The New York Times tells us that divisive anti-gay so-called “marriage amendments” have lost their power to manipulate the electorate. Pollsters are saying that “people might just be burned out on the subject of marriage and its boundaries,” and that “efforts to stir enthusiasm among conservatives have mostly fallen flat.”
In Virginia, says Republican former North Carolina legislator Ray Warren, Ballot Question #1 gives Republicans a chance to send a message to the extremists who have cost the GOP the governorship (not to mention certain seats in the General Assembly that shall remain unnamed)
The election presents the commonwealth’s long-neglected moderate and libertarian Republican voters with a rare opportunity to challenge the party’s religious extremists without supporting a Democrat.
Warren makes the situation as clear as can be: Thoughtful opponents of same sex marriage have nothing to gain from voting yes, and nothing to lose from voting no.
Same-sex marriages have never been recognized in Virginia, and they have been prohibited by statute for more than 30 years. There is no prospect of the situation changing through legislative or judicial action.
The proposed amendment takes away the right of the people to consider alternatives such as civil unions, and vests the power to decide these issues entirely in the courts.
Conservatives should be deeply offended by an amendment that would grant more power to the judiciary.
Warren also points out something that hasn’t been discussed enough in response to recent amendment apologist claims that “nothing bad happened” following the passage of the 2004 “Affirmation of Marriage Act.” Aside from the fact that the language of Ballot Question #1 is substantially different from that of the statute, and that the statute has already resulted in material harm to people, it is also true that it takes much longer for the full impact of such a law to emerge. Warren explains why it would take years for the negative impact of “the poorly worded prohibition on recognizing “other” relationships.”
Finally, Rick Sincere spells it out for Republicans who are fed up with the recent single-minded focus on below the belt social issues by their party, to the detriment of common sense conservative values. They can go to the polls and cast a vote for every Republican candidate, and also say no to the manipulative pandering that is damaging the reputation of their party.
And they can do both with a clear conscience and the knowledge that both choices are in full accord with time-tested, conservative Republican values of limited government and personal responsibility.
It’s not either/or. It’s both/and. It’s win/win.