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not gretchen bulova

I did not say it was a no-brainer for everyone, just for Kaine/Deeds. Deeds in particular.

I tend to agree about Valentine.

Most voters, including most swing voters do not decide their vote on this issue. I stand by that statement.

Gay marriage? Who cares. I want to know where these people stand on same-sex bathrooms. That issue could decide the '07 midterms.

I've given this due thought and consideration, and I strongly believe that we need a constitutional amendment that outlaws same-sex bathrooms.

Same-sex bathrooms are ruining the institution of bathroom. Next thing you know, they'll want to make it legal for dogs to use bathrooms. Once we travel down the slippery slope of toilet drinking dogs, it's only a matter of time before America devolves into a state of full scale anarchy. Sooner or leader, we'll lose all free will and middle class asians will be purchasing Americans as pets on ebay.

ZB

Shannon Valentine was asked at nearly every forum during her campaign about this. She repeatedly said that while she does not support same-sex marriage, this amendment goes too far and is unncessary. Sen. Newman ran ads attacking her for this position. She won with 57% of the vote. This was not a shocker. The people of Lynchburg whose last names are not Falwell could care less about this amendment.

Good Analysis Ben

The institution of toilet is under attack.

ZB

One other point--Bulova does have cover. 1) His district is just not that conservative and 2) John Mason, his opponent, also came out in the campaign AGAINST this amendment.

Chap was actually the one who was out of step with the voters on this amendment and it quite likely is the reason he is not presiding over the Senate as Lt. Governor today.

Virginia Centrist

I tend to agree. Nobody in Fairfax cares about gay marriage. I'd wager that a slim majority of Republicans don't even care.

Virginia Centrist

In fact - Republican candidates in NOVA risk a huge backlash for even bringing up the issue. It's pretty easy for Democrats to make them look like wild bigots.

Willis

I appreciate it when politics takes a back seat to doing what's right. It's important.

Doug in Mount Vernon

Ben, I agree this could become an issue in some races.

However, this issue just doesn't register as that important for MOST voters. Nationally, about 64% of people believe GLBT couples deserve equal treatment under the law if not called marriage (read civil unions). It's not that far below in VA, at 59%. I think many people will be surprised at how many people end up voting against this amendment, particularly in NoVA, Richmond, Tidewater, and the SW university towns. Most people agree it goes too far. I spoke about it at the Amundson-Puller Town Meeting last weekend and my plea for people to vote against it received a tremendous applause.

Equality groups have a tremendous opportunity here to frame the debate and wage and effective campaign against this.

Dave Poisson was elected in Loudoun precisely because most voters were tired of and didn't agree with Black's social extremism. The district IS NOT as socially conservative as you make it out to be, being very well-educated and in 2003 anyway, 58% pro-choice. That doesn't mean there isn't a base of social conservatives out there, they're just not anywhere near a majority. We're about to have another test of this tomorrow, so we shall see.

It could be an issue in rural districts, but they mostly seem to have voted for it anyway.

In short, don't believe the hype. Most people just don't care, and on top of that, polls show people agree with rights.

I expect this to still pass statewide if most people don't get educated about the amendment and what it actually will do. That will depend on the campaigns that develop for and against it, and their respective funding.

Rick Howell

ZB is absolutely right. Shannon Valentine made it clear that while she believed marriage is between a man and a woman, she didn't want discrimination written into the constitution. The city of Lynchburg is trending so Democratic recently (except in federal elections), I don't think she'll be in trouble for this in her next race. She showed guts, which is why so many of us voted for her.

Doug in Mount Vernon

Frankly, I am very disappointed to see that African-American district representatives are falling prey to the divisive fear and intolerance of this amendment.

As much as GLBT people, organizations, and resources have been brought to bear on standing up for all people's civil rights, I find it very disappointing.

I understand the African-American churches don't all support it, but again, one doesn't need to agree with full equality to be against this amendment, an attack on the very Bill of Rights that led to the end of enslavement and the equal status under the law for racial minorities that exists today.

I was happy to hear Al Sharpton and others recently, including Corretta Scott King and Kwiese Mfume, speak out about this topic.

nova_middle_man

going out on a limb here but I think this "issue" is a generational thing in addition to a party issue. The "gay" thing is an issue for some older republicans. However for dems and "most younger" republicans it's a I don't care or I'm with the dems issue. Surveys from high schoolers and college students confirm this with over 90% not caring or agreeing with same-sex couples.

