Blogging the Amendment

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Concerned About Harm to Children in Unmarried Relationships — Pediatricians Will be Voting NO

At a press conference in Richmond today, the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics came out against Ballot Question #1 pointing out the importance of stable families to all children and the unintended consequences for children if the proposed amendment passes.

Here’s the report as it aired on the ABC affiliate in Richmond:

By Kim Schumacher, 8NEWS

Children are at the center of Virginia’s controversial marriage amendment debate. The Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics came out against the amendment.

“For the sake of all children, we are asking all Virginians to look at the consequences of the marriage amendment on these children and to vote no,” says Dr. Colleen Kraft, Virginia Chapter of AAP President.

The American Academy of Pediatrics Virginia Chapter tells reporters the issue is simple. If the marriage amendment is passed, Virginia’s children will suffer.

Virginia Chapter President Dr. Colleen Kraft says the wording of the amendment will not only affect kids of homosexual parents, but also children of heterosexual parents who aren’t married.

Senator Janet Howell, D-District 32 says, “”If it were to pass, Virginia would have two classes of children.”

They argue that if the amendment passes, children of nontraditional families risk losing rights including legal recognition of their relationship to both parents, the right to stay with a surviving parent if one dies, inheritance rights and benefits, and the ability to access health insurance —  protections they say a child should not be denied because they’re family is non-traditional.

Senator Howell says, “No child should suffer because a poorly worded constitutional amendment takes away rights and protections.”

Supporters of the proposed marriage amendment say those claims are false. The Family Foundation of Virginia tells 8News the language of the amendment has been reviewed thoroughly by the Attorney General, State Board of Elections, and General Assemby and all determined no one’s rights will be affected.

Chris Freund of the Family Foundation of Virginia says, “The opponents to this amendment are really desperate they’re throwing out any argument they possibly can, and they’re really trying to frighten Virginians. This is absolutely untrue and it’s just disappointing that we’ve reached this point.”

The constitutional amendment is on the November 7th statewide ballot. We’ll have the latest developments here on 8News.

Note that what’s untrue is the assertion that this issue or the “official explanation” were “reviewed thoroughly” by the “State Board of Elections” or the “General Assembly.” 

The State Board of Elections simply printed what was sent to them by a split partisan vote of 2 committees in the legislature.  The explanation discussed in the two committees was criticized by legal counsel as violating the Virginia Code requirement that it be “neutral.”  And, the document provided to the committee and later the Board of Elections was drafted by an Attorney General who voted for this amendment while in the legislature, took thousands of dollars directly and indirectly from members of the board of the Family Foundation while running for office, and,who has campaigned and raised money for the proponents of the amendment, while purporting to issue a neutral opinion. 

What’s disappointing is that the Attorney General fails to see the obvious conflict of interest here and that he fails to respect the voters of Virginia by telling them that they should judge his opinion as an advocate rather than a dispassionate arbiter on this issue.

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October 28, 2006 - Posted by | children, politics of marriage, unintended consequences

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