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Analysis: Virginia Likely To Take Up Same-Sex Marriage Debate

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With the U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, future debates over same-sex marriage are set to take place at the state-level. And Virginia U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine thinks his own state may be at a turning point. Meanwhile, D.C.'s Delegate to Congress Eleanor Holmes Norton has expressed concern over a new bill being drafted by a Michigan lawmaker. She says the federal legislation would ban automated traffic systems, such as speed cameras, inside the district. David Hawkings, writer of the Hawkings Here column for Roll Call, has some details behind these stories.

On MSNBC's Morning Joe, Sen. Kaine suggested that Virginia voter sentiment was shifting in favor of same-sex marriage. He was asked about the state's law prohibiting it:

"It'll be fascinating to see whether the legislature even puts this on the ballot. If you look at the polls, Sen. Tim Kaine is dead on. Polling in Virginia recently shows that Virginians are about where the United States is, which is that there is a clear, but narrow majority that supports gay marriage. I think it's about 55 percent Virginia, 53 percent nationwide. That's a huge swing just since President Obama took office... It's all about young voters. Young voters support this. They think that this is no big deal.

On D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton calling attention to a bill that would ban automated traffic enforcement just in the District:

"Those of us who live in the District, this is sort of a classic. This is a Republican conservative, in this case, a freshman conservative from Michigan, who wants to make his ideology a test case in the District. He believes that speed cameras are an intrusion on personal freedom. But rather than proposing a nationwide ban, he's just proposing it in the District."

On whether the aforementioned bill will gain any traction in the House:

"I think if the bill that funds the District of Columbia — the appropriations bill — comes to the floor of the House this summer, which it probably will. It is likely that he will be able to offer this as an amendment."

Listen to the full analysis here.

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