See below for video of Delegates Danica Roem and Mike Mullin, speaking this morning on the VA House of Delegates floor, “urging GOP to take up a rules change that would allow the two constitutional amendment resolutions to come to the floor for a vote, despite having been killed by 6 GOP delegates in committee.” The two resolutions are: 1) HB605 by Del. Mark Sickles (“Provides for a referendum at the November 8, 2022, election to approve or reject an amendment that would repeal the constitutional provision defining marriage as only a union between a man and woman“); 2) SB21 by Sen. Mamie Locke (“Provides for a referendum at the November 8, 2022, general election to approve or reject an amendment that would provide for the fundamental right to vote in the Commonwealth”).
As Del. Roem argued:
“This vote on marriage equality is about constituent service [but]…because of what is written in the Virginia constitution, when you deprive them – when you say no, we’re going to keep this – what you’re teliing them is that you hope that one day a decision will come down that will hurt your constituents…It’s time for our constitution to do the exact same thing that the federal constitution does at this point and to reflect that reality…When we do the right thing, our constituents are emboldened to be themselves. Your vote for this doesn’t make anyone gay…it just allows them to know that their governing officials have their back…”
And as Del. Mullin said:
…we have an extraordinary need for those Virginians remaining disenfranchised from their fundamental right to vote. There are currently only 12 states…that do not automatically restore the right to vote to all felons who have completed their sentences, and one of those 12 happens to be Virginia….This amendment will automatically restore the right to vote to all felons who have completed their debt to society…Part of that reintegration [into society] is reengaging with community life. Under our current law, ex felons are treated as second-class citizens. This amendment would help address this inequity…Virginia already has a quarter million former felons that are currently disenfranchised…And disenfranchisement disproportionately affects communities of color within our Commonwealth…It’s time for Virginia to join other states across the country and take measures against more Virginians becoming disenfranchised…”