Friday, October 27, 2006

Gay Marriage in VA

. Friday, October 27, 2006

I firmy believe that gay people should be able to marry and have the same rights as heterosexual couples. That said, I don't think it's realistic in this political climate for gays to get the right in one fell swoop. I think the more likely way to acheive that goal is on a state by state basis and it would probably fall under the heading of "civil unions". There is a referendum on the ballot in Virginia to amend the state constitution to define marriage as being between a man and a woman.

Here are some snippets from both sides of the issue

This is a cut-and-paste from Equality Virginia who opposes the amendment.

Virginia should not amend its constitution because:

It is unnecessary to amend the Virginia Constitution to define civil marriage. State law already defines civil marriage as between a man and a woman. In fact, Virginia law already goes beyond prohibiting civil marriage between same-sex couples, by prohibiting civil unions, domestic partnerships and any “other arrangement” between same-sex couples that purports to bestow the benefits of marriage. Federal law protects Virginia from being forced to recognize marriages celebrated in other states.

It would hurt families. The proposed amendment would permanently deny the families of same-sex couples the legal protections and financial stability offered by civil marriage and the lesser benefits that could be achieved through civil unions, domestic partnerships or other forms of legal recognition. By extending the restrictions on relationship recognition to all unmarried couples, gay and straight, the proposal would likely generate litigation like that filed in other states aimed at ending health care coverage for domestic partners and rendering unconstitutional the application of domestic violence laws to unmarried people.

It would not affect the religious sacrament of marriage. The Virginia Constitution does not need to be changed to protect the religious sacrament of marriage and should not be amended to incorporate religious definitions of marriage. All religious faiths are already free to define and celebrate marriage in accord with their religious beliefs. No church or religious faith can be compelled by any state law or by any court to recognize any marriage. Nor will it allow the state to prohibit any church or religion from celebrating or recognizing any marriage or union it chooses.

Virginia should not discriminate. Sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic. Like race and gender, it is not a lifestyle or choice. Amending the Virginia Constitution to authorize disparate treatment based on sexual orientation is unfair, inappropriate and un-Virginian. Given Virginia's past history of legislated segregation and the prohibition of inter-racial marriages, Virginia legislators and voters should consider carefully how future generations will judge those who vote to write a new category of discrimination into the Virginia Constitution.
Most Virginians do not support discrimination against gays and lesbians and a majority support allowing civil unions and other legal recognition of gay relationships. A recent survey of Virginians conducted by a bi-partisan polling team shows that an overwhelming majority of Virginians do not support discrimination based on sexual orientation, and most support civil unions. The proposed amendment would take away from the legislature the ability to change Virginia law to allow recognition of civil unions and other agreements, and leave unelected judges with the sole right and ability to define the benefits, obligations and effects of marriage.

Here is a sample FAQ from VA4Marriage.org who supports the amendment.

Q. Will the amendment ban same-sex marriage in Virginia?

A. Virginia law already bans same-sex marriage and civil unions. The amendment simply protects current law from activist judges.

Q. What will change in Virginia if this amendment is passed?

A. Absolutely nothing will change in Virginia. Everything the amendment covers already is part of Virginia law, including a ban on homosexual marriage and civil unions, so no laws or regulations as currently applied in Virginia will change for anyone or any institution. This proves false the wild claims made by the homosexual rights lobby that, among other things, domestic violence cases might not be prosecuted or certain contracts would be prohibited if the amendment passes. But by amending Virginia’s constitution, we protect Virginia from activist state judges, such as those who legalized same-sex marriage and civil unions in Massachusetts and overturned Maryland’s same-sex marriage ban, from doing the same thing here.

Q. Doesn't state law already limit marriage to one man and one woman? An amendment really isn't needed, is it?

A. The amendment is necessary because the only way to take the issue out of the hands of activist judges is a constitutional amendment. Virginia passed a defense of marriage act, but homosexual groups have challenged several state DOMAs in courts. Just recently a judge in Maryland ruled unconstitutional that state’s 33 year old ban on same-sex marriage. The only protection we have from activist courts is a constitutional amendment.

Q. How will same-sex marriage hurt children?

A. Same-sex marriage will inevitably lead to same-sex families, which intentionally deny children either a mother or a father. The same-sex marriage debate isn't merely an academic question. Its outcome will have real consequences on real people. Our first duty is to protect those who cannot protect themselves. A loving and compassionate society will always come to the aid of motherless and fatherless families, but a loving and compassionate society will never deliberately create them. Same-sex couples intentionally deny children either a mother or a father, and children need both to develop into healthy adults. Males and females parent differently, and these differences are essential in helping a child grow into a healthy adult. A father's love is very different from a mother's love, and no same-sex couple could ever provide both. Gender differences are real, and children need more than a pair of unisex bodies to grow into healthy adulthood. An analysis of over 100 studies on parent-child relationships found that having a loving and nurturing father is just as important for a child's happiness, social development, academic success and general well-being as having a loving and nurturing mother.
Fathers help their children feel secure, grow in confidence, and develop a healthy curiosity of the world around them. They increase children's academic readiness and performance, contribute to strong cognitive, motor and verbal development, help kids make wise choices and curb violence in boys.Mothers provide warm, nurturing care for children, assuring them that they are loved. They have a natural connection to children that develops in the womb. Mothers stress equity and security and help children develop an understanding of risks and their consequences. Both father-love and mother-love are needed to raise children from infancy to healthy adulthood.

