In The Aftermath Of The Virginia Marriage Amendment

A year ago November the people of Virginia entered the voting booth and amended the state’s Bill of Rights to discriminate against the state’s gay population. The argument was that this was necessary and essential to protect the traditional family.

Yes, but what is a traditional family? Is this the traditional family?


Or is this the traditional family?


Or perhaps this – no, not until 1967, when the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Loving v. Virginia that anti-miscegenation laws are unconstitutional.


But is this not a family?


Or this?


Or this?


It’s a funny thing how stereotypes can influence one’s bias isn’t it? Our state has a spectrum of people with all sorts of God given traits – but in a democracy, each person is supposedly equal under the law – and have an equal right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Sadly, too many Virginians so cavalierly dismiss this notion – even many people of color and women who not so long ago faced a bias themselves.

The following is from a text used in the state’s universities:

“Not until the nineteenth century did the notion of love as a basis of marriage become widespread in Western society.”

“Marriage provides a sense of emotional and psychological security, however, and opportunities to share feelings, experiences, and ideas with someone with whom one forms a special attachment. Desires for companionship and intimacy are key goals in marriage today”.

“Broadly speaking, those people who want to get married do so because they believe they will be happier if they get married.”


Today, an article by archconservative Ken Connor titled, “Evangelicals must stay the course” appeared on the web”.

It included these lines and they betray the sense of many conservatives that either the people cannot be trusted to govern themselves or that the public cannot choose the wisest among them to govern.

“There was a reason, after all, that the Founding Fathers embraced the concept of "separation of powers." They did not want to concentrate too much power in the hands of flawed human beings. They were not naïve about the nature of human beings or politics, and we should not be either.”

However, the people are far ahead of the legislature as I remind the reader by the following, the people were far less supportive than were the Republican politicians who ramroded the amendment through in a year calculated to turn out the religiously conservative. And it is our younger generation, much more accepting of gay marriage, who have this biased legislation foisted upon them.


In passing this amendment does the state continue the democratic experiment started by earlier Virginians now so proudly remembered – or will this be seen by generations to come as an aberration? Who will really remember this as our proud moment? I love my state but I am repulsed by this amendment and by the political calculations, hypocrisy, and homophobia in which it was advanced. And those who pushed this measure should be held responsible to those younger Virginias who have to live with this state sponsored discrimination until a more enlightened, just, and fair minded Virginia will finally offer them full citizenship and equality. Until then Virginia shares the dubious distinction of discrimination, bias, prejudice, inequality and religious fanaticism of the very areas of the world we consider in opposition to the American way of life.


click on the above map for a better view

Comments

sam said…
Yeah, where is the freedom and equality and justice? Where is the liberty? Why do so many people in the Mid West care so much about who I live with and since when do they have the authority to get their way? Since when do we allow religion and politics to mix with the American stamp of approval? Why, America, are you flirting with partnership-fascism? I thought we were friends.

This is one of the greatest tragedies of my personal experience: to realize that millions and millions of Americans - including some of my close friends - think that I and so many people I care about are somehow unworthy of the freedoms straight people enjoy ... based on judgments that stem from aloof bigotry instead of open-minded consideration.

I was telling one of my friends recently that I almost always end up voting on social issues - essentially for the candidate that is most favorable to gay rights, because when it comes right down to it, those opinions are what will affect my life most directly. I don't plan it that way, but if it's a close call between two candidates as voting day approaches, that is always the tie breaker. She thought about it for a minute and then said "it's sad we live in a place where you have to constantly be focused on that one aspect of yourself." She's right, it's not important enough to be worth all the attention as it gets.


Taken from the New York Times, Nov. 3rd: "Constiutional Bans on Same-Sex Marriage Gain Widespread Support in 10 States"

....
"Many married gay couples spent much of Tuesday following the returns on television and on Web sites. LeAnn Loche, 37, a graphic designer who lives in Portland and was married last March to her partner of nine years, described Election Day as gut-wrenching.
"I'm just a mess today," said Ms. Loche, a volunteer for the No on Constitutional Amendment 36 movement.
It's the weirdest thing to have politics be so incredibly personal," she said. "This is about the possibility that half the state of Oregon thinks that I don't deserve to be treated equally as the majority of the people in the state. And I just can't fathom that, because I don't see myself as a monster."


And I just can't fathom that, because I don't see myself as a monster.
Perry DeMay said…
I was listening to XM radio today, POTUS 2008 and heard Republican Presidential hopeful, Rudy Giuliani, claim that the Republican Party is known for helping people. He said Republicans care about people and the Democrats care about creating more government. He remarked that Republicans are about providing people with the freedom to rule themselves where as the Democrats want the government to dictate to the people how to live their lives.

How does his philosophy fall in line with the marriage laws of Virginia? It sounds like the Republicans created more government and removed the freedom for one to choose whom they pick as partners. Maybe, anyone who holds different views than the Republicans in our “free country” is actually not worthy to be classified as a person.

Perry DeMay
Candidate for Sheriff
karen said…
Reminds me of the joke "Virginia is for lovers. Some restrictions apply." After HB751 became law I seriously considered moving from this state. It goes beyond "defense of marriage" (Don't you love the positive spin they give discrimmination?) to be just plain mean-spirited. But this is my home. And I prefer to think of that law as a lashing out. It was inspired by fear. And that fear was in response to change. Times are changing. The old radical right is afraid and that is what people do when they are afraid.

We all know seperate but equal doesn't work. And just look at the backlash in the south after the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. the Board of Education. The same principle applies in discrimination against LGBT people and eventually I believe the Supreme Court will decide in our favor. The backlash will begin. It already has. But it will be a sad, desperate and ill-fated attempt by a losing team to hold on to a way of life that honors some dark and hateful ways. Time is on our side and history shows this to be true. Our time is coming. So, if you are lgbt, be out and proud.

Thanks for the post.
Our countries are really going to hell.

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