Blogging the Amendment

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

The Rev. Dr. Dwight C. Jones, Jr., Pastor and Chair, Legislative Black Caucus

In today’s Richmond Times Dispatch, Delegate Dwight C. Jones, Jr.described Ballot Question #1 as a “gimmick” and an effort to divert people of faith from “the hard work necessary to address the truly important and pressing problems of the day.”  Here’s some of his message:

There is no need to vote yes on Ballot Question No. 1 simply to pass another law making what’s already illegal more illegal. And there is no need to put language in our Constitution that has significant potential for unintended consequences, particularly when to do so sets us on the path of affirming that it is OK to use the Virginia Constitution to take away rights — a path that could lead right back to our door.

THERE IS no question that the institution of marriage is in trouble and that families, particularly families in the African-American community, are in need of spiritual renewal and focused community support. My faith teaches me that marriage is a sacred institution reserved to one man and one woman, and I have no doubt that it is important to the health of our communities and to our children that we do all we can to shore up both marriage and families. But we need to remember this instruction from the New Testament: “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” Marriage is an institution of God, and no secular law can threaten nor define that which is of divine design.

We also need to be clear that this amendment is not the panacea, the cure-all, for the ills in our society that many of its advocates claim — and I take umbrage that this political issue has been characterized as an issue of faith.

This amendment is nothing more than a gimmick intended to divert people of faith and all Virginians, including our elected officials, from the difficult work we need to do to address the real issues that threaten families and marriages in our communities — homelessness and lack of affordable housing, poverty, crime, lack of education, lack of economic investment and development, inadequate health care, and transportation policies that continue to focus on moving cars and not people.



October 30, 2006 - Posted by | discrimination, economic impact, politics of marriage, religious doctrine, unintended consequences


  1. […] Rev. Dr. Dwight Jones via Blogging the Amendment […]

    Pingback by More good news on Voting NO « Vivian J. Paige | October 30, 2006 | Reply

  2. Honorable Dr. Jones:

    I commend you for that excellent and most informative article. Ditto! Ballot Question #1 is indeed nothing more than a political ploy, at best, and perhaps a backdoor attempt to undermine current rights afforded many. Someone said it best, we, especially African Americans, need to be leery of any efforts that seek to legalize “discrimination” in our constitution, local or national…God Bless you and your “Ministry”!!!

    Comment by Pastor Calvin Rideau, Sr. | November 2, 2006 | Reply

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