Hooray –The Marriage Amendment Is Going To Pass!!


Check out the most recent Survey USA poll showing the amendment expected to pass by an overwhelming margin. So with that in mind I thought I’d suggest some of the benefits that will now accrue to the Old Dominion on the verge of it’s 400th year celebration.

What are the possible long-term implications to the State of Virginia?

• Some elderly gays may not get survivor benefits

• Some people or property may be injured in hate crimes, as fringe groups misconstrue this as permission

• Some hospital visitation may be more difficult

• Some estate fights may result in decisions against a life long same sex spouse

• This may signal permission for increased pressure for the religious right's social agendas

• Some gays may leave the state and break their ties to family and community

• Some businesses may leave and some may not arrive

• Some children may not get adopted or ever know loving parents

• Some negative effect on statistics on gay health may happen such as suicide, increase in STD’s, as gays feel pushed more into the closet and less towards monogamous relationships

• Some gay partners will be excluded from health care or other benefits – particularly those associated with public sector jobs

• Lawyers may benefit over an increase in lawsuits and an increase in contract preparation fees, in an attempt to legally afford gay couples the benefits and protections of marriage, which coincidentally and hypocritically the change in the Bill of Rights will now say explicitly is prohibited.

Now of course this is just a lot of what-ifing, and Virginia will look the same on November 8th that it looked like on November 6th.

But, I’m, curious, and I ask the religious right advocates of this amendment, after you quit gloating, tell me – what exactly have you won? Will this make you more popular in Heaven? Will God give a special medal for your achievement? How will your life and the lives of average Virginians be better off in such a way that this amendment was required in the public common good? Give me your list of the expected or even possible benefits that this will have achieved for Virginia?

Other than energizing authoritatively controlled conservatives to lock step to the polls to vote for George Allen.


p.s. – I don’t mean to discourage the courageous opponents of this amendment – I do hope though that this is a wake up call that you better have a better strategy for the next eight weeks than you’ve had to date.

Comments

jamie said…
But, I’m, curious, and I ask the religious right advocates of this amendment, after you quit gloating, tell me – what exactly have you won? Will this make you more popular in Heaven? Will God :give a special medal for your achievement? How will your life and the lives of average Virginians be better off in such a way that this amendment was required in the public common good? Give me your list of the expected or even possible benefits that this will have achieved for Virginia?"

EXACTLY. what is the rational political argument for this thing???
Bill Garnett said…
Thanks for your comment Jamie. I'm also waiting for that rational political argument, Virginia is waiting for that rational political argument -- but unfortunately, in November, the electorate will vote probably never having the chance to hear what that rational political argument is.
TLM said…
So Bill, what is your suggestion for a better strategy to defeat this thing??? The Coalition has focused on likely voters through festival outreach, door-to-door and phone canvasses most every day now. Plus lots of outreach to various partner groups like the MCC and UU church community. And there are plans for some advertising next month.

However there are still lots of gay folks sitting around doing nothing but complaining...what would YOU suggest to get them motivated?
Bill Garnett said…
Well Tim, thanks for asking.

My reasoning is that although there is an organized and energetic campaign (by people like you) to fight this amendment, there is, as far as I can see, no real plan to win.

Work this backwards. November 8th, the papers feature the story that the amendment is defeated – first state to defeat a marriage amendment. Then give me the scenario working backwards to today, showing how this came about. I just can’t envision the scenario and I do have experience in strategic planning and technological forecasting.

I don’t sense that the gravity of this issue has been conveyed – even to the gay community. And I think this amendment initiative is broader than Virginia -- (1) as adjacent states have fought off amendment ballot attempts, (2) I sense a growing backlash to religious right politics, and (3) a defeat should be a tipping point nationally -- not just for gay civil rights but also for a lot of the religious right’s social agenda. But sadly I am one of few who see this in this broader perspective. I don’t think the national Democratic Party is attuned to this, or even to the Webb/Allen race.

And as I examine past voting patterns in the state, its clear how strong the Republican majority is. As I watch available polling figures I don’t see the one million cross over votes that Claire Gastanaga and others say is required. The get out and sign up 10 voters movement, as essential and as laudable as that is, just doesn’t add up when you do the math – how many canvassers spending how many days does it take? – we just don’t have the volunteers or the days. In the time it takes to turn one voter – the opposition can turn out a Baptist congregation.

And I’m particularly peeved at the gay community, many of whom are understandably closeted, but who have such creative skills, such presence in the media and entertainment fields, and who are known for their novel and imaginative skills, that have not been successfully harnessed in this campaign. My contacts with the leaders of our movement suggest to me that they are a number of non-profit institutional professionals who are rather dogged but mundane in their efforts, and who will still be around after this battle subsides. But they will not have brought the urgency and importance of a constitutional amendment, and seem to treat this as just another skirmish in the long gay civil rights struggle. I, instead, see this as the fight of my life, and the future landscape for Virginia’s gays and lesbians for at least another generation.

Perhaps the coalition or some other organization has an ace up its sleeve and there will be a winning creative media blitz in the last two weeks – I for one would be very pleasantly surprised.
Bill Garnett said…
and Tim,

And just an offhand suggestion – how about having gay bars and clubs pause for five minutes each night to give or allow a message to patrons about the seriousness of this proposal? (There are more patrons on any Friday or Saturday night in most gay bars than there were at the Equality Virginia training session in July).

What about an outreach, for creative professionals and media savvy professionals who support civil equality, to brainstorm how the current efforts can be successfully complemented by more aggressive and non-conventional strategies?

How about more of an effort to utilize the strengths, skills, and interests of supporters -- rather than just using them as canvassing soldiers?

There are perhaps 250,000 gays and lesbians in Virginia and countless more liberals, progressives, Democrats, and Libertarians (even socially conservative Republicans) – but I’d guess there are less than the equivalent of 100 people who are providing 80% of our real opposition work across the state.

And could the seriousness of this Virginia amendment, and the message its defeat could send as a tipping point to the radical religious right agenda, be reverberated out of Virginia to energize out of state human and financial resources?

I sense your irritation at my being a critic – but that comes from my training in a long career of strategic planning and business consulting. And I know that on November 8th it will be too late to suggest that the current strategy to win was never enough to realistically pull it off.
Bill Garnett said…
make that "socially liberal Republicans"
Mark said…
But, I’m, curious, and I ask the religious right advocates of this amendment, after you quit gloating, tell me – what exactly have you won?

a legal nightmare has been prevented from legitimizing all froms of Marriage, thus rendering it useless.

Will this make you more popular in Heaven?

There is no Biblical bases to assume anyones's 'popularity' in Heaven, unless you would like to give us one.

Will God give a special medal for your achievement?

'medal'?? You mean to tell me you think Jesus Christ's death on the cross for you, was not enough?

How will your life and the lives of average Virginians be better off in such a way that this amendment was required in the public common good?

The cornerstone of any society is the traditional Family. If that offends you, too bad. I would say the same if 2 women and 5 men wanted to be 'married', too bad, not going to happen.

Give me your list of the expected or even possible benefits that this will have achieved for Virginia?

Viginia will have protected the institution of Marriage, thereby protecting children, and future generations from re-defining the 'family' to mean any and everything rendering it useless.
Bill Garnett said…
Mark,

If you represent the values Christianity, then you are in opposition of all my Baptist Sunday school lessons.
Mark said…
is that suppose to surprise me?
Anonymous said…
If this gets more press in N. Virginia people would vote "no" as a lot of southern politics gets on our nerves. So that would be a good base to respectfully advertise to, to make sure they remember to vote, it's likely to be voted down here.

Other then that, we would need not to lose too badly in S. Virginia as people in the rest of the state outnumber us. Of course actually presenting the actual wording to people in the south might build relationships in the long run as this is a very broadly written bill and isn't even confined to gay people. Besides, having a numbers game is a lousy way to run a political campaign.

-Erica

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