And more proof that 1) the AG’s explanation was used as a campaign tool and 2) the social scientists at the Institute for American Values are part of the AGI, here is a LTE from the Fairfax Connection (note – the above link is broken):
To the Editor:
Virginians are about to vote on the future of marriage. How informed are we? Read the local papers and you will only hear mention of tolerance, equality and concerns that passing the amendment could affect existing rights and laws. Virginians deserve to hear the other side. Getting at the truth allows voters to see what is really at stake if we choose not to protect marriage.
The Attorney General, General Assembly and State Board of Elections have all provided public statements dismissing concerns regarding benefits, rights, contracts, wills and loss of protection for domestic violence victims (www.vaag.com, September 2006 Opinions). In 2004, Virginia passed the Marriage Affirmation Act, prohibiting legal recognition of gay or lesbian civil unions. Discussion swirled then with similar concerns. The ACLU has sought plaintiffs for the last two years, and Virginia has yet to see a single case. The argument of “unintended consequences” is simply invalid. The amendment will not change current law in any way.
Regarding domestic violence protection, Chris Freund of the Family Foundation recently said, “Of all the arguments opponents are making, this is the most despicable.” Virginia’s domestic violence laws apply to households. There is no mention of the marital relationship. This amendment will not affect the enforcement of domestic violence laws in any way in Virginia. To scare real victims, women who are real victims, into thinking that somehow this amendment is going to take away their protection, when they know that is not the case, goes far beyond having a reasonable debate over what this amendment will do.
So what if we choose not to protect marriage with an amendment? Gay marriage advocates recently published a document called “Beyond Marriage.” It ran as a full-page ad several months ago in the New York Times and openly acknowledged that the gay agenda is to secure government protection for any combination of relationships involving two, three, or more people, regardless of gender. Their idea of alternative families includes, “Children being raised in multiple households or by unmarried parents, households in which there is more than one conjugal partner (polygamy, polyamory), and queer couples who decide to jointly create and raise a child with another queer person or couple, in two households.” Those were their words. The language is breathtaking. And with no mention to the welfare of the child or the child’s best interest. Their definition of marriage is really the abolition of marriage as we know it. See www.beyondmarriage.org.
One hundred top scholars from liberal and conservative universities recently signed their names to a new document called “Marriage and the Law, A Statement of Principles”. They say family law seriously errs when it imagines “marriage as just one of many equally valid lifestyles.” Read more at www.americanvalues.org.
What about religious liberty and “sexual liberty?” Experts on both sides of the issue are saying the two will inevitably clash. In a forum held by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, legal experts, both liberal and conservative, concluded that broadly legalizing same-sex marriage would roll back religious freedom for everyone in spheres of taxation, charitable giving, housing, public accommodations and professional licensure.
Boston Catholic Charities is the prime example, forced to close their doors in March 2006 because they could no longer be licensed by the state of Massachusetts (where same-sex marriage is legal) if they refused to place adoptive children with same-sex couples. Ethically, they were left with no choice.
If sexuality becomes a “human-rights” issue, no exception can be made for any church or charitable organization that feels morally opposed to same-sex marriage and/or families. To read more, go to www.csmonitor.com/2006/0601/p13s01-lign.html.
To believe our historic, cross-cultural understanding of marriage is a form of bigotry is a destructive message for everyone. Especially when research repeatedly shows that children do much better in households with both a mother and a father. There is a difference between single parents making the best of a difficult situation and intentionally creating motherless or fatherless families.
If we care about the common good, the rights of all (rather than the “sexual right” of a few), and most importantly, the well-being of children, we will vote to protect marriage. A vote for marriage has nothing to do with discrimination. It has everything to do with preserving democracy, building stable families, and doing what is best for Virginia.