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Virginians: Vote NO to the marriage amendment!

November 3, 2006, 10:09 PM

This advertisement, which ran on page A8 of today’s issue of The News Leader, really burns me up:

"Counterfeit marriages" ad

The reason that it gets my panties up in a wad is because it portrays non-traditional marriages as being something inferior, and makes a large, sweeping generalization about married parents.

First of all, though, let me give you a little background on this whole thing. When Virginians go to the polls on November 7, there will be a question on the ballot about an amendment to the state constitution outlawing same-sex marriage, as well as contractual arrangements that provide some semblance of marriage. The question on the ballot will be worded as follows:

Shall 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.”?

I encourage all Virginia voters to vote NO to the proposed amendment. I would say vote HELL NO to it, but as there is no option for “hell no”, a simple “no” will do. My belief is that marriage should be defined more loosely. I believe that marriage should be defined as a legal commitment between two people, leaving gender unspecified. Therefore, if you have a man and a woman who love each other very much and want to get married, then great. If two men love each other very much and wish to get married, then more power to them. The state should facilitate their tying the knot. Likewise for two females who are committed to each other. Also realize that in order to provide equal protection under the law for all couples, I would happily propose a ban on heterosexual marriage if homosexual marriage is prohibited, with the idea being that if they can’t get married, why should you be able to? Commitment is commitment.

Additionally, the ad I’ve cited makes a sweeping generalization about married heterosexual couples. While there are some traditional couples that make great parents (mine would be a fine example of great parents), there are some who have no business reproducing, but do so anyway. In making the generalization that a married mother and father is the best thing for a child, they imply that a situation where the father does drugs and sleeps around, the mother is an alcoholic and a prostitute, both parents fight constantly and call the child terrible things, but are still married to each other, is better than a stable, successful couple who happen to be of the same gender. I would say that in this case, children would be more at risk with the married couple of druggie dad and hooker mom than with, say, two women who run their own business raising a child, where the biggest problem is whether they’re going to pay the phone bill with the flower-themed checks or the mountain-themed checks. If faced with a choice between the two about where to put children, I’d put the kids with the same-sex couple.

I would also think that children of a same-sex couple would learn to be far more open-minded, having an arrangement that differs from many of their children’s friends’ parents. This would present a fabulous opportunity to explain that one arrangement is no better or worse than another, and that in each case, the parents love each other very much.

This whole marriage-amendment thing also reeks of older forms of racism, back when those in power needed to feel superior to someone, and African-Americans were the victims. Now that our society (for the most part) generally accepts people of all races as equals, bigots who need someone else to feel superior against are using sexual orientation, and instead of opposition to togetherness as society, the denial is in opposition to legal togetherness by loving couples.

All in all, let’s vote NO to the Virginia marriage amendment, and keep discrimination and denial of civil rights out of our state constitution.

Web site: Virginia State Board of Elections, where you can get all your election-related information

Song: Theme to Limozeen "TV show"

Quote: Vote NO!