CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An opponent of same-sex marriages predicts such unions will be legal in West Virginia within a matter of weeks.
“It’s probably inevitable now that, in West Virginia, you’re going to have men marrying men. You’re going to have women marrying women,” said Allen Whitt, president of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia. He described that scenario as “disappointing.”
“It remains to be seen if that definition of marriage continues to be redefined to be include other polyamorous relationships, multiple member marriages,” he said.
Whitt said he and other opponents of same-sex marriages were “caught off guard” when, earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals on same-sex marriage cases from five states. That move upheld the rulings which struck down bans on such unions in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin and Virginia.
The Virginia decision came from the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals — the appeals court that sets legal precedent for West Virginia. Wyoming, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kansas and Colorado also fall in the affected judicial circuits.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Robert C. Chambers lifted the stay on the case, pending in Huntington Federal Court, that challenges West Virginia’s Defense of Marriage Act which defines marriage as between one man and one woman. The defendants in the case were given 14 days to file responses.
On Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” Whitt said there is still another option — beyond the courts — that could possibly keep West Virginia’s current definition of marriage intact.
“This battle isn’t over,” he said. “The United States Constitution is very likely to be amended in the next few years and be ratified by enough states to make that the permanent law of the land.”
Amendments to the U.S. Constitution can be adopted and sent to the states for ratification by either a two-thirds vote from both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives or a two-thirds vote from a national convention Congress would call if legislatures in 34 states requested as much.
The legislatures in 38 states, three-fourths of the states, would have to ratify any amendment for it to be added to the U.S. Constitution.