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?
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