I’m Mark Herring, and I approved this chickens**t message

From the wording on the back page of the little newsletter my VA congresscritter sent me last week, you might get the impression he’s just letting you know what else is going on, regardless of his position on it. After all, the previous pages make a big deal about what he’s co-sponsored – surely this stuff is just incidental, right?

Hmmmm, no. When you look at the bill tracking for SB 526, the referendum in question, you find that Herring and every single other Senator voted for it. No “nays,” no abstentions. Further, the weasley language in the blurb doesn’t convey the real extent of the bill. Here’s what the following paragraph spells out much more clearly:

The proposed amendment provides that “only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.” The proposed amendment also prohibits the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions from creating or recognizing “a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage.” Further, the proposed amendment prohibits the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions from creating or recognizing “another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.”

But newsletter readers only get “The entire proposed amendment will appear on the ballot.” Stand up for what you believe in, Senator Herring. If you really think that civil rights are something that should go to a popular vote – and I wonder how the Loudoun chapter of the NAACP, of which you are a member, feels about that concept – then have the courage of your convictions to put the real language on your newsletter. Acknowledge that you voted for it. Acknowledge that it’s not just “an amendment to define marriage” – it’s also a limiting on any other laws that might “approximate” the qualities of marriage. Hell, you could simply include the fact that it’s SB 526 so that people could look it up on the Virginia Legislative Information System.

The fact that I don’t agree with government meddling in these kind of things should be obvious, but I find it even more odious when people hide their real positions. Show some guts.

If you’re interested in the actual legislation and would like some information on how it’s going to be costing us money in tax revenue from fleeing DINKs and the inevitable court challenges there’s a good WaPo article on it today.

1 Comment so far

  1. Will (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 4:34 pm

    What are the domestic abuse statutes like in Virginia? Because depending on how they are worded, the passage of the above paragraph into law could be used to weaken or challenge domestic abuse laws (the treatment of cohabiting partners as spouses under domestic abuse laws exist in states like Ohio and Utah).

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