More Virginia politics

First, an update on HB1677 — Maura has posted Del Cosgrove’s email to her, in which he indicates that he will be working with legislative staff to revise the bill language to narrow its application.  (Apparently, he’s been totally swamped with email in the past day or two.  I’m shocked.)  I wouldn’t totally assume the problem is fixed, but it makes sense to at least wait and see what the bill says.

Next, I thought I’d shine a little light on some other proposed legislation.  HJ586, also offered by Del. Cosgrove, would amend the Virginia Constitution to say, under the heading BILL OF RIGHTS:

"Marriage is the legal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife, and no other combination of persons may be licensed to marry or recognized as a marriage by the government. A civil union, domestic partnership, or similar civil arrangement that purports to bestow the rights, privileges, benefits, status, or obligations of marriage upon unmarried persons may not be created, recognized, or enforced by the government. A civil arrangement forbidden by this section shall be void and unenforceable even if lawful elsewhere."

Del Cosgrove feels compelled to propose this amendment, even though the Legislature passed a law just last year that clarified the existing law defining marriage as between a man and a woman, in order to say:

"A civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage is prohibited. Any such civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement entered into by persons of the same sex in another state or jurisdiction shall be void in all respects in Virginia and any contractual rights created thereby shall be void and unenforceable."

This law has already come into play in at least one custody dispute.  It strikes me as pure political grandstanding to push for a Constitutional amendment on top of the existing law, and it just turns my stomach to have it under the heading of Bill of Rights.

Finally, I’d like to point out the really well designed Legislative Information System which makes it possible to find out what bills have been introduced on a subject and their current status with just a few clicks of a mouse. 

4 Responses to “More Virginia politics”

  1. Maura in VA Says:

    First of all, thanks for highlighting my piece on HB1677. I don’t think Delegate Cosgrove’s response is the end of the story, but I’m thrilled at how much we’ve accomplished in just a couple of days. I’m single and have no children, so I had never peeked into the fertility/parenting blog world before this…all I gotta say is, all hail the power of the miscarriage and mommy blogs! It’s rare to witness such a mobilization online so quickly, and I’ve never been near the center of one before. I’ve now reached 70,000 hits on the DFV blog in the last 24 hours – amazing.
    One of the most interesting things about this, for me, has been connecting with all of these great blogs that I had never heard of before. Yours is one of the ones that is sure to tip the balance of “blogging” vs. “rest of my life” further on to the blogging side. You’re a great writer, and I’m glad to know we’re going to be progressive allies in Virginia!

  2. Marjorie Says:

    I think last year’s bill is being deleted…man, now you’re making me want to really pay attention to this stuff…

  3. Marjorie Says:

    sorry about my sloppy last comment…there is a bill to delete last year’s statute…
    HB 1633 Affirmation of Marriage Act; abolished.
    ——————————
    Summary as introduced:
    Domestic relations; Affirmation of Marriage Act. Repeals the statute that states: that a civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage is prohibited; that such an arrangement entered into in another state or jurisdiction is void in Virginia; and that any contractual rights created thereby are void and unenforceable.

  4. emily Says:

    The bill is being withdrawn! Good work, Activist People!
    http://www.augustafreepress.com/stories/storyReader$30532

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