By a margin of 57% to 43%, Virginia voters approved the Marshall/Newman Amendment, which not only defines marriage as something that may only exist between one man and one woman, but also forbids the state to legally recognize ANY marriage-like relationship that is not actually marriage.
There were about a million good reasons to vote against this amendment, all of which were heavily promoted by The Commonwealth Coalition.
- We already have a law on the books banning both same-sex marriage and same-sex civil unions, so a constitutional amendment is unnecessary.
- The amendment goes too far in that it applies equally to straight and gay couples. (hey, there's a unique concept)
- The amendment discriminates against unmarried couples, both gay and straight.
- The amendment is an invasion of privacy that represents an unecessary government intrusion into our personal lives.
- The amendment would make it considerably more difficult for unmarried victims of domestic violence to seek legal recourse against their abusers.
- Opposition to same-sex marriage is primarily religious, and Virginia has recognized the wall of separation between church and state since we passed Jefferson's Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom in 1786.
- The amendment is bad for business. Passage of this amendment is likely to spark litigation against companies whose benefit plans offer coverage to life partners, and will drive highly-qualified professionals out of the state.
And that's all well and good, but here's why I voted against the Marshall/Newman amendment:
Gay people should be allowed to get married.
That's it. End of story. (I've covered this territory before.)
And so, as a straight Virginian, I'd like to apologize to the gay community of Virginia. I'm sorry. I'm sorry that 57% of Virginia voters are so fucking bigoted they rejected every reasonable argument above simply because the idea of gay sex kinda creeps them out, and I'm sorry that 57% of the voting public is too fucking stupid to read past the first sentence of the proposed amendment and vote no.