Bills seeking to end Virginia's ban on gay marriage were officially introduced on Wednesday as the legislative session got underway.

Voters in 2006 approved the Marshall-Newman Amendment, which prohibits the state from recognizing any union other than a heterosexual marriage. Additionally, Virginia law excludes gay couples from marriage.

Six delegates and three senators have sponsored resolutions which seek to remove the prohibition.

“I am not confident it'll pass this year, but I do know this with absolute certainty: Our commonwealth and the country is on an irreversible path to allow same-sex marriages,” Delegate Joseph Morrissey, a Democrat from Henrico County, told “When the Supreme Court of the United States overruled part of [the Defense of Marriage Act], they made it clear in their language that it is humiliating to children of same-sex couples to have these restrictions.”

“The point is, we're on our way and hopefully it'll get done this year, but it doesn't make any difference, it's on an irreversible course and we're gonna get it done,” he added.

Senator Adam Ebbin, a Democrat from Alexandria and the state's first openly gay state senator, has sponsored a similar measure in the Senate.

“Virginia is the birthplace of our civil liberties, and it's time to catch up with forward-thinking states that allow equality,” Ebbin said.

A federal lawsuit challenging Virginia's marriage ban was filed in federal court over the summer. Ted Olson and David Boies, the legal team behind the legal challenge to California's Proposition 8, joined the case in September.