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Virginia's marriage amendment proceeds

Sunday, January 15, 2006


"I cannot stand by while this body uses gays and lesbians as scapegoats for what has happened to the institution of marriage. How many members of this body are divorced? How many have children that are divorced? Grandchildren? Parents? Brothers? Sisters? What do gays and lesbians have to do with any of those divorces? How many children are now raised by single parents? Can we really blame gays and lesbians for the fact that so many households are now headed by a single parent? How many of those marriages were celebrated or consecrated in a church or synagogue? Can we really blame gays and lesbians for those who have broken their vows?"
-- Adam P. Ebbin, the only openly gay member of the Virginia House. The body approved a measure to place a marriage amendment on the ballot.
After a swift vote, the next hurdle to get a marriage amendment on the ballot in Virginia was easily cleared in its House, 73 to 22.

The state also saw the swearing-in today in of a new governor, Democrat Tim Kaine, who opposes both same-sex marriage and civil unions. He has promised to sign the measure that places the amendment on the ballot after the Senate passes the proposal once more. Even more depressing is that measures that would have limited the scope of the amendment's discrimination were deep-sixed. (WashBlade):
Kaine spokeswoman Delacey Skinner said that the governor-elect will sign the bill to call for a referendum. Kaine supports the amendment and opposes civil unions, she said. She added that he is interested in discussing measures “to make sure people can still be able to contract with each other.”

However, efforts to limit the scope of the vaguely worded amendment were defeated. Del. Kristen J. Amundson’s (D-District 44) amendment, which received only 35 votes, would have eliminated all language except for: “Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.”

Del. Vivian Watts’ (D-District 39) amendment was also rejected by a vote of 36 to 60. She proposed including a clarification that the amendment would not change “any other right, benefit, obligation or legal status pertaining to persons not married.”
Just a little reminder from the past, equally inexcusable: