Two state senators have introduced a
bill that would define marriage as a heterosexual union in the West
Virginia Constitution, effectively banning gay marriage, the
Parkersburg-based News and Sentinel reported.
Republican Senators Donna Boley and
David Nohe have co-sponsored the legislation in the Senate.
The measure's language would also
prohibit the state from recognizing gay and lesbian couples with
civil unions and ban municipalities from offering benefits similar to
If approved, voters would be asked to
vote on the issue in 2012.
“The people of West Virginia have
always been conservative,” Boley said. “It is just the way it is
here. So far, I have not receive any opposition to it.”
“The aim of this amendment is to say
that marriage truly is a union between a man and a woman and that is
not open for challenge in West Virginia,” Nohe, a freshman senator
and Mayor of Vienna, told the paper. “This is an issue near and
dear to the hearts of many West Virginians.”
“The people should be allowed to vote
on it,” he added.
Previous attempts to approve similar
measures have died in committee. Democrats control both chambers of