Doug in Mount Vernon

One more quickie observation: Interesting to me that Tom Rust didn't vote. That says a lot to me.

Doug in Mount Vernon

Oh yeah, and although I just love the guy and think he's super nice (I was in the Sorenson Candidate Training with him in 2003), I am disappointed that Steve Shannon still can't see how this goes too far--enough so to vote against it.

If anything, Steve Shannon might have an issue in a Democratic primary over this!

GOPHokie

I think Valentine's vote if only a preview of what is to come from her. Her district is "moderate" but supports social issues. Bryant did a very good job of doing what his constituents wanted, she has started off on the wrong foot.
I think she will be a vulerable dem seat in '07 b/c she will vote or more things like the amendment that will fly in thr face of her consituents.

Willis

The people who voted for this piece of crap amendment just have penis envy.

ZB

Preston Bryant had a fairly pro-gay rights voting record, especially for a Republican. His Equality Virginia scores were consistently fairly high.

Not Larry Sabato

I'm pissed off no one is appreciating my graphic.

Willis

I don't know who those guys are, sorry.

not gretchen bulova

support for NGB's theory, I love it!

J. Sarge

Willis, that is the Clerk and Speaker of the House of Delegates. Given the amount you post, I would have thought you would have at least recognized Speaker Howell.

NLS, I thought that photo was a great way to lead off the discussion. Of course, neither is gay, nor should your picture be read as suggesting they are. But getting a picture of two guys in morning suits to title this topic was priceless.

Not Larry Sabato

Thanks J. Sarge. I worked very hard to take this picture.

Willis

I don't recognize the faces of most delegates.

asmith

Valentine will be fine Ben. That amendment went to far, and she was already attacked on that issue and she received 57%. Now if she goes against her district on a myriad of other issues then she will be vulnerable. Paula Miller had the same deal and look how she did.

Not Larry Sabato

Paula Miller voted Yes.

Doug in Mount Vernon

I wondered who it was when I first looked, but I figured you lifted the graphic from some marriage site or related new article.

RightWing's rants about marriage: 2 minutes of repetitive bore.

ZB's rhymning on Reid: 5 minutes of laughter galore.

Ben's gay marriage grpahic: Priceless.

Rtwng Extrmst

I must be getting to Doug since he has stooped to invective.

Not Jack Herrity

Willis, you are just hopelessly clueless.

Josh Chernila

Whether or not you oppose gay marriage, every Virginian should oppose this. It will have broad-ranging legal effects for any unmarried Virginian.

In domestic violence cases, in personal property cases, in terms of shared benefits, housing, medical insurance, medical permissions, visitation rights and a hundred others, this bill goes so far beyond an unnecessary consitutional ban on gay marriage. This deeply and dangerously abridges the rights of all unmarried Virginians.

If you or anyone in your family don't happen to be married, this bill will personally harm you.

Not Jack Herrity

Yeah, because Josh Chernila at Raising Kaine is a decidedly nonpartisan voice of reason and we should all listen to everything he says.

Sorry, man. You made me do it. If you follow my posts, you'll note I've been off my meds lately.

NJH

Josh Chernila

Yeah, I was wondering about that NJH.

Maybe a midol would help.

Josh

Josh Chernila

And by the way, if you want to attack my argument as an anonymous poster, that's your right. If you wan't to discuss my character as a NAMED poster, you are welcome.

If however you want to try to "527/SwiftBoat" me, you deserve no respect and you earn none from me.

Maybe Richard Simmons

I want my rights!

Rtwng Extrmst

Actually Josh, every Virginian should be in favor of a constitutional amendment to define marriage explicitly. Otherwise courts have clearly shown the willingness to define it however they feel the wind blowing that day. You may have problems with this wording, but an amendment is needed. If this one fails, another should be attempted.

As to your accusations as to its effects, I highly doubt your assertions. My understanding of the current amendment is that it is strictly including in the constitution of Virginia what is already in Virginia law. If what you say is true, those things should be going on already today.

