Virginia: Purple and Homophobic

Virginia is a purple state. We have a Democratic governor and a Republican state legislature. We vote along the line for presidential candidates. The last election cycle indicates we are largely slipping towards the blue side of the spectrum.

Except when it comes to “those gays”. Virginia passed a measure banning same sex marriage 57% to 43%. This despite the the ban coming at the cost of protection against domestic abuse:

Attorneys at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Arnold and Porter, along with more than 200 attorneys and legal scholars around the state, have produced a 70-page memo detailing the unanticipated legal consequences of the gay marriage amendment—consequences including barring unmarried couples from the protections of state domestic-violence laws; nullifying trusts, wills, and medical directives between unmarried couples; and undermining custody and visitation agreements for children of unmarried couples. Characterizing the amendment as “the most expansive such proposal ever to have been put before the voters of any state,” the memo raises serious legal problems with its “exceedingly broad and untested language.”

That’s right, Virginia was so concerned about same sex couples having the same rights as heterosexual couples, they willingly risked domestic violence and other legal protections for all unmarried couples.

Principled.

With such a stance a priority for homophobes and lobbying groups such as the Virginia Catholic leadership, is it any wonder that the direct effects of this law on homosexual couples are a joke to state officials?

So much so they are touting, touting, gym membership as a benefit! (Via Pam):

Virginia, the state where Mary, Heather and little Samuel live, has an extreme anti-gay amendment in place, and it is facing the same problem. The situation is so hostile that a f*cking meager benefit like this is being touted.

University trustees have agreed to allow the same-sex partners of faculty and students to join the university’s gyms paying a lower rate previously reserved only for married couples.

But even to do that, the agreement extends to any two people living together who share expenses.

The all inclusive wording of the new rule has been accepted by Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell, although his spokesperson warned the school that McDonnell was only signing off on gym memberships and it should not interpreted as anything more.

Of course not. Don’t interpret it as any signal that there is equality under the law, or that religious hatred for homosexuals has no place dictating the rights of all citizens.

Virginia may have barely elected a Democrat to the Senate over an entrenched Republican, but Allen largely dug his own fortunes. The voters spoke loudly on an issue of civil rights and equality, and that voice was full of irrational hatred and fear. It is shameful that we as a state failed the litmus test this ballot question represented.

The stingy “benefits” being offered in the place of actual rights and protections is a slap in the face to University faculty.

We have a long way to go as a country when this is how a swing state views fundamental issues of equality, rights and justice.

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3 Responses

  1. Gays must leave the state of virginia and move to Massachusetts to enjoy freedom in their lifetimes.

  2. […] than years in some states.  I know that’s the case in Virginia, which to my great shame passed a law aimed at restricting Gay rights even at the expense of reduced protection for victims o….  I can’t imagine how it must feel to live in Virginia and know that a majority of the […]

  3. […] was confident his efforts would pay off, and with echoes of Virginia in 2006, those about to lose their marriage rights seemed to concur: “The Tanakh clearly states […]

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