Effort to censure GOP congressman for officiating same-sex wedding fails

An effort by a group of Republicans to censure Rep. Denver RigglemanDenver RigglemanLiberty University official to launch primary challenge to GOP's Riggleman Virginia county GOP censures Rep. Riggleman, sparking sharp response House Democrats targeting six more Trump districts for 2020 MORE (R-Va.) over his officiating of a same-sex wedding failed on Saturday after a majority voted against a measure to do so during a closed meeting of the 5th Congressional District Republican Committee, according to The Roanoke Times.

Of the more than two dozen committee members who attended the Saturday meeting, only a handful backed censure, the Times reported.


Riggleman, who was elected last year, officiated a ceremony for two of his supporters on July 14, an event first reported on by The Washington Post.

Both men are conservative Republicans who volunteered for Riggleman’s campaign last year, according to The Roanoke Times.

“My real belief is that government shouldn’t be involved in marriage at all, but if it is, everybody has to be treated equally before the law,” Riggleman told the Post. “And that is part of our Republican creed. And it also comes down to love is love. I’m happy to join two people together who obviously love each other.” 

At Saturday's meeting, Wendell Johnson, who The Roanoke Times said represented Bedford County on the committee, tried to introduce a motion in open session to officially reprimand the first-term congressman.

“I move that the committee censure Denver Riggleman for failing to uphold the Republican Party platform in that it states ‘marriage is between one man and one woman,’ ” the motion obtained by the Times read.

“I’m pleased with what Denver is doing, but I just disagree with him over this issue,” Johnson told the outlet after the meeting.

Melvin Adams, the district committee chairman, reportedly said the motion was out of order because the issue was discussed in closed session. Diana Shores unsuccessfully made an effort to overrule Adams, but only received support from four people.