Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Virginia is for Lovers (Who Are Not Gay)

Welcome to the new Puritanism:

The Virginia House approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage Tuesday, despite a warning from the state's first openly gay legislator that the measure will one day prove as shameful as slavery and segregation.
The House voted 78-18 in favor of a resolution similar to one easily approved in the Senate on Monday.

If negotiators can reconcile the two versions this year, and the measure passes both chambers again next year, it will be put to the voters in November 2006.

"Today is one of those moments for which we shall one day be ashamed," said Democrat Adam P. Ebbin, who is gay.

Supporters of the amendment contend it is vital to warding off court rulings such as one in Massachusetts that made gay marriage legal there.

The Family Foundation's executive director, Victoria Cobb, said Ebbin's remarks about Virginia's racist past were unseemly.

"This is not a case where there are separate drinking fountains. There are no lack of voting rights, no segregated schools," she said. []
No, it's just a case where consenting adults are barred by law from codifying their relationships under the law. Combine the proposed constitutional amendment with the recently passed Virginia statute that voids partnership contracts between persons of the same sex and it becomes all too clear just how deeply Virginia has descended into the Dark Ages.

In 1776, George Mason wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which affirmed that “all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.” Over the many years, Mason’s sentiments were extended, first to women and then to blacks. It is high time Virginia recognize that these rights apply to gays as well.

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