Click HERE for the full list.

If you have an open mind and try to give equal weight to both sides, you can tell that, to a certain extent, both sides blow sunshine up your ass. I think both sides are guilty of some scare tactics and not telling the whole truth. Welcome to politics! I haven't read anything regarding whether or not this referendum is expected to pass. I suspect that it will. I think that enough states will pass their own gay marriage laws (permitting it or prohibiting it) that the issue will eventually come to a head and be decided upon on the Federal level by the Supreme Court.

This BadRabbit will be voting NO!

10 comments:

Berford said...

I respectfully disagree with the idea of homosexuals being allowed to marry, and at the same time I don't think adding an ammendment to the US Constitution is necessary.

If two men or two women want to live together and love one another, that's fine with me... as long as it doesn't affect me. Marriage has historically been an institution between man and woman. How do homosexuals propose to consumate their marriage? What's next, suing the AMA for not finding a way to make their partner pregnant?

The world does not need to be entirely unisexed simply in the name of political correctness. If it did, I'd be filing lawsuits for not having urinals in the ladies rooms throughout the world.

Boo said...

To be honest, this topic isn't a burning issue for me. But I think that all people should have the same rights afforded to them. The basic arguement you give against is because it's "against tradition". Certainly, traditions are important and that's why I don't think gays will ever be able to get "married". That's why I think the civil unions is the most practical road to take. I don't think gay marriage is about "political correctness", it's about a group of people, slowly but surely gaining acceptance in society and the basic rights afforded to everyone.

Anonymous said...

Ok respectfully disagreeing with you db, (smile) the way it is now, a gay man can legally marry a women and some do. That's legal. But 2 gay men or 2 lesbian women cannot marry? Marriage isn't about the sexual orientation, elsewise we'd have arranged marriages here because all that would matter is there is a man and a woman joined together.

Far as having kids, there are many married men and women who can't have kids for one reason or another and they adopt. Should they not be married?

Slavery was historically ok for a period of time too. lol :)

IMO, 2 people in love, of legal age, who want to get married, ought to be allowed to. Regardless of color, race, religion, or whatever. It should be no one else's business.

How can a gay or lesbian marriage affect you? If you deny them being allowed to marry, but you are ok with them living together, isn't that hypocritical? They can have sex, but not marry? If you stand on principles of marriage, those views don't seem to mesh.

-gwen :)

Anonymous said...

Marriage is and should be a religious institution.

Civil unions would allow gay couples as well as nonreligious hetero couples to have the legal & societal benefits and penalties of "marriage" without crossing legitimate religious boundaries.

Easy peasy. Next question?

~newt

Anonymous said...

Not so easy newt. :)

Many gay couples ARE religious and do want to marry. Why should they be denied?

-gwen

Kim said...

Two of my best friends are a gay couple and they've been together for longer than many straight people I know. They own a house together, vacation together...they are just as married as my husband and I are, only they have no paperwork. All they want is to be able to get married like anyone else, and to live quietly. They are denied this, and it's not right. I would love for them to be able to get married.

Boo said...

Because religions have rules that aren't the business of government. Either follow the rules of your religion or find a different religion with rules you like. Just like was cry for religion to stay out of politics, we should also cry for politics to stay out of religion.

Anonymous said...

What boo said gwen.

~newt

Anonymous said...

ahh BUT the Bible and the churches are not clear on same sex marriages. It depends on if you're a liberal or conservative Christian. (speaking just of Christianity here.) Nowhere in the Bible does it say homosexuals cannot get married.

Consider this:

"Due to its congregational polity a number of congregations and ministers of the United Church of Canada (a merger of congregationalist, persbyterian and methodist congregations in Canada) officiate at same-sex marriages, which are fully legal in Canada.

In the Anglican Communion, Integrity Toronto has been divided over whether to continue pressing for same-sex blessings, or to revise their goals to seek full marriage rights [4].

The predominately gay Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches performs same-sex marriages.

The Mennonite Church in the Netherlands offers marriage to both heterosexual and same-gender couples.

The Swedenborgian Church of North America allows ministers to choose whether to perform same-sex marriages [5]. In addition, same sex couples can be married under the care of many "unprogrammed" Quaker meetings.

Many smaller denominations, such as the Eucharistic Catholic Church also solemnize same-sex marriages."

(taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blessing_of_same-sex_unions

And, it's too late for gov't to stay out of marriage as the laws are already there. You have to have a marriage license to get married legally.

List of churches:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominational_positions_on_homosexuality

Now, boo, this: http://www.slate.com/id/2085127 may be the solution, and it should be really. Then we'd all be in agreement. Otherwise like he says, we'll be arguing till 'death do us part' over it. lol But will it ever happen?? Hmm... :)

-gwen

Anonymous said...

But gwen that is not going to happen.

I don't think that arguing about how religions are reading the bible wrong is the answer, it's certainly not going to move anyone toward a middle ground.

Religions have the right to teach that marriage is between a man and a woman.

If gay people want to be "married" in the methodist church, they can take it up with the methodists. If they want to be married in their jewish temple, they can take it up with the jews.

But if they want legal, civil, and/or financial recognition of their partnership, then civil unions are the answer, not marriage.

~newt

 

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