Campaigns/Elections

Virginia Is for (Hetero) (Wedded Only) (Strictly Missionary-Practicing) Lovers

|

In addition to celebrating his distaste for book learnin' last week, George Allen has also adopted a stretch-run strategy of talking up Virginia's particularly nasty ballot initiative that would put a gay marriage ban in the state's constitution. Allen, who has shown his devotion to the tradition of marriage by having two of them, knows that these initiatives are a great way to fire up turnout. If he can get the mouth-breathers south of the Rappahannock River lathered up about the gay couples moving into Alexandria and Arlington, they'll probably go ahead and cast a vote for Allen while they're at the polls, his otherwise lackluster performance as a U.S. senator notwithstanding:

"This Election Day you'll have the opportunity to stand up to the Jim Webbs of the world, to the people who want to weaken marriage," the ad states. "Jim Webb, Hillary Clinton and their liberal allies in Washington don't want to give constitutional protection to traditional marriage. If they don't share our values on something as basic as marriage, how can we trust them on any issue?"

For the record, Jim Webb is actually opposed to gay marriage (he does support civil unions).

Funny thing is, the Virginia legislature has already banned gay marriage and civil unions. Twice. Adding it to the state constitution is mostly demagoguery.

The language in the amendment is also exceptionally broad, extending not just to homosexuals, but also to unmarried straight couples; and not just to state recognition of gay marriage, but to private contracts between domestic partners, including privileges like hospital visitation rights and the right to make medical decisions in emergencies. It is intentionally vague, giving future attorneys general sweeping enforcement powers that could ostensibly prevent private employers from offering benefits to the partners of unmarried employees. The kicker is that the amendment will be put into Virginia's Bill of Rights.

More fun:  Virginia's Bill of Rights was famously written by George Mason (some historians believe the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution generously cribbed from Mason's document). Today, the state university that bears Mason's name seems to be pretty worried about the amendment. In a general email announcement to students and faculty last week, George Mason University Senior Vice President Maurice W. Scherrens warned of some collateral effects should the amendment pass:

The economic wellbeing of Virginia and all of its public agencies and institutions depends upon attracting and retaining talented workers and dynamic new enterprises, and this proposed amendment could have the chilling effect of discouraging high-value workers and businesses from locating in our state or accepting employment at our university, thus putting us at a competitive disadvantage relative to neighboring states in the region where no such broadly proposed restrictions now exist. If Mason is not allowed to offer competitive benefits for all employees, and if benefits for unmarried individuals are reduced, we will lose the competitive advantage of both our location and our status as a nationally recognized institution of excellence.

Opposition to gay marriage is one thing. The amendment Allen's pushing goes quite bit beyond that.  It'sclearly an infringement on the freedom of contract. And it's a sweeping, invasive, expansion of government power to enshrine in the state constitution a ban that, by the way, is already law in Virginia.

Of course, if it brings votes to George Allen and makes it clear that gay people and unwed relationships aren't welcome in the Old Dominion, it'll have served its purpose.

Advertisement

NEXT: Trans Fat Transformation

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. This is such a stupid amendment-hateful, bigoted, redundant, unnecessary (Virginian judges will allow gay marriage??), excessive, overboard, contract-infringing, pointless, and fucking wrong.

  2. I’m bothered by the fact that G. Allen is so incredibly stupid (imagine him writing a book on anything for example, the man is not allowed to speak to the press unscripted anymore for crying out loud) but is far worse is his near total disregard for the intelligence of the VA voters. At the last debate he whored for women voters by saying “My wife Susan and I…” every other sentence (even though his wife was never pictured in the debate and was elected to nothing), the clip he uses on Webb raising taxes was part of a larger comment on how wrong it is to fight a war AND cut taxes (and since Webb is against the war you can figure out what that proves yourself), and now he hopes we don’t realize that gay marriage is already illegal in VA. The man has no backbone or brain. I just hope this election doesn’t prove Lisa Simpson correct: you can never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the general public…

  3. KERRY WOULD HAVE BEEN WORSE!

  4. this proposed amendment could have the chilling effect of discouraging high-value workers and businesses from locating in our state or accepting employment at our university, thus putting us at a competitive disadvantage relative to neighboring states in the region where no such broadly proposed restrictions now exist.

    See, if those heathen Democrats would only have allowed this to be put into the US Constitution G.M.U. wouldn’t be having this crisis. One law to rule them all.

  5. KERRY WOULD HAVE BEEN WORSE!

    Kerry said he was perfectly happy with – and supported – this sort of bigotry.

    Nothing about the Democrats annoys me more than when they posture that they’re better than the Republicans on issues they refuse to be any different on.

  6. “Kerry said he was perfectly happy with – and supported – this sort of bigotry.”

    vs.

    “The language in the amendment is also exceptionally broad, extending not just to homosexuals, but also to unmarried straight couples; and not just to state recognition of gay marriage, but to private contracts between domestic partners, including privileges like hospital visitation rights and the right to make medical decisions in emergencies. It is intentionally vague, giving future attorneys general sweeping enforcement powers that could ostensibly prevent private employers from offering benefits to the partners of unmarried employees. The kicker is that the amendment will be put into Virginia’s Bill of Rights.”

    DOES NOT COMPUTE. ERROR ERROR ERROR.

  7. Kerry Fetishist,

    Your point? It, like most stupid law, has damaging consequences even beyond the intended stupidity. Democrats are hardly immune to that when passing laws, and Kerry certainly didn’t think only Democrats were going to be passing state constitutional amendments banning gay marriage – you know, those ones he repeatedly said he deeply supported?

    If twits like you stopped grasping at straws to try to get semantic moral victories over the Republicans and actually tried to make your party better than the GOP on these matters, it might be worth voting for now and again.

  8. At least the state of Virginia still has a Bill of Rights, which is more than I can say for our used to be glorious Constitution.

  9. The “Virginia is for Lovers” bumper sticker is easy to alter. Cut the “s” off one bumper sticker, stick it over the “v” on another.
    Voila!
    VIRGINIA IS FOR LOSERS

    Very popular among Servicemen.

  10. “Your point?”

    Kerry would have allowed for civil unions, which this amendment makes impossible. But remember, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN WORSER ANYWAYS!!!!

  11. Well, at least this shitty assed law applies the smackdown on sin evenly.

  12. “the mouth-breathers south of the Rappahannock River”

    (checks an atlas …)

    Hey!

  13. At the risk of stirring up a hornet’s nest, I can remember a time when gay marriage threads would get 100+ comments.

  14. I’m glad faux “libertarian” Jon Henke is manning the helm at the Allen blog, making sure that his man stands up for those “Jeffersonian values” of individual liberty and equal protection before the law.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.