Gay unions: Same-sex couples can't tie the knot

For many couples, getting married is the ultimate sign of commitment. But for same-sex couples, the right to have a legally recognized union is and may remain a far-off dream.

In 1997, the Virginia General Assembly passed a bill that blocks same-sex marriages.

Section 20-45.2 of the Virginia State Code reads, "A marriage between persons of the same sex is prohibited. Any marriage entered into by persons of the same sex in another state or jurisdiction shall be void in all respects in Virginia and any contractual rights created by such marriage shall be void and unenforceable."

For same-sex couples who want state mandated validation of their love, Vermont is currently the only option. The New England state passed a law in July 2000 permitting Civil Unions between same sex individuals; the word "marriage," however, is still reserved for heterosexual couples.