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VA editorial: Hatred's last frontier

Openly gay Virginia Delegate, Adam Ebbin, the Commonwealth Coalition and so many people worked tirelessly to defeat the bigoted amendment, but it passed. Here’s a Staunton News Leader editorial that lays it on the line.

We cannot help but feel we have seen the beginning of another round of civil rights battles similar to those that were waged on behalf of black citizens during the 1950s and 1960s. We believe that will be the case and we believe that Virginia will eventually be as reviled in this instance as it was during the 1967 Supreme Court hearings ironically known as Loving vs. Virginia.

For those with short memories – and Virginia appears plagued with that malady – Loving vs. Virginia was about what used to be called “miscegenation.”

That’s a nasty-sounding word, as it should be.

It’s a word that was used at one time to separate people who loved one another because they had differently colored skins. It implied that, if they dared to breed, that the gene pool would be polluted. The verdict issued in Loving vs. Virginia ended all of that.

Black Americans, Asians, Hispanics, American Indians, the whole polyglot bunch of what constitutes racial America these days, has nothing more to fear from discrimination, even if they dare to fall in love with and marry (or, God forbid, cohabit with) a white person.

But there is one remaining Last Frontier of Hatred: It involves homosexual men and lesbian women.

Virginians affirmed that Last Frontier of Hatred on Tuesday when they voted Ballot Issue No. 1 into law. Virginia proved it is ready for another round of hatred such as that it unleashed on black citizens when it affirmed “Massive Resistance” to keep little black boys and girls out of Virginia’s lily-white perfect public schools.

So be it. We will deal with this as we have dealt with all the rest of our sins: Breaking away from the Union, race hatred, Massive Resistance.

But we will be a smaller and more narrow-minded place because of it.

If you’re OK with that, we’re not. The majority of you voted for it. Now go to bed and say your prayers. And pray you are right and Christian and not just hateful and wrong.

As Adam said in his email, “When the counting is over, more than one million will have voted no.” That’s heartening, and not insignificant as people forge ahead. The fundies, however, will now say “the people have spoken.”

Whether the people should be “speaking” with a ballot on civil rights matters is another issue, but it’s a hard road ahead for voices of equality in the Commonwealth.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding