CommunityPam's House Blend

Virginia is for (heterosexual) lovers (who smoke)

(Jay Lassiter, guest blogger)

Surely by now ya’ll know all about the GOP masterplan to get out the vote by putting one referendum or another with the word “Gay” on the ballot. Think back to Ohio 2004 where Bush eeked out a narrow victory over Kerry thanks much to the fundies flocking to the polls to vote to relegate gays and lesbians to the back of the (marriage) bus.

Sooner or later the republicans will run out of states to pull this scheme, but for now there are still some places where voters will choose whether to ammend their state’s constitution to ban gays from marriage. Virginia is one such state in the current election cycle and the state’s attorney general Bob McDonnell and Pat Roberton are working like hell (and in cahoots) to ban gay marriage in Virginia.

One progressive Virginia delegate, Adam Ebbin, is crying foul:

It is disappointing that Attorney General McDonnell continues to use the imprimatur of his office to mislead Virginia voters regarding the scope and consequences of the proposed amendment to Virginia’s Constitution. Three former Virginia Attorneys General and more than 150 attorneys and legal scholars signed a legal memorandum that warns of unintended consequences from this proposed amendment (which) would also constitutionally bar the establishment of civil unions for unmarried couples, which a majority of Virginians favor. Including a denial of rights to an entire class of people would undermine the original meaning of the Virginia Bill of Rights and add discrimination to our most fundamental governing document.”

Delegate Ebbin was speaking on the heels of McDonnell’s scheduled to visit Pat Robertson’s Regent University yesterday to discuss “Marriage and the Commonwealth.” McDonnell was the recipient of more than $55,000 in contributions from Rev. Pat Robertson in his 2005 campaign for Attorney General and is a graduate of Regent University Law School.

All this nincompoopery aside, the polls suggest that this ballot initiative is damn close. yesterday’s Washington Post front page describes the polling on- this question as a statistical toss-up.

And while it’s still considered a long shot for the gays to triumph on election day, the pulse of Virginia may be changing. WaPo:

The poll also found that Virginians are virtually split over whether gay couples should be able to form civil unions, which would give them health insurance, inheritance benefits and other legal rights of married couples. The poll found that 48 percent believe gay couples should be allowed to engage in civil unions and 47 percent do not.

So maybe the policy makers and religious leaders in Virginia are still in the dark ages, the body politic of the commonwealth seems more enlightened.

Anyone out there from Virginia or another state (Wisconsin, etc.) with a similar ballot question this election cycle? What’s the word from your persective?

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jay lassiter

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