Virginia Marriage Amendment Debate at the University of Richmond

The moot court room of the University of Richmond’s T. C. Williams Law School was filled to capacity last night as Delegate Robert Marshall, supporting the Virginia Marriage Amendment, debated Senator John Edwards. And I felt an apology was due to Delegate Marshall after all the eye rolling, audible sighs, looks of incredulity, and suppressed hissing that greeted his defense of his pet project – the proposed amendment to Virginia’s Bill of Rights to define marriage. More properly this measure might be called, after Marshall's opening statement, the amendment to stop the gay agenda.

In fairness to Delegate Marshall, the crowd, as I looked around, was stacked against him – they tended to be educated and/or young – and coincidentally the educated and the young are far more tolerant of the homosexuality that Marshall obviously finds immoral. Certainly he would have been more comfortable among authoritatively controlled rural evangelical fundamentalists. He even explained how after the Supreme Court, in Lawrence v. Texas, recently invalidated Virginia’s archaic sodomy law, that he saw it as his messianic duty to stop the homosexual agenda - and despite all the science and medical research of the past decades that overwhelmingly conclude that homosexuality is not a moral choice but is a state of being.

Perhaps the audience would have been more appreciative if they had had a better sense of history – here in their midst was a real anachronism, a throwback to the narrow minded, bigoted, personalities of the early black civil rights movement. Here was Delegate Marshall, as close as they would ever come to the legacy legislators of the likes of Orval Faubus, George Wallace, and Strom Thurmond. The only trouble was that Marshall intends to engrave this discrimination into our Bill of Rights and preclude perhaps a generation of more tolerate and enlightened citizenry from ever having equal rights – rights that are now guaranteed in The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, South Africa, Canada, Massachusetts - plus a myriad of other countries and states that permit homosexual civil unions.

Marshall was asked several times to divulge his motives – but I don’t question them, I believe he really does have an internal definition of marriage – the “Leave it to Beaver” type of the 1950’s. He seems to have little appreciation for the fact that marriage has changed - from women being mere chattel, the possession of men, and under their absolute control – to today, where in America women have the vote, equal rights, and equal status in relationships. And a realization that marriage is an equality between two people who are attracted to each other, who love each other, and who want to share a life together – whether they are heterosexual or homosexual.

And in recent decades, the status of gays and lesbians has also changed as the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and even the World Health Organization – all conclude that homosexuality is not chosen and that it is a normal and natural variation of the human sexual orientation.

But the 800 pound gorilla in the room was conveniently avoided – the ickyness of gay sex – the sodomy, the anal, the oral – uggg. But to educate those who may not know, heterosexual oral and/or anal sex is also sodomy – and our esteemed legislators have for years taken their oath of office to uphold the laws of Virginia, including the felony laws against heterosexual oral and/or anal sex – which according to Kinsey and many other studies, is rather prevalent in the heterosexual community. Either we have the most virtuous missionary position only set of legislators to ever exist – or we have a hell of a lot of hypocritical legislators – you chose.

Thanks to the university for providing this debate – it was actually longer than the actual hearing held earlier this year in Marshall’s committee on the marriage amendment – a hearing that was adroitly and suddenly called just as the Legislature convened and was spirited off to a full vote in the also Republican controlled House of Delegates, where to vote against marriage would have looked like voting against mom, flag, and apple pie – gee, the tyranny of the majority.

Vote NO on November 7th.


Thanks for your balanced commentary. I am all for Gay rights and will vote NO on this.
David said…
Another excellent post - thanks for reporting on this.

Marshall truly is an anachronism. He sees absolutely nothing wrong with his "definition" of marriage, which has nothing to do with people and is merely a vulgarity. He reduces participants in a marriage to the shape of their genitals, and then wonders why people would be incredulous.

We might as well be lab rats or interchangeable mechanical parts. It's utterly dehumanizing. I feel sorry for him.

The fact that the crowd was "stacked against him" by virtue of being educated kind of says it all, doesn't it?
MB said…
Thanks for the account. Can't say that I agree with feeling bad for Marshall. Bigots who actively spread their hate ought to be ridiculed.

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