Writing the Next Chapter

The wishful thinking from Victoria Cobb, Bob “Virginia’s chief homophobe” Marshall, et al, continues. One almost feels embarrassed for them.

“This issue is dead in Virginia,” Cobb told the Richmond Post-Dispatch, speaking of civil unions. “People in Virginia stated very plainly that they don’t want it to happen here.” Really? Because advocates of the Marshall/Newman amendment sure did work hard to pretend that it was “only about marriage” and conceal its actual meaning from voters. A new poll released today by the Equality Virginia Education Fund may help put this Pyrrhic victory (one that elicits curious remarks like this one) in perspective.

Writing the Next Chapter; Virginians Still Support Basic Rights for All Virginians

(Monday, April 9) — On April 14th, Equality Virginia will hold its 4th annual Commonwealth Dinner at the Richmond Convention Center where nearly 1300 are expected to gather. The keynote speaker at the dinner will be Congressman Barney Frank, the first openly gay member of the U.S. Congress and now Chair of the Financial Services Committee. The theme of the dinner is Writing the Next Chapter, and the evening will be dedicated to celebrating the progress being made toward EV’s goal of full equality for all Virginians, even with the recent passage of Virginia’s so-called “marriage amendment.”

Underscoring the reasons for optimism are the results of the post-election statewide poll released by EV’s Education Fund today.

The poll shows that a majority of Virginia voters (55%) continue to support civil unions, while 85% support protections against workplace discrimination, regardless of party or geography. There is also continued strong support for added protections for inheritance rights (73%) and hospital visitation rights (92%).

“The results of the poll show conclusively that, despite the millions of dollars spent on anti-gay messaging by amendment proponents, the overwhelming majority of Virginia voters continue to support extending basic civil rights to all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Virginians, ” said Dyana Mason, Equality Virginia’s Executive Director. “This is a very positive message, particularly in light of some of the negative rhetoric in the 2006 campaign cycle.”

“We will be working hard during this election cycle to use these poll results to remind candidates why they should support legislation that would afford GLBT Virginians protection against workplace discrimination and extend access to health insurance benefits, basic civil rights that voters recognize all Virginians deserve to enjoy equally,” said EV Political Committee and PAC Chair, David C. Lampo.

The poll, commissioned by the Equality Virginia Education Fund, the research and education arm of Equality Virginia, was conducted by the bi-partisan team of Schapiro Group and Fabrizio-McLaughlin in February 2007. It asked the same questions as a previous poll done statewide in December 2005. The differences in results in the two polls are within the margin of error and are statistically insignificant.

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