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Virginia’s marriage amendment declared unconstitutional

Catholic World News - February 14, 2014

A federal district court judge has ruled that Virginia’s marriage amendment, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, is unconstitutional.

Voters approved the measure by a 57%-43% margin in a 2006 referendum.

“The court is compelled to conclude that Virginia's Marriage Laws unconstitutionally deny Virginia's gay and lesbian citizens the fundamental freedom to choose to marry,” said Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen, whom President Barack Obama appointed to the bench.

“Government interests in perpetuating traditions, shielding state matters from federal interference, and favoring one model of parenting over others must yield to this country's cherished protections that ensure the exercise of the private choices of the individual citizen regarding love and family,” she added.

In recent weeks, the state’s bishops lamented the decision of Virginia’s new attorney general not to defend the marriage amendment in court.

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