A Discussion On The Virginia Marriage Amendment

To defend traditional marriage, as sacrosanct or impervious to change, just because you contend it has been that way, is not a sufficient argument. It is only an argument against change. We certainly have experienced significant drift in the notion, perception, and reality of marriage in Virginia in our lifetimes. A characterization of marriage and the state of marriage in the 1940’s and 1950’s is far different from that of today, whether we are in agreement with that change. The causes of these changes are widely known and have had the result of redefining the relationship between men and women in society, largely increasing the power and franchise of women relative to men.

These changes occurred outside the conversation on homosexuality in society.

To argue that same sex marriages are a dysfunction to society or in some way a threat to the institution of marriage would require a logical argument, so far not introduced. To argue that the purpose of marriage is the production and nurturing of children is both seemingly obvious and intuitive taken the model of the 1940’s and 1950’s. However, to deny the subsequent information, study, conclusions, and experience of homosexuality in Virginia society over the ensuing decades is to deny new understanding on this subject.

And it is factually correct that most of modern Europe has both developed a majority tolerance and acceptance of same sex marriage, and that in Virginia, (depending of the poll) as many as 70% of 18 to 26 year olds are also similarly accepting of and supportive of same sex marriage. This suggesting that you are arguing on the wrong side of societal trend.

You may suggest that 20 states and certainly more after Tuesday will by plebiscite choose to constitutionalize a definition of traditional marriage. But to argue that that is a social trend out of context of political reality and the real rise of political fundamentalism, is to argue that tradition as decided at the ballot box is the correct choice or will be viewed historically as the enduring choice. I suggest that a vote in the Confederacy would have constitutionalized slavery, today not seen as a correct moral choice. And I could go on with analogies about attitudes towards accepting women as coequals.

And certainly to suggest that parenting is normally and biologically a two sex phenomena, does not justify negating the argument that the quality of parenting should trump or that same sex couple parenting is inherently not deficient – in fact the evidence does not support that.

Were the current societal prejudice against homosexuals in general, subtracted from the argument, it is intuitive that providing equality and tolerance towards homosexuals and their relationships, would be empowering and positive in society. It suggests that our families will be less estranged, a diminishment of the psychological issues faced by this minority, and a freeing up of the constructive and positive contribution that this minority can make in our state. A drift towards a more inclusive state offering more individual liberty and equality could be a beacon to progressive growth and an attractant of talent to the state.


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