Blogging the Amendment

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

Local Governments Oppose Ballot Question #1: Concerned About Far-Reaching Consequences and Adverse Economic Impact

On September 19, 2006, the Arlington County Board  adopted a resolution formally opposing the proposed Marshall/Newman amendment to Virginia’s Bill of Rights. The Board said in a press release that, “although the amendment is being sold as a simple prohibition on gay marriage, it in fact goes much further. The proposed amendment would prohibit a range of benefits for all unmarried couples — straight and gay — and the broad and confusing language may have ‘unintended and unpredictable legal consequences.’”

The resolution adopted by the Board also emphasized the adverse economic consequences of the proposed amendment:

Noting that the proposed amendment’s language “encompasses civil unions and domestic partnerships,” the resolution states that it “could have the effect of discouraging high-value workers and businesses from locating” in Virginia and Arlington, “thus putting us at a competitive disadvantage relative to DC, Maryland and many other states where no such impediments now exist.”

Read the full text of the resolution here. News reports here and here.

This week, the Falls Church City Council joined the Arlington County Board in adopting a resolution expressing its formal opposition to the Marshall/Newman Amendment, Ballot Question #1 in November.

The Council vote was unanimous. According to news reports, Mayor Robin Gardner, who introduced the resolution said that the Council “recognized that the proposed Marshall Newsman Unmarried Couples Amendment will have a detrimental effect on the citizens of Falls Church. We felt we should let our citizens know that broad-sweeping amendment will not only affect gay couples, but all unmarried couples. This amendment will take away rights from all Virginia citizens.”

The Mayor went on to emphasize how important it is for voters to READ IT ALL before voting on Ballot Question #1 in November:

“Going into the polls in November, it is important that voters read the entire amendment and see that it will have a grave effect on the abilities of Virginians to make life decisions regarding any type of contract they may want to enter into with anyone other than their spouse.”

The Falls Church News Press carried an editorial about the Council’s vote, “Historic Blow v. Discrimination.”



September 29, 2006 - Posted by | economic impact, straight couples, unintended consequences


  1. I really love Arlington.

    Comment by Mark Blacknell | September 29, 2006 | Reply

  2. According to today’s Daily Progress, the Charlottesville City Council is also considering a resolution to oppose Ballot Question 1. Unfortunately, the next meeting of the City Council is not until November 6, the night before the election, and that will be the only opportunity Council has to vote for the proposed resolution.

    The article notes that the Charlottesville Republican Party has not taken a position on the ballot measure.

    Comment by Rick Sincere | October 9, 2006 | Reply

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