Blogging the Amendment

Offering a Forum to Discuss the Pros and Cons of the Marshall/Newman Amendment

Confused? So Are Lots of Others…Can you help?

Yesterday, the Virginian Pilot editorialized about the semantics issues related to the Marshall/Newman amendment.  Picking up on a news story that ran in its sister paper, the Roanoke Times, the Pilot said:

The amendment itself is an inelegant thing, a sprawling, incidental denunciation of gay marriage that also manages to ensnare the relationships of straight people living together, friends, siblings.

Still, Virginians in November will have to decide whether to paste that paragraph into the state’s constitution, so for convenience of the next couple months, it’d be nice to have a shorthand name for it.

Ah, but there’s the rub… no shorthand name accurately describes the sweeping breadth of the proposed amendment and some simple names like “the marriage amendment” are downright misleading.

The Pilot reviews several names for the amendment, including the one this blog uses, the Marshall/Newman amendment, before concluding:

The Associated Press calls it a “proposed gay marriage ban,” which is hardly a title, and in any case is polarizing on both sides of the amendment debate. Still, it does have the considerable strength of being at least partially accurate.

In the end, perhaps the wrestling over the title shows how torn Virginians feel about a law that would essentially strip their unmarried neighbors of the ability to enter into contracts.

Whatever the case, before Virginians start voting to withdraw civil rights from other Virginians, the least they can do is find a name for what they’re doing. Maybe we should all vote on that first.

Hear! Hear!

So, let’s vote…. what name can we use for the proposal that accurately describes its reach?


July 9, 2006 - Posted by | politics of marriage


  1. Here are a few suggestions:

    1. Marriage prohibition amendment
    2. First they came for the unmarried amendment
    3. Victorian prudence amendment
    4. Some families deserve special rights amendment
    5. Some families are better than others amendment
    6. My family is better than yours amendment
    6. Ten accidental babies are better than one intentional baby amendment
    7. The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it amendment
    8. It’s the Bill of Prohibitions, not rights amendment
    9. Dr. Dobson stamp of approval amendment
    10. No promo homo amendment (courtesy of Dr. Eskridge)
    11. Sex makes babies amendment (courtesy of Maggie Gallagher)
    12. Heterosexual sex is sacred amendment (courtesy of Maggie Gallagher)
    13. God’s design amendment
    14. Inalienable right? What’s that? amendment
    15. Life liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Just kidding amendment

    Comment by Jonathan Weintraub | July 10, 2006 | Reply

  2. How about the “Ban on unmarried relationships” or the “Ban on ALL legal recognition of unmarried relationships?”

    Comment by Adam Ebbin | July 10, 2006 | Reply

  3. The Family Discrimination Amendment

    Comment by Adam Ebbin | July 10, 2006 | Reply

  4. While it is considered proper to discuss our opponents arguments, and impolite (or not academically correct) to speak of our opponents motivations, I find that I’m constantly running into purely scriptural arguments. There is no substance to the argument other than “I believe…”. See Loudoun Times Mirror letter.

    For this reason, I’m tempted to call the amendment the:

    Scriptural Slippery Slope or SSS amendment.

    Now, that’s pretty opaque. When people ask me why they should vote no, I follow my partner David’s advice and tell them it’s wrong. Now that’s not opaque, and it would make a good bumper sticker. Somethink like:

    WRONG! x No

    Is it possible to make WRONG a meaningful acronym? How about:

    We (the people)

    Comment by Jonathan Weintraub | July 11, 2006 | Reply

  5. More accurate:
    “The Amendment to Punish the Unmarried”

    Comment by Marc DeFrancis | July 13, 2006 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: