Upcoming Battle: Virginia and Gay Marriage

The Virginia Senate today passed a bill to place on a general statewide ballot in November a ban on same sex marriage, just days after the House of Delegates did the same. The ban would come in the form of an addition to the Virginia Bill of Rights, authored by George Mason in 1776, which has not been altered in a decade. Naturally, expect a major battle in the coming months between gay rights advocates (most of whom will not be able to vote in the election, as they would be coming from out of state), and conservatives in Virginia. I fully expect there to be fireworks. This one should be interesting, indeed.

12 Comments so far

  1. wayan (unregistered) on January 25th, 2006 @ 11:53 pm

    Right Tom, “gay rights advocates (most of whom will not be able to vote in the election, as they would be coming from out of state” there could never be a) gay Virginians who b) would want to stand up for their rights.

    Oh the horror!

  2. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on January 26th, 2006 @ 12:03 am

    I’m just saying that the number of gay rights advocateswho will protest in Virginia will not match the number of gay registered voters in Virginia.

  3. wayan (unregistered) on January 26th, 2006 @ 12:06 am

    Oh, you mean there is a box on the NoVA voter registration form that says _Gay _Straight _Other? News to me.

  4. Tiff (unregistered) on January 26th, 2006 @ 12:28 am

    No, gay people have been moving out of Virginia in droves because of the ridiculous anti-gay legislation that gets passed there.

  5. Don (unregistered) on January 26th, 2006 @ 10:48 am

    I have no doubt Tom’s right, though ‘most’ is a bit stronger than I’d have put it. The LLDF and HRC will mobilize efforts and people and happily take anyone interested in combating this idiocy, no matter where they’re from. To which I say, hooray. I welcome any help in convincing people who are put off by gay marriage to exercise their right to not enter into one.

  6. jen m. (unregistered) on January 26th, 2006 @ 1:06 pm

    no doubt tiff is right, but also let’s not forget that not all “gay rights advocates” are necessarily gay. hopefully there are a lot of straight, compassionate, tolerant virginians who will oppose this ban.

    i certainly don’t blame anyone for fleeing virginia, but it does make it all the more important that gay rights be a central concern to ALL people who care about justice and equality and freedom. because what will our country look like if entire states are abandoned to become preserves of hate and injustice where certain minorities fear to even enter?

  7. Stacey (unregistered) on January 26th, 2006 @ 4:31 pm

    This is a tough subject – personally, I don’t think we should be “legalizing gay marriage,” but I also have a problem amending the constitution – or even state constitutions – to declare that when I feel like marriage is already defined by take-your-pick: definition itself, prior legislation, etc.

    So for that, this is a topic I’ll rarely argue b/c I’ll readily admit I see many (not two) different “sides.” What I don’t think is true is that those who don’t think gay marriage should be legalized automatically foster hate and injustice. There are hate-filled and evil people on all sides of this issue, and just because someone might be of the belief of not recognizing a gay marriage doesn’t automatically mean they are a hateful person lobbying for mass injustice.

  8. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on January 26th, 2006 @ 4:43 pm

    That’s very true, Jen, I don’t think that I could vote for an amendment that would have this particular effect, only because the effect that it would have on not just gays, but all manner of heterosexual relationships like power of attorney and whatnot. The chilling effect is fairly clear, in this regard.

    I’m hopeful that this brutal re-legislating of an already existing law is defeated, but I hold no hope that the entire state will behave in this fashion.

  9. Don (unregistered) on January 26th, 2006 @ 4:49 pm

    While there may be people who are opposed to gay marriage who are not hate filled, I have almost as much contempt for people unable to simply mind their own business. You’ve only got to see one person get screwed out of an inheritance or unable to visit a loved one before you Get It why people should be free to make their own contractual arrangements, which is all a marriage is from a governmental standpoint.

  10. wayan (unregistered) on January 26th, 2006 @ 5:28 pm

    Right on Don, I think we should all be free to make our own contracts. Care to make one with me? I kinda like those big wet Don Kisses…

  11. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on January 26th, 2006 @ 5:35 pm

    Ordinarily, marriage is just a state-honored package o’ rights, a contract that is multi-faceted with a single signature. It’s easily duplicated now, it just requires a somewhat complicated contract to confer power of attorney, etc, between two individuals. I suppose that’s what bothers me most about this amendment, it would annul contracts that are already legally binding between individuals because they “represent marriage” in some way, even if they’re perfectly valid contracts.

  12. Brad (unregistered) on February 20th, 2006 @ 6:57 pm

    Nowhere do gay people want to be recognized in the Catholic or any other church as being Married…all they want is equal protection of rights of partners…I know several gay couples that have been together for over 10 years and if one dies the other has no legal claim to anything they jointly purchased…even joint checking accounts are going to be abolished in VA under the new law unless you are officially recognized as MARRIED — which is a term deeply routed in religious dogma, not democratic equality….if you like, call it Gay-rige, I mean this is not a battle of having two men or women in church getting married, just a common law battle

    And to all those who say this will dismantle the sanctity of marriage, we need no help from the gay population…the heteorsexuals of America have done a good job of that by breeding a culture with a divorce rate of over 65%…where is the sanctity in marriage today?

    The constitution is meant to guarntee rights to people…if we start tampering with denying rights where will that end? If this was 1945 and they proposed an anti-interracial marriage ban it would be met with just as much support…yet today, that would be considered racist….the gay population has been in the culture for a while, it is only now that the climate allows them to express what they are…

    I can say it is a sad day that Virginia votes for this bill…I have faith in my fellow NOVA kin

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