West Virginia House says no to attempt to force vote on anti-LGBT marriage amendment
March 31, 2009
West Virginia delegates yesterday rejected attempts by a conservative evangelical group to force lawmakers to vote on sending an anti-LGBT amendment that would have defined marriage as between one man and one woman to the state's voters:
On Monday, Republicans in the House of Delegates tried to advance a bipartisan resolution that would define marriage in the state constitution, but the Democratic majority blocked their attempts. The "Marriage Protection Amendment" resolution (HJR5) introduced last month calls for a statewide referendum on whether to amend the constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. The measure has been stuck in the House Constitutional Revision Committee. On Monday, House Minority Leader Tim Armstead tried bring the resolution to the floor for a vote by moving to discharge it from committee. "The overwhelming majority of West Virginians have let us know in no uncertain terms they want us to take action on this issue," the Kanawha County Republican said, adding that 30 other states have approved constitutional amendments on marriage. "It's time for us to listen to the people we represent." ...But the House voted 67-30 -- almost entirely along party lines -- to postpone Armstead's motion indefinitely, meaning the resolution can't be considered again this session. Delegates also passed a motion to cut off debate on the issue.
The anti-LGBT group, which calls itself the The Family Policy Council of West Virginia, apparently has such fear and hatred for the gays that they weren't above harrassing elected officials to move their nasty amendment forward. But then again, that tactic didn't work in their favor, either:
Earlier this month, a telephone campaign by the Family Policy Council of West Virginia targeted House Judiciary Chairwoman Carrie Webster, D-Kanawha, and House Constitutional Revision Chairwoman Barbara Fleischauer, D-Monongalia. The council claimed the two delegates were blocking a ban on gay marriage, since their committees would have to approve the resolution. Webster, whose committee never saw the bill, said the campaign led to the harassment of her staff.
Watch West Virginia Public Broadcasting's video coverage on the yesterday's House action. The section on the marriage amendment starts at the beginning of the video and ends around 1:58:
May 20, 2013