One more contradiction

When I saw how upset (are you people ever not angry about something?) the gay-bashing crowd was about this Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial, I knew it had to be sensible:

Virginia’s amendment ran weakest in the state’s most populous regions. The vote may have come at the right time. Demographics and evolving attitudes suggest an identical amendment submitted in 2010 would confront a more difficult climate…

…Marriage amendments in Virginia and other states will not settle this vexing issue. The federal government, probably through the Supreme Court, will decide. If this is a victory, it may well prove Pyrrhic.

Among the many lies that the proponents of the Marshall/Newman amendment told in order to mislead voters was one that has a kernel of truth: Bad amendments can be repealed.

The fact that this amendment would not pass in Virginia in ten years has been confirmed many times over in the words of proponents like the Some Families Foundation’s Victoria Cobb. They have admitted that they could not afford the delay that would have been caused by any change to the wording. They were well aware that if they couldn’t have put it on the ballot in 2006, they might never have had another chance. Now, with the defeat of the Arizona amendment, the party’s over. There was a brief window during which this issue could be leveraged effectively. That window has been closed (although not by Virginia, as we had hoped).

The margin of victory in Virginia fell far short of the 70+% that was initially projected, and the less than 55% that the amendment garnered in Loudoun in particular, home to Mike FarrisPatrick Henry College with its army of free campaign labor, must really sting. The truth is that public opinion is shifting on marriage equality, very quickly. The question is not whether this vindictive amendment will be repealed, only how long it will take and how many families will be harmed in the process.

One more contradiction to dispatch: Where amendment proponents were saying before the election that there was nothing to worry about, that nothing is permanent, that if the consequences of the amendment turned out to be bad, it could be amended or repealed, etc, they now are hilariously resistant to the suggestion that amending the constitution need not be permanent. Suddenly, “never means never.”

The truth is that anyone who doesn’t understand that all of these amendments will at some point be nothing but ugly moral stains on their respective constitutions, a source of shame to be symbolically repudiated by a future legislative body as was Massive Resistance and the Eugenics movement, is living in a fantasy world. Richmond War Room has acknowledged the obvious.

With a victory of any margin, the anti-gay right should be happy. Instead, they’re mad. What does that tell you?

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4 Responses to One more contradiction

  1. Tom says:

    They’re probably also pretty mad about this analysis in the Falls Church News Press:

    Marriage Amendment Passes, But May Have Cost Allen the Election

    An analysis of the voting pattern Tuesday in Virginia suggests that the so-called “marriage amendment” on the ballot as Question 1 might have cost U.S. Senator George Allen the election. If true, it would mark an ironic twist, the backfiring of an effort Republicans hoped would spur a stronger turnout for their incumbent.

  2. Sophrosyne says:

    Ah, how I missed the spin. Before assuming Arizona is some kind of bellwether I humbly suggest you study the campaign of the anti-Marriage Amendment crowd there as well as the wording actually on the ballot (in the words of the Richmond War Room– it was “craptastic”).

    The fact is wherever same-sex marriage activists have anything close to a victory (or an outright victory in the case of Arizona)”¦ it is due to the fact that they were successful in obscuring the issue and arguing about anything other than same-sex marriage or marriage in general. Instead they are straw-man scare tactic campaigns that often outspend their opponents by dramatic margins.

    If the tide was turning your direction”¦ why do the same-sex marriage activists in Massachusetts have to work to block a constitutionally prescribed vote that would bring the definition of marriage to the people (as opposed to some unelected judge)? Surely Massachusetts is “blue” enough to be on the cutting edge of this growing tide you claim exists?

  3. Jonathan says:


    The fact that you felt compelled to visit and pick a fight confirms your understanding that this was indeed a Pyrrhic victory. It wasn’t hard to grok, was it? Misinformed Virginia voters just stapled a narrow religious view of “God’s Design” to our Bill of Rights and added very broad prohibitionary language that outlaws recognition of “another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, OR effects of marriage”. Political subdivisions in Arizona had already rejected the cruel discrimination that Virginians just adopted. Counties and cities in Arizona offer domestic partner benefits to employees, gay or straight. The Arizona amendment would have outlawed these benefits.

    It was actually the anti-gay industry that lost the fight in Arizona. See Consistent message doomed Prop. 107 article in The Arizona Republic newspaper which reports:

    Early on in the Protect Marriage Arizona campaign, supporters of the amendment were not straightforward about the impact the measure would have on domestic partners. Meanwhile, the Alliance Defense Fund, a Scottsdale-based conservative Christian legal group, and other supporters were filing lawsuits in other states saying similar amendments there meant local governments could no longer provide employees with domestic-partner benefits.

    The campaign to defeat the amendment built the broadest coalition required to educate voters on the impact of the actual language. As with the campaign in Virginia, Arizona Together worked hard to find the issue(s) that resonated most strongly with the voters. In Virginia, our efforts brought in nearly one million ‘No’ votes. Unfortunately, more voters had closed minds and were unwilling to consider the actual language and the impact on Virginia’s families. They had been brainwashed by the “cult of the yellow signs” and as a result, the VA Bill of Rights will bear a moral stain.

    If the conservative Richmond Times Dispatch recognizes the changing climate, it may indeed exist, much to your consternation. Yes, there is a “growing tide”. It does exist, and we helped!

    Still Gay
    Still Married
    Temporarily Second Class Citizens
    Virginia Should Be Ashamed

  4. David says:

    Tom, Claire Gastanaga looked at the numbers, and it’s pretty clear that the “VA4marriage” strategy of targeting African-American churches did indeed lose the race for Allen. One of the reasons the RPV (as opposed to the radical ideologues) wanted so much to get the amendment on the ballot this year was specifically as insurance for Allen. Oops.