Kaine declines to sign

Update: Other conversations going on at Virginia Centrist, Not Larry Sabato and Virginia Progressive.

Governor Tim Kaine has refused to sign the enabling legislation that will allow the Marshall-Newman amendment to appear on the ballot in November, and urged Virginians to vote against it.

From the Governor’s news release:

SB 526 (Sen. Newman)

SB 526 places the proposed constitutional amendment regarding marriage, adopted by consecutive sessions of the General Assembly, on this November’s ballot. The Governor does not have the authority to veto or amend the language of the marriage amendment itself; this measure simply places it on the ballot.

The Governor will allow this bill to take effect without his signature.

“I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, and current Virginia law makes that abundantly clear,” Governor Kaine said. “But I am concerned that the broad wording of the proposed constitutional amendment goes much further than that, threatening the constitutional rights of individuals to enter into private contracts, and also threatening the discretion of employers to extend certain benefits, such as health care coverage, to unmarried couples.”

“For those reasons, I will vote against the marriage amendment in November, and I urge other Virginians to vote against it as well,” Governor Kaine said.

Washington Post | Kaine urges voters to reject amendment
Richmond Times-Dispatch | Marriage plan goes without signature
Roanoke Times | Marriage bill to become law minus Kaine’s ok

Plus, editorials from the Staunton News-Leader: Flawed amendment redux, and this one from the Roanoke Times: Kaine should actively attack intolerance

Kaine should do more than simply announce his intention to personally vote no. His moderate stance could help convince voters who don’t consider themselves gay rights crusaders that the amendment is both morally wrong and unnecessary.

How long will our amendment-peddling friends be able to claim that all of these voices from conservative parts of Virginia are wild-eyed lefty radicals without being laughed out of the room?

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