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VA Rethug AG claims marriage amendment wouldn't affect partner benefits

This is laughable. Bob McDonnell, the Virginia attorney general, issues a one-page opinion stating he believes that the onerous amendment on the ballot in November would not affect private company domestic partner benefits, negate private legal agreements between gay couples or non-married opposite-sex couples.

Need I mention that he supports the marriage amendment and fundies asked him to submit the opinion? (365gay):

“The passage of the Marriage Amendment will not affect current legal rights and obligations of unmarried persons involving contracts, wills, advance medical directives, shared equity agreements, employer accident and sickness insurance policies or protection under domestic violence laws,” McDonnell wrote.

McDonnell is a strong supporter of the amendment but his spokesperson said the opinion was based on legal research, not his personal views.

This is all about trying to convince uninformed voters who may be thinking of saying no to the amendment that there is a safety net of sorts for gays if it passes. In fact, this amendment would be as legally troublesome as Ohio’s, and the fundies know it.

Governor Tim Kaine, who knows the gay exodus and impact on businesses is around the corner if it passes, is now speaking out against it. He’s been trying to dance on the head of a pin on this (see prior Blend posts). A recent poll found 56% of voters are for the amendment, 38% opposed.

“The potential for unintended consequences is a very serious flaw,” Kaine said, reminding reporters that the state already has legislation limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples.

Some of the state’s top lawyers also disagree with the Attorney General. Last week 100 attorneys, including two former attorneys general, issued a statement saying they believe the measure could be used to terminate all rights of unmarried couples who have entered into contracts on such things as wills and child custody. They also said that the amendment could be used to exclude unmarried couples from the state’s domestic violence laws.

Here is the November ballot 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.?”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding