|Wednesday, September 27 2006 08:00:00 PM|
|We heartily commend the Falls Church City Council for its unanimous vote Monday night to oppose, with strong language, the Marshall- Newman Amendment on the ballot in November. If the voters of the Commonwealth are effectively alerted to the wide-ranging negative consequences of this ill-conceived measure, and turn it down in November, then this City Council will be remembered for its courage at the cutting edge of this latest battle for social justice not only in Virginia, but nationwide.
Make no mistake, Mayor Robin Gardner, herself an attorney, is absolutely right when she says this amendment, if passed, would extend beyond same sex relationships to all non-married relationships, gay or straight, and to business partnerships as well.
That’s because the authors of the amendment deliberately made its language sufficiently vague as to elude a potential U.S. Supreme Court challenge that it unfairly singles out one particular class of citizens. They counted on voters overlooking this fact, and the State Attorney General, a Republican colleague of those in the state legislature who put this on the ballot, tried desperately to keep the actual language of the amendment off the November ballot. He wanted only the part pertaining to marriage as between a man and a woman only included on the ballot, and none of the vague references to other relationships that “approximate the design, qualities, significance or effects of marriage.”