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Virginia's marriage amendment may nullify rights for members of military

This is what Virginians will see on the ballot next Tuesday:

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.”?

The bigots in Virginia didn’t think about a glaring unintended consequence in their zeal to punish the homos in the Commonwealth — unmarried couples (straight or gay), including members of the military, will see their powers of attorney, custody agreements, and end-of-life directives become unenforceable as a result. And this has a direct impact on servicemembers in Virginia, who put their lives on the line to serve. Shameful. (SLDN’s Frontlines):

There are approximately 130,000 such couples in Virginia, including more than 115,000 opposite-sex couples. Approximately half of them are raising children, and many of these unmarried partners are in the military.”

Military Equality Alliance Board Co-Chair Lara A. Ballard called on the Judge Advocate General of each service to “initiate an immediate, independent analysis of the likely effects of the Marshall-Newman amendment on the overseas deployment of military personnel stationed in Virginia.”

In her letters, Ballard added that “If the Marshall-Newman Amendment becomes law, fairness to deploying servicemembers and their families requires that unmarried partners and heads of household be given a chance to sign powers of attorney and similar documents in a state other than Virginia. Otherwise, servicemembers will be left wondering about the validity of the deployment documents they are asked to sign.”

Why do Virginia’s homobigots hate America? Remember Victoria Cobb, executive director of the Family Foundation? Who was all torn up and didn’t understand why gays might want to leave the state?

the goal isn’t to drive gay people out. She said “extreme homosexual organizations” might be trying to frighten their members by circulating false information about the amendment. She said it wouldn’t add new restrictions on gays but would simply underscore the ways their relationships are already restricted.

I think it’s extremely sad they would leave because of something they were never allowed to do anyway,” said Cobb, who said she believed gays could go to court to defend themselves if a partner’s family members challenged their right to own property in common, arrange powers of attorney or visit each other in the hospital.

How will she feel when unmarried het couples end up in the same boat? Ah, she probably won’t give a damn since they are “living in sin.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding