Love v. Virginia: The Constitutionality of the Marshall/Newman Amendment


My comment explores the constitutionality of a recent amendment in Virginia, the Marshall/Newman Amendment, which bans gay marriage and civil unions between unmarried people, and precludes Virginia from recognizing such arrangements formed in other states. The analysis is particularly timely, because even though the Democrats have regained a majority in Congress, and a traditionally Republican Virginian constituency just elected a Democratic senator, a majority of Virginians adopted this Amendment, indicating conservative values still reign.

The comment argues that the Amendment is demonstrably inconsistent with the mandates of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Federal Constitution. The first provision seeks to ban same-sex marriage, restricting individuals’ right to marry and violating the Due Process Clause. The second provision attacks all nontraditional unions, contravening the Due Process Clause as well as Equal Protection under the 14th Amendment.


Civil Rights and Discrimination | Constitutional Law | Family Law | Human Rights Law | Law and Society | Sexuality and the Law

Date of this Version

February 2007