The fine print

I spent a couple of hours yesterday knocking on doors for the Commonwealth Coalition, which is the main group that is organizing against Virginia’s anti-gay marriage (or anything that might vaguely resemble gay marriage constitutional amendment).

Mostly we were IDing voters on our side to target get-out-the-vote efforts, but we were also trying to raise the issue for people who might be undecided or not have heard about the measure.  Our strategy was mostly just to hand people the full text of the amendment and ask them to read it:


Question: Shall Article I (the Bill of Rights) of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to state:

"That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.

This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage."?

That second paragraph is so overreaching that you could just see the gears turning in people’s heads as they read it.

Here’s an ad that makes the same point.


I tivoed the Webb-Allen debate this morning but haven’t watched it yet.

5 Responses to “The fine print”

  1. landismom Says:

    Good for you! Glad you are putting your political beliefs into motion. Is this a new thing? Were you covered by the Hatch Act in your previous job?

  2. Elizabeth Says:

    I was covered by the Hatch Act in my old job, but the Hatch Act doesn’t stop you from canvassing, either for an issue or a candidate. You can’t run for office yourself, you can’t fundraise, and you can’t identify yourself by your federal position, but otherwise, electoral politics is fair game as a fed.

  3. Julie Says:

    So, basically, the only acceptable form of adult relationship in Virgina is heterosexual marriage. And people wonder why I left a 250 year family legacy in Virgina to move to Massachusetts!

  4. trishka Says:

    i didn’t watch the ad, but the first thought that came to my mind when i read that paragraph was about domestic violence, and what this would do to existing laws in place protecting people (women) who are in unmarried relationships.

  5. Christine Says:

    I saw the advertisement, but it really does not surprise me that Virginia would want to push traditional, Christian marital standards. Unmarried heterosexual couples regardless of age are against Christian standards. From a feminist point of view it is punishing women for not getting married and being self-sufficient.
    I just was wondering will this law overide legal contracts between two parties if marriage is not stated in regards to inheritance and guardianship. A person could leave all their money to a charity, distant cousin or their pet.

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