Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Vote NO

You should vote NO on ballot question one. You would be in good company. Not only me. But also our Senator, Creigh Deeds.

Now, Creigh and I hold quite different opinions when it comes to marriage equality. In my opinion, whatever consenting adults want to do is their business. Not only, in an age when Madonna and Britney Spears are the types of mothers getting all the headlines and divorce rates are very high do I think we should celebrate ANY committed relationship, but this amendment is obviously motivated by hate, and I do not want hate codified in our Constitution.

But, beyond that, it's a horrificly written amendment (as Bob Marshalls bills usually are).

That's where Creigh, who has a more "traditional" view of marriage, and I, agree.

You see, this amendment would not only define marriage as between a man and a woman, but would also ban any relationship that approximated marriage. While the implications of this are far reaching, it seems that one of the most serious ramifications would be that the amendment would make it more difficult for domestic violence victims to receive help. We all know that domestic violence happens in all kinds of relationships, not just heterosexual matrimony. And this amendment would deprive law enforcement of valuable tools that keep victims of domestic violence safe.

Says Creigh,

While our courts would not be bound by the Ohio ruling, the fact that victims of domestic violence in Ohio have been subjected to an extended period of legal uncertainty causes me great concern. The experience there causes me to fear that the proposed amendment to Virginia’s constitution will invite the very judicial activism its proponents argue it will prevent.

A NO vote on November 7th will not change in any way Virginia’s 30 year old law banning gay marriage, and I would not vote NO if it did.

A NO vote on November 7th, will, however, ensure that we are not taking the unnecessary risk of exposing even one victim of domestic violence further harm because of legal confusion about the application of our 10 year old mandatory arrest law or the availability of protective orders needed to make home and work safe.

That is why I will be voting NO on election day confident that neither traditional marriage nor a single domestic violence victim will be harmed by the outcome.

If you're like me, and think that the definition of marriage should be left to churches and individual couples to decide, then you need to vote NO on this question. If you're not like me, and you support a legal definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, you still need to vote NO, because we cannot afford not to help any victim of domestic violence, and this amendment will leave many people in a state of legal limbo when they desperately need help.

And, in any case, if this amendment passes, your side of the debate will look pretty damned foolish when it's repealed in a decade.


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