a "drastic" parliamentary move to force votes on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Looks like it could happen this week.

The Charleston Gazette reportsWv "House Republicans plan a series of procedural motions this week to force floor votes on proposals they say Democrats have allowed to die in committees. Those include a resolution (HJR5) that calls for a statewide referendum on whether to amend the constitution to define marriage, and a proposal (HJR104) to boost tax breaks for elderly and disabled people."

A move to force the tax measure failed on Monday.

The Charleston Daily Mail adds: "Republicans argue West Virginians want to see the legislation voted on by the full 100-member House.

Democrats suggest the Republican plan is nothing more than a waste of time and an attempt to score political points.

'The Republicans only seem to want to score election year points by trying to force debates and votes on issues like gay marriage,' state Democratic Party chairman Nick Casey said in a statement. …But Republicans contend the ban on gay marriage and the homestead exemption are serious issues that need urgent action.

Armstead said he wants to keep West Virginia from going through what California went through when a court legalized gay marriage."


  1. Disgusted American says

    ..I expect nothing less from the toothless wonders…bigoted A-holes of w.Va….since they have NO other problems there…r-i-g-h-t……like Id ever go to that redneck hillbilly place…eff’ them and thier hateful state…Both Va’s!

  2. says

    I actually don’t expect the referendum to pass, it’s just not how people are in West Virginia. We’re remarkably live and let live, and we tend to have all our teeth too. Some of us even work for major gay organizations.

    Hateful people are everywhere, they’re the minority, and they tend to be loud.

    But I would like to thank Towleroad for joining the publicity on WV Lobby Day for FairnessWV. It’s not precisely the beat I cover, but I appreciate those who do.

  3. In_The_Hills says

    disgusted american your comment is rather bigoted if you ask me. As a West Virginian i resent your comments about my state. If you followed anything from this state you would know that the democrats in the House and Senate have repeatedly kept this issue off the table so the voters of the state would never have to vote on it. Please get your facts straight and also remember that many states have put this on the ballot and us “toothless wonders” have kept it off the ballot.

  4. alexinboston says

    Well it’s that time again for a new Election cycle (2012) and that means it’s time for the GOP to bring out it’s favorite “Whipping Child” the GLBT community, for those states which have yet to marginalize their GLBT citizens this is their time to now effect Anti Gay marriage legislation through citizen initiatives and referendums brought forth by the brainless followers of O’reilly, Beck, Hannity and Coulter and of course the GOP!! Which then leads the Jeebus crowd to do their duty to their god by denying basic civil rights in the name of their Jeebus!!

  5. says

    DISGUSTED AMERICAN writes about “the toothless wonders…bigoted A-holes of w.Va…. that redneck hillbilly place.”

    As disappointing as these comments are, I expected them. When the Advocate website covered this story, a lot of people posted the same kinds of remarks.

    FOR THE RECORD: I spent my childhood in the Washington DC area before my family moved to West Virginia in 1974. Before coming here I had a lot of those same stereotypical attitudes. And YES, West Virginia is a socially conservative state, but the people here are no different than those in other semi-rural states. And anti-Gay marriage amendments have passed in many other so-called “progressive” states. So far we’ve been able to hold that off here.

    We have a lot of intelligent, articulate LGBT activists here in West Virginia that work tirelessly for our community, so it’s tremendously demoralizing for people outside of West Virginia to make these kinds of nasty, ad hominem remarks.

    I HOPE, if we succeed at defeating this divisive and unneeded amendment, TOWLEROAD will make note of it.

  6. says


    Republicans in West Virginia’s House of Delegates are making no headway in their efforts to force votes on stalled proposals from their agenda.

    The House voted 68-30 along party lines Tuesday to postpone an attempt to discharge one such proposal from committee.

    Tuesday’s measure seeks a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. After the vote postponing the motion, the committee that sets the House’s daily agenda removed it from the chamber’s calendar.

    The House Rules Committee similarly exiled a Monday GOP discharge motion into legislative limbo.

  7. shadow_man says

    To those of you using the Bible as a weapon against homosexuality, you are wrong. Homosexuality is not a sin. The Bible is constantly being taken out of context to support anti-gay views. Any educated Christian would know that. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, Greek temple sex worship, prostitution, pederasty with teen boys, and rape, not homosexuality or two loving consenting adults.


  8. shadow_man says

    For those of you claiming homosexuality is a “lifestyle”, that is a false and ignorant statement. Homosexuality is not a choice. Just like you don’t choose the color of your skin, you cannot choose whom you are sexually attracted to. If you can, sorry, but you are not heterosexual, you are bi-sexual. Virtually all major psychological and medical experts agree that sexual orientation is NOT a choice. Most gay people will tell you its not a choice. Common sense will tell you its not a choice. While science is relatively new to studying homosexuality, studies tend to indicate that its biological.

    Gay, Straight Men’s Brain Responses Differ

    There is overwhelming scientific evidence that homosexuality is not a choice. Sexual orientation is generally a biological trait that is determined pre-natally, although there is no one certain thing that explains all of the cases. “Nurture” may have some effect, but for the most part it is biological.

  9. shadow_man says

    The National Library of Medicine pubs confirm that sexual orientation is natural, biologically induced in the first trimester of pregnancy, morally neutral, immutable, neither contagious nor learned, bearing no relation to an individuals ability to form deep and lasting relationships, to parent children, to work or to contribute to society.

    From the American Psychological Association: homosexuality is normal; homosexual relationships are normal.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Asociation and American Psychiatric Asociation have endorsed civil marriage for same-sex couples because marriage strengthens mental and physical health and longevity of couples, and provides greater legal and financial security for children, parents and seniors.

    America’s premier child/mental health associations endorse marriage equality.

  10. Patric says

    While I appreciate much of what you are arguing, SHADOW_MAN, I must say that I am never completely comfortable when gay or lesbian people argue for our right to be treated equally under the laws by asserting that “homosexuality is not a choice” or that current science confirms that sexual orientation is “biologically induced in the first trimester of pregnancy.”

    I appreciate that, at a time when 48% of adults in this country continue to believe that homosexuality is immoral, the question of whether sexual orientation is chosen or not can be significant politically. I also appreciate that, under the equal protection analysis followed by the U.S. Supreme Court, the “immutability” of a trait is significant in determining whether discrimination on the basis of that trait warrants “strict scrutiny” by federal courts. Still, I hope that, as attitudes evolve, we will spend more time arguing, as you also do above, that there is nothing wrong with homsexuality and that sexual orientation, just like race and gender and other characteristics, tells us nothing about a person’s character or decency or their right to be treated in the same manner as others by law. Another argument which will be more appealing to some (more of a “privacy” argument) is that matters of sexual orientation are none of society’s damned business and are not therefore legitimate bases on which to determine someone’s rights to equal treatment under law. Though I do believe that I’ve always been gay, I think individual experiences vary (what about bisexuals? what about the many women for whom sexuality is more fluid?) and I don’t believe that there is scientific consensus that sexual orientation, whatever its roots, is established by birth (though it is my understanding that most credible experts believe that sexual orientation in males – not to be read as a necessary predictor of future behavior – is set by the age of 5 or 6). I hope that, increasingly, we will see this debate shift away from arguments which sound a lot like “We can’t help it that we’re this bad thing” to arguments which encourage people to discard learned bigotries and to accept and value the diversity of the human race in all of its many manifestations.

Leave A Reply