H. B. 4469
(By Delegates Damron, Tillis, Coleman,
Kelley, Faircloth, Kominar and Harrison)
[Introduced February 18, 1998; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section twelve, article one, chapter
forty-eight of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended; and to further amend said
article one by adding thereto a new section, designated
section eighteen-a, relating to marriage; definition; same
sex marriages not given recognition.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section twelve, article one, chapter forty-eight of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted; and that said article one be
further amended by adding thereto a new section, designated
section eighteen-a, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 1. MARRIAGE.
§48-1-12. Persons authorized to celebrate marriages.
Any minister, priest or rabbi, over the age of eighteen years, who has complied with the provisions of section twelve-a
of this article, or a judge of any court of record in this state,
is authorized to celebrate the rites of marriage in all the
counties of the state. No person, other than a minister, priest
or rabbi, who has complied with the provisions of section
twelve-a of this article, or a judge of any court of record in
this state, shall hereafter celebrate the rites of marriage in
this state, anything in any act of the Legislature or of any
court to the contrary, notwithstanding. Celebration or
solemnization of a marriage means the performance of the formal
act or ceremony by which a man and woman contract marriage and
assume the status of husband and wife.
Wherever in this article the terms "minister," "priest" or
"rabbi" shall appear, the same shall be understood and held in
all respects to include, without being limited to, a leader or
representative of a generally recognized spiritual assembly,
church or religious organization which does not formally
designate or recognize persons as ministers, priests or rabbis.
§48-1-18a. Certain acts, records, and proceedings not to be
given effect in this state.
A public act, record or judicial proceeding of any other
state, territory, possession or tribe respecting a relationship
between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other state, territory, possession or
tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship, shall
not be given effect by this state.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish the West
Virginia Defense of Marriage Act. It would prohibit the
recognition of same sex marriages from other states or
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.
§48-1-18a is a new section; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.