Virginia Question 1, Marriage Amendment (2006)

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Virginia Constitution
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The Virginia Marriage Amendment was on the November 7, 2006 ballot in Virginia, where it was approved.[1][2]


District court ruling

The amendment was struck down as unconstitutional by U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen on February 13, 2014.[3]

Court of appeals ruling

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit became the second federal court to make a ruling about same-sex marriage on July 28, 2014. This decision supported the previous decision by Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen, who struck down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban earlier in 2014.[4]

In their decision, the court said:[5]

The choice of whether and whom to marry is an intensely personal decision that alters the course of an individual’s life. Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance.


As a decision made by a federal appeals court, this decision also has an impact on similar measures in North Carolina and South Carolina.

United States Supreme Court

On October 6, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear the case, thus allowing the ruling of the Fourth Circuit Court to stand and legalizing same-sex marriage in Virginia.[7]

Election results

Virginia Question 1 (2006)
OverturnedotOverturned Case:Bostic v. Rainey 
Yes 1,328,537 57.06%

Election Results via: Virginia State Board of Elections

Ballot wording

The ballot wording said:

"Shall Article I (the Bill of Rights) of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to state: "That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions. This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.?"

Campaign finance

Donors to the campaign for the measure:[8]

  • VA4 $354,135
  • VIrginia Catholic Conference: $27,567
  • Building a Better Virginia-Referendum Committee: $18,782
  • Focus on the Family Marriage Amendment Committee: $14,686
  • Total: $415,170

Donors to the campaign against the measure:

  • Commonwealth Coalition Inc.: $1,399,803
  • Equality Virginia Referendum CMTE: $148,337
  • Total: $1,548,139
  • Overall Total: $1,963,309

Related measures

Voters in 30 states have approved legislatively-referred constitutional amendments or initiated constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriages at the ballot box. The first constitutional prohibition was in 1998, and the latest one occurred in May 2012. Most of these amendments define marriage along the lines of a "union of one male and one female."


The following constitutional bans were approved by voters, but later overturned by courts:


Cases overturning the following bans have been appealed to higher courts and are currently stayed:

Note: Same-sex marriage is legal in St. Louis County and the state recognizes same-sex marriages.


The following constitutional bans were approved by voters and have been upheld or not overturned by courts:


The following constitutional bans were defeated by voters:

Note: Arizonans defeated a measure in 2006, but approved one in 2008, which has been overturned.

See also

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