GOPHokie

I knew Speaker Howell but I didnt know the other one, so I didnt understand what he was trying to say with the pic.

you keep equating the 12 African American members of the House with 12 African American majority districts. Ware is not a majority minority district

Josh Chernila

You are precisely wrong Extremist.

The majority of Virginians and Americans oppose gay marriage, but favor legal civil unions for homosexuals.

This three-sentence referrendum leaves the mainstream after the first period.

Moreover, in other states, broad language in their Ammendments has made it extremely difficult to prosecute domestic violence cases under the more strict "spousal abuse" statutes. Unmarried couples are not allowed to adopt, and an unmarried parent is not allowed a name on a birth certificate.

These are taking place. Here are a few specific examples, nationwide that have effected heterosexuals:

The University of Toledo rescinded plans to consider offering same-domestic partnership benefits after a marriage amendment passed in Ohio.
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Gran-holm removed domestic-partner benefits for same-sex partners under a new union contract in December 2004, citing passage of that state's amendment.
In March, Michigan's state attorney general issued an opinion that governmental entities are prohibited from offering domestic-partner benefits. The ruling could affect several counties, schools districts and universities in the state.

Look for more on this at RK.

The sweeping language of the ammendment as written will strip many rights from heterosexuals.

Welcome to the age of the unmarriage-penalty.

Not Jack  Herrity

Josh, get a grip. You guys have no sense of humor over there.

NJH

Josh Chernila

pfft...

It's been a long day all around NJH.
No hard feelings.

ZB

Righty McRighter said

"every Virginian should be in favor of a constitutional amendment to define marriage explicitly. Otherwise courts have clearly shown the willingness to define it however they feel the wind blowing that day. You may have problems with this wording, but an amendment is needed. If this one fails, another should be attempted."

I love this logic, because as usual he assumes that with the EXCEPTION of Virginia's activist judges (I have yet to see any evidence of such a thing over the 400 year history of the Commonwealth), every Virginian should oppose gay marriage. Here's a secret Righty---some Virginians are actually gay, in committed relationships, and want the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual couples. And some Virginians aren't gay but are fair minded enough to believe in equality for all.

And then there's you. Either you are straight but aren't fair minded enough to care about the rights of gay people... or you're gay but not in a committed relationship.

Rtwng Extrmst

ZB,

I never said every Virginian should oppose "gay marriage". Only that every Virginian should support an amendment defining marriage. That definition will be one that a majority of Virginians will support by voting for it. If that one includes "gay marriage" or "domestic partnerships", or neither it is still a necessary action due to the confusing actions of activist judges.

Also, your comment about judges in Virginia would have been true in MD last month, but now is not. The same will eventually be true in Virginia without an amendment.

I have my own views of what marriage should be defined as, and I believe I have very valid and non-bigoted reasons for it. I am for equal protection under the law for all people, and despite some people's assertions here, the marriage amendment as currently written will not take away anyone's rights.

Doug in Mount Vernon

"Righty McRighter"

ZB! You've stooped to invective! Good God, will you stop at nothing, man!?

I want to see Ben's prediction on the Staton- Herring race.

willis

uh, chris, i mean rtwng, the amendment will take away contract rights for all non-married couples, homo and heterosexual.

What the hell are you talking about?? This amendment is DESIGNED to take away rights.

ZB

No, Mr. Extrmst, I disagree. Every Virginian should not support civil rights matters being defined by constitutional referendum. Majority rule should not be the method of determining minority rights. If the majority of Virginians favored defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman of the same race (which, I might add, they did until after the Supreme Court stepped in and ruled it unconstitutional in Loving v. Virginia), I would absolutely NOT trust that matter to be defined by constitutional amendment.

I don't trust the will of the majority when it comes to the rights of the majority. Neither did the Founding Fathers. That's why we live in a Republic instead of a Democracy.

And no, even last month, Maryland's Judges were a lot more activist than Virginia's. Maybe because they were appointed by people a little more liberal than Dave Albo, Robert McDonnell, and Terry Kilgore. And, like Massachusetts, Maryland's constitution does a lot more to speak to equal treatment of all than Virginia's ever has.

Rtwng Extrmst

ZB,

It only takes one activist judge.

And I'm glad to hear that you would rather put our civil rights decisions into the hands of a very few unaccountable judges, than in the people. I suppose you feel for this reason that we should not have an amendment process at all. Of course without such a process, women wouldn't have the vote today.

