Virginia can’t afford legislative sidetracks

The General Assembly’s top priorities should have nothing to do with hot-button social issues.

Roanoke Times
January 1, 2006

As the Earth embarks on another 575 million-mile journey around the sun, the General Assembly is about to gather in Richmond to set a course for Virginia.

Legislators, convening Jan. 11, possess the resources to tackle some vexing issues such as a crumbling transportation system, chronically underfunded education and lagging Chesapeake Bay cleanup, but they will succeed only if they avoid straying into divisive, hot-button social issues.

Questions about gay rights will flare up immediately, as lawmakers consider whether to ask voters to clutter the state’s constitution with a needless amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions. That debate is likely unavoidable, but legislators will waste precious time if they take up other measures to deny equal protection to gays, such as outgoing Gov. Mark Warner’s order that government agencies not discriminate against employees based on sexual orientation.

Read the editorial

Tell your Loudoun representatives in the General Assembly what you think at the pre-session Public Hearing on January 5th.

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