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