It Bans Gay Marriage. But Wait—That's Not All!

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Cato's David Boaz complains that the press is describing Virginia's Ballot Question 1, a constitutional amendment, as a "ban on gay marriage," when 1) gay marriage is already banned (by statute) in Virginia and 2) the initiative's language is so broad that it could be read to prohibit any employer policy, statutory right, or contractual arrangement that gives unmarried couples (gay or straight) "the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage." Nick Gillespie noted the potentially sweeping effects of the amendment last month. SurveyUSA numbers from mid-September indicated that supporters of the amendment outnumbered opponents by more than 2 to 1 among likely voters.

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  1. The real question is: if it’s “all about marriage,” then why ban non-marriage arrangements?

    Because, of course, it’s not about “marriage” at all. It’s about bigotry.

  2. Good point by Mr. Boaz. God, I hate living in Virginia sometimes (I live in Northern VA. It’s like a whole separate state).

  3. I grew up on SW Va near Blacksburg. Night and day from NoVA.

  4. This doesn’t square at all with a mid-October Washington Post poll. The poll found 53% in favor and 43% against. Money quote:

    When respondents were read the arguments on both sides of the question, enough voters showed a willingness to reconsider that the gap narrowed to a virtual tie — 48 percent said they supported the measure and 47 percent opposed it, within the poll’s margin of error of three percentage points.

    If this poll actually reflects what’s going on with voters, then opponents of the ban have a decent chance of winning, if they can make the right arguments to the right people.

  5. 2) the initiative’s language is so broad that it could be read to prohibit any employer policy, statutory right, or contractual arrangement that gives unmarried couples (gay or straight) “the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.”

    To make a make a homophobic omelet, sometimes you gotta break some straight eggs. Or something.

  6. worm:

    I am 100% against the ban, but that quote you cite really clunked in my head when I read the article yesterday.

    It seems the Washington comPost is now “instructing” their interviewees, instead of merely leading them with their heavily-slanted questions.

  7. Well of course it also affects unmarried straight couples. Usually the same people who are dead set against “sodomites” getting hitched tend also to be the same theocratic-wannabes who oppose hetrosexual play outside the bounderies of holy servitude… I mean holy wedlock.

    Please don’t act if this is surprising. The fact that these people want to ban Plan B and are unhappy about the HPV vaccine should have given you some clue about their true intentions regarding sex in America.

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