Johnny Longtorso

here's the full text of Ohio's marriage amendment:

"Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this state and its political subdivisions. This state 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 effect of marriage."

and now here's Virginia's proposed amendment:

"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."

how exactly is Virginia's amendment not going to cause the same problems as Ohio's? they're written with EXACTLY THE SAME LANGUAGE.

willis

Rtwng: I don't trust the majority. The majority of America probably wouldn't mind if we declared ourselves a Christian nation.

The majority of America still believes Saddam Huissein was behind 9-11.

The minority needs to be protected at all costs, even if the majority doesn't like it.

Rtwng Extrmst

You don't trust the majority, but you do trust a few unelected judges. That explains alot Willis.

Johnny Longtorso

the founding fathers didn't trust "the majority" either. that's why we have the electoral college, the Senate, and an appointed-for-life Supreme Court.

Rtwng Extrmst

Johnny,

They also didn't believe in Judicial Decree either, which is why we have the constitutional amendment process.

Doug in Mount Vernon

Rtwng Nut:

What is your problem with the independent judicial system that our founding fathers created in our US Constitution? Judicial appointments are supposed to be unelected because they are then not subject to the changing whims of populace, and can give thoughtful, reasoned opinions of the intent of law without worrying about electability. And incidentally, providing a CRITICAL check and balance on the system.

You need to be careful about your activist judges analogies, because Alito is confirmed and begins to teat down the legal framework built in this nation since the turn of the century, who will the "activist" judges be then?

And Mr. Righty McRight (sorry, love ZB's reference there), do you consider yourself an activist? With a name like you've chosen, I would suspect you are exactly that. What is your problem with activism since you obviously are one?

Doug in Mount Vernon

Damn I need to proofread better! That sentence should read:

"because after Alito is confirmed, and begins to tear down...."

Although I don't doubt Alito will have some teating to do as well... ;-)

Rtwng Extrmst

Doug,

I am an activist, but I am not a Judge.

I agree with your assessment of why we need an independent Judiciary as a check and balance that is not at the whims of the people. Unfortunately recently the Judiciary itself has become much more activist and in fact is creating laws and rights that were never intended in the constitution(s). This activism is unfortunately causing a great power shift away from the executive and legislative branches toward the Judiciary. Thus the concern over "unelected" Judges making such large and sweeping changes. This in fact was a concern of the founders and it was always imperative to appoint Judges that would strictly interpret the law and not try to add their own meaning to it based on their own personal views or political bent.

This is in fact why I look forward to Justice Alito serving on the Supreme Court. I hope that he will reign in some of these more activist rulings of late and return the court to its proper role.

Doug in Mount Vernon

Study your history, Nut.

You're wrong. If anything, courts in the last year have been much more measured and reserved in judicial interpretations.

They tend to rule with the majorities of American public opinion.

Back in the days of Brown v Board, and Roe v Wade, that wasn't the case. Furthermore, if we look back into the days of suffrage, industrial revolution, and unionization of workers' rights, they progressive interpretation of laws and Constitution were far more forward-looking.

You're just incorrect about this, but I don't expect you to admit that.

Also, a caution. You saw what happened tonight in Loudoun County. It was a direct and obvious repudiation of right-wing extremism. People are sick and tired of it. If Alito and the other SCJ's begin to tear down 100 years of progress for the American people, they WILL RETALIATE AT THE POLLS.

In some ways, I say bring it on, Scalia, Thomas, Scarito, and Roberts. They may very well end up returning the Republican Party to minority status for decades so that intelligent, moderate, compassionate, reasoning Democrats can restore the lost justice through more direct legislation.

I look forward to your criticism of those "activist legislators" at that point in time.

My point: You damn well better be careful what you wish for, because as we've seen tonight, the American people will not tolerate it if they go too far, and take away well-establish rights and principles.

SjP

With California lifting the ban on gay marriage, I am very interested in your opionion as to whether or not the right for gays to marry is a fight that should be part of the African-American agenda. Please feel free to comment at: http://sojournersplace.blogspot.com/2008/06/is-gay-marriage-right-fight-for-african.html

Much Obliged, SjP

buy wow gold

Thanks J. Sarge. I worked very hard to take this picture.

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