Blogging the Amendment

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

David Boaz, Cato Institute, Responds to Washington Examiner

David Boaz from the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, wrote a strong oped that appeared in the Washington Examiner this morning. The piece was written in response to the Examiner’s editorial favoring the amendment.

Boaz takes on all the shibboleths, including “activist judges,” and concludes that the amendment is nothing more than “bait and switch.”

 He then goes on to appeal to the best in all of us:

This amendment goes too far. But even its first sentence — the ban on gay marriage — is unworthy of a state that was the birthplace of American freedom. It is a cruel irony that this amendment to restrict contract rights and exclude loving couples from the institution of marriage is to be added to Virginia’s Bill of Rights, a document originally written by the great Founder George Mason.

Mason’s eloquent words inspired Thomas Jefferson in writing the Declaration of Independence and James Madison in writing the Bill of Rights for the U.S. Constitution. We should not add language to Virginia’s Bill of Rights that would limit rights rather than expand them.

Gay marriage is not legal in Virginia, and there’s no prospect of changing that in the foreseeable future, whether by legislative or judicial action. Ballot Question No. 1 is unnecessary and will create legal uncertainty.


October 30, 2006 - Posted by | activist judges, discrimination, politics of marriage, unintended consequences

1 Comment »

  1. Thank you for invoking George Mason, who fought for the Bill of Rights and the protection of the minority against the tyranny of the majority. Too few people, including Bush, understand that the most important part of our democracy is the enshrining of individual rights. We are not a majoritarian society, but a society of free people. The fact that this issue is being voted on appalls me as rights questions should never be left to a plurality but are inherent. See my related post at

    Comment by Leonardo | November 6, 2006 | Reply

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