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A measure protecting same-sex marriage in Virginia is now law

Jose Luis Magana/AP
Many people have concerns that the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade and the right to abortion could jeopardize other rights, such as same-sex marriage.

This story was reported and written by Radio IQ.

As of the beginning of this month, Virginia put dozens of new laws into effect. One protects same-sex marriage.

Nine years ago, the United States Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage and overturned part of Virginia's Constitution that banned it. Now, the pendulum seems to be swinging in the other direction for people like Narissa Rahaman, who is executive director for Equality Virginia.

"Two years ago on June 18th, 2022, I had the greatest day of my life was getting engaged to my fiancé, and a week later we saw the Supreme Court overturn Roe v Wade," Rahaman says. "There's a real palpable fear for LGTBQ Virginians that we could lose marriage equality."

That's why she’s excited about the new law that went into effect this month ensuring that same-sex marriage will remain legal in Virginia regardless of any future court decisions. Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin signed the bill, which includes exemptions for clergy or religious organizations. But Jeff Caruso at the Virginia Catholic Conference says many people are still not on board with same-sex marriage.

"We affirm the dignity of every person," Caruso says. "We also believe marriage had an original design and purpose that predates any nation, religion or law."

The part of Virginia's Constitution that outlaws same-sex marriage is still there, even though the 2015 Supreme Court ruling makes it unenforceable.

The world changes fast.

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