Blogging the Amendment

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

Not A Little Irony Here

Vivian J Paige has a nice post up today describing the irony of Marshall/Newman proponents accusing vote NOers of using “scare tactics” because we point out that judges will do what judges have already done.  They even call our allies from the domestic violence action alliance “despicable” for doing this.

The irony came from the fact that the source of the usual screed was an opinion piece literally juxtaposed with a newspaper’s editorial detailing the actions of judges in a garden variety child custody case that became anything but routine simply because the people dividing their property and fighting over their child were two parties to a legal civil union in Vermont.

As Vivian points out, under current Virginia law, only gay couples are subject to this kind of threat to family stability, but if the Marshall/Newman amendment passes, all unmarried couples in Virginia will face courts that are required by the constitution to refuse to recognize or enforce their private agreements.

It’s time to put a stop to this stuff and refocus our legislators on the important stuff like good schools, good jobs, safe streets, and roads and mass transit that move people and not just cars.

It’s time to send them a message.

Read it all, and then vote NO on Ballot Question #1.

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August 11, 2006 - Posted by | activist judges, children, civil unions, straight couples, unintended consequences

2 Comments »

  1. Only private agreements that intend to approximate marriage. Read the amendment yourself, and maybe explain why the “chicken little” scaret tactics you’re using haven’t happened in any state that passed the amendment.

    Comment by Insider | August 11, 2006 | Reply

  2. Sorry, Insider, you’re the one who wants to make unsupported, blanket assertions based on excerpts from the text of the amendment.

    What the amendment says is that the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions (including the courts) can’t “create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage.”

    It doesn’t say that the Commonwealth can’t recognize an agreement that, as a whole, tries to approximate marriage.

    It says that the Commonwealth can’t recognize “a legal status” that “intends to approximate” the “design, qualities, significance, OR effects of marriage.” The use of the article “a” and the use of the disjunctive “OR” mean (once the courts figure out what the “design,” “qualities,” “significance” and “effects” of marriage are) that the intent by a couple in an agreement to approximate ANY of them would render their agreement unenforceable in Virginia’s courts.

    Face it. The amendment as written goes way far beyond what you and other proponents want folks to believe it does.

    It also goes way beyond the language of any other amendment offered in any other state which explains the lack of precedent for judging the full scope of its potential adverse consequences by looking at litigation in the courts of other states.

    Architects of this amendment forgot to KISS, and now they must deal with the fact that, when voters read the whole text of their creation, common sense means that they just say NO.

    And, as to “scare tactics,” I’d look to proponents as the champs of hyperbole and hysteria when it comes to trying to make up some reasons to support this ill-conceived intrusion into Virginians’ homes and private lives.

    Comment by VoteNOva | August 11, 2006 | Reply


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