A new organization, The Virginia Way, has entered the Virginia political discourse. They describe their mission as a campaign to return to political moderation and civility, characterized by intelligent debate, not appeals to base emotion, and they identify the issue that best “illustrates the erosion of the tone of public discourse in Virginia” as the campaign for the so-called “Marriage Amendment.” On the emotional appeal to fear of “activist judges” as seen in Some Families Foundation action alerts:
Judges in Virginia are selected by our Republican dominated and highly conservative state legislature. Unlike federal judges they do not enjoy lifetime tenure. As a result the Virginia judiciary is among the most conservative in the nation. There isn’t a knowledgeable person in the state who seriously believes that the Virginia Supreme Court is poised to declare our state’s current marriage laws unconstitutional.
Nonetheless, wishing to display a generosity of spirit and give amendment supporters the benefit of the doubt, we are sponsoring a hunt for Virginia’s elusive “zealous liberal judges” so the real danger can be properly assessed. If such creatures actually exist it is important that they be identified and the public properly warned.
The Virginia Way also provides the answer to my frequent question: Does Virginia really want to get in line behind Alabama? It’s worth a read.
Today Virginia faces a stark choice similar to that faced by Atlanta and Birmingham in civil rights era. In response to events in far off Massachusetts, radicals have proposed an amendment to our state constitution with the clear purpose of thwarting consensus, precluding bridge building and inhibiting accommodation for differing views…
…The sad reality is that the discrimination amendment is designed not to protect marriage, but to prevent Virginia’s moderate majority from reaching a workable consensus on a very difficult issue. It is possible to preserve the traditional definition of marriage but perhaps make some lesser accommodation for non traditional households. A lot of Virginians who do not support same gender marriage are open to that idea — and it scares our state’s modern day Bull Connors very much.