A group of officials in the US state of Virginia have introduced legislation to repeal its ban on gay couples getting married.

Openly gay State Senator Adam Ebbin was among those who introduced the legislation. It will not make it to voters for a ballot until at least 2016, as the bill has to pass two sessions in both houses in order to become public.

Senator Ebbin said that since the Marshall-Newman amendment was approved in November 2006 defining marriage as between one man and one woman, times have changed.

The amendment was approved by almost 60% of voters, but since, opinion polls have reflected the opposite. An October poll by Quinnipiac University found that 50% of voters supported same-sex marriage with 43% against.

“By 2016, I think that number will only grow. I think the public will get more and more used to the thought of gay people as first-class citizens,” Ebbin said to the Arlington Patch.

Bills have also been introduced by the same group of officials which would ensure workplace equality for state employees and benefits for the same-sex partners of university employees.