CommunityPam's House Blend

Virginia wingnuts on the legislative warpath against gays, women

Alabama may be the most violently homophobic state, but Virginia’s got AL beat — for the moment — in terms of sheer legislative zeal in its attacks on the gay community. Its General Assembly will attempt to strengthen its already-in-place anti-gay laws.(

Same-sex marriage is back on the General Assembly’s agenda, as Republicans attempt to strengthen what some legal experts already consider the most restrictive anti-gay law in the nation. Democrats say they’ll fight to repeal it.

Virginia’s Affirmation of Marriage Act was amended in the 2004 session to prohibit a civil union, partnership contract or “other arrangement between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage.”

Del. Robert G. Marshall, the ass-clown pushing the hate legislation.

Del. Robert Marshall, the law’s author, along with fellow Republican Dels. Richard Black and John Cosgrove, said they are planning to introduce legislation that would amend the Virginia Constitution to add the restriction.

Constitutional amendments require passage by separate sessions of the General Assembly and approval of voters.

Marshall, of Prince William, and Black, of Loudoun, said the specifics of the proposal are being completed, but Black said the bill would define marriage as being between a man and a woman and would ban “marriage lookalikes” such as civil unions and partnerships. In an attempt to silence critics, Marshall said the bill would also specify that the restrictions don’t affect any other rights or privileges granted to same-sex couples under the state legislature.

Marshall said he wants the wording written into the Constitution to “put the policy on firmer footing.”

The Supreme Court better get the message that average Americans just don’t connect with same sex marriage,” Marshall said.

Cosgrove, of Chesapeake, said getting the change would protect the statute from being declared unconstitutional by a judge.

Dyana Mason, executive director of Equality Virginia, the state’s leading gay rights organization, said its priority this session will be to fight such legislation. She acknowledged it will be a “challenging session.”

Del. Mitchell Van Yahres, D-Charlottesville, has prefiled a bill that would repeal the amendment, which he said is “just going too far.”

Previous post

Spain's government approves gay marriage bill

Next post

Justice Dept: no info on emergency contraception for women if you're raped

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding