The Virginia Marriage Amendment

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While this full text is already printed on all the VA4Marriage literature used across the state and is available by following either of the two pro-marriage links on the left side of this blog... I am printing the full text here per Alice's request.

The Virginia Marriage Amendment

To Amend Article I of the Virginia Bill of Rights so that it includes:

Section 15-A. Marriage.
That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions. This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.

The more folks that learn about the Marriage Amendment the better!

In the spirit of even greater disclosure/information, I encourage everyone to read and post the Virginia State Board of Election’s explanation of the Marriage Amendment. Note that this official legal explanation of the Marriage Amendment was drafted by the Attorney General’s office (the “people’s lawyer”) and then passed by both the House of Delegate and the State Senate prior to being made available through the State Board of Elections. I encourage everyone posting the full text of the Marriage Amendment to also make this official explanation available, althought I doubt the anti-Marriage Amendment folks will do so given the fact that this cuts right through the red-herring argument they are advancing in order to try and defeat the Marriage Amendment and leave marriage vulnerable to radical redefinition via the litigation. Anyways... here is the SBE explanation, reprinted in its entirety:

FINAL COPY

Proposed Constitutional Amendment To Be Voted on at the November 7, 2006, Election

PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT

Article I. Bill of Rights. Section 15-A. Marriage.

BALLOT QUESTION NUMBER 1

Shall Article I (the Bill of Rights) of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to state:

“That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.

This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.”?

EXPLANATION

Present Law

The Constitution does not define marriage. Under current statutory law in Virginia, persons who marry must have a license and be married by a licensed minister, judge, or other person authorized by law to perform marriages. Present law prohibits marriages between certain individuals. For example, the law prohibits a marriage between a brother and sister, between a couple where one of the parties is married to someone else, and between couples of the same sex.

In 1975, the General Assembly enacted a statute (present Code of Virginia § 20-45.2) that states "A marriage between persons of the same sex is prohibited." In 1997, the General Assembly added a sentence to § 20-45.2 that states that:

Any marriage entered into by persons of the same sex in another state or jurisdiction shall be void in all respects in Virginia and any contractual rights created by such marriage shall be void and unenforceable.

In 2004, the General Assembly passed a law to prohibit certain civil unions or other arrangements between persons of the same sex. That law (Code of Virginia § 20-45.3) states that:

A civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage is prohibited. Any such civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement entered into by persons of the same sex in another state or jurisdiction shall be void in all respects in Virginia and any contractual rights created thereby shall be void and unenforceable.

Thus, civil unions or other arrangements which purport “to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage” are prohibited by statute.

Proposed Amendment

If approved by the voters, this proposed amendment will become part of the Constitution of Virginia. The proposed amendment adds a definition of marriage as the “union between one man and one woman” to the Constitution's Bill of Rights and prohibits Virginia and its counties, cities, and towns from creating or recognizing any legal status by any name which is comparable to marriage.

Marriage in the Commonwealth creates specific legal rights, benefits, and obligations for a man and a woman. There are other legal rights, benefits, and obligations which will continue to be available to unmarried persons, including the naming of an agent to make end-of-life decisions by an Advance Medical Directive (Code of Virginia § 54.1-2981), protections afforded under Domestic Violence laws (Code of Virginia § 18.2-57.2), ownership of real property as joint tenants with or without a right of survivorship (Code of Virginia § 55-20.1), or disposition of property by will (Code of Virginia § 64.1-46).

A "yes" vote on the proposed amendment will result in the addition of the proposed Section 15-A to Article I, the Bill of Rights. A "no" vote will mean that there will be no change made in Article I, the Bill of Rights.

FULL TEXT OF AMENDMENT

[Proposed new language is underlined. Existing language that is deleted is shown as stricken (stricken).]

Amend Article I of the Constitution of Virginia by adding a section numbered 15A as follows:

ARTICLE I BILL OF RIGHTS

Section 15-A. Marriage.

That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.

This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.

Attorney General's Office 5/9/06 Explanation -- 473 words
Approved by House Committee on Privileges and Elections 5/10/06 Approved by Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections 5/12/06

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39 Comments

Opponents always try to discredit the Attorney General, but they forget that both the House and Senate Committees voted in favor of this explanation.

Confusion reigns with opponents!!

Sophrosyne said:

I guess that is what happens when you're shopping for an excuse. I just wish they had been sincere and been on the up-and-up with their true intent: to make it easier for some unelected judge to create/recognize same-sex "marriage" in the near future.

Jonathan said:

The explanation states that:

Thus, civil unions or other arrangements which purport “to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage” are prohibited by statute.

but doesn't state that a yes vote will place a more broadly worded prohibition against recognition of any legal status that "intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effects of marriage". There is no explanation of what that prohibition will do.

There is no explanation of the fact that the Code of Virginia § 20-45.3 is actually superceded by the amendment, and that the legislature will not be able to enact a future statute to grant civil unions (undoing 20-45.3) without first rescinding the prohibitionary amendment.

Sophrosyne said:

As to your latter point- isn't that implicit? Elevating the existing ban on civil-unions and any other form of "marriage by another name" to the constitution would obviously require a constitutional amendment to change in the future.

As to your former point-- it does say what the Marriage Amendment WILL do... see here:

The proposed amendment adds a definition of marriage as the “union between one man and one woman” to the Constitution's Bill of Rights and prohibits Virginia and its counties, cities, and towns from creating or recognizing any legal status by any name which is comparable to marriage.

Pretty clear if you ask me. The SBE opinion then goes on to dismiss your side's doom-and-gloom argument that contract rights unrelated to marriage will somehow vanish in a puff of smoke:

Marriage in the Commonwealth creates specific legal rights, benefits, and obligations for a man and a woman. There are other legal rights, benefits, and obligations which will continue to be available to unmarried persons, including the naming of an agent to make end-of-life decisions by an Advance Medical Directive (Code of Virginia § 54.1-2981), protections afforded under Domestic Violence laws (Code of Virginia § 18.2-57.2), ownership of real property as joint tenants with or without a right of survivorship (Code of Virginia § 55-20.1), or disposition of property by will (Code of Virginia § 64.1-46).

Again, seems clear-cut to me... and frankly I find the General Assembly, Attorney General and the SBE to be a more credible source of information on this issue than a pro same-sex "marriage" coalition whose intent is clearly to leave Virginia's definition of marriage vulnerable to judicial assault so you can have some judge rewrite law and create what you call "Marriage Equality". Sorry—but I am not buying what you’re selling.

Jonathan said:

Sophrosyne,

Have you ever hear the phrase

"You don't know what you've got till it's gone"

The "specific legal rights, benefits, and obligations" are very broad and wide ranging. That's why anti-marriage equality advocates used the Becket Fund conference:

http://www.becketfund.org/index.php/article/494.html

To explain that "marriage" has many interfaces (I know you'll appreciate the software analogy Joe) to the religious world, and that same-sex marriage will impact religious liberty (e.g. will a faith-based homeless shelter have the right to turn away a same-sex couple?) The converse is also true. If all legal rights associated with the "design, qualities, significance or effects" of marriage are brought into question, unmarried couples are left with a myriad of legal rights that are open to litigation.

I've even heard arguments that the government *should* restrict the right to have sexual relations outside of marriage. As a matter of fact, David and I witnessed an anti-gay activist named Eve Marie Barner break down and cry at a packed LCRC meeting because the Supreme Court's Lawrence decision struck down Bowers v Hardwick and made VA's sodomy laws unenforceable. Many anti-gay activists see sexual relations exclusively as a right of marriage and would like to see government enforce "morality" laws. The broad wording of this amendment could easily open the door to such an intrusion.

p.s. - I'm not selling anything. Isn't your side using scare tactics to sell a damaging prohibitionary amendment to Virginia's Bill of Rights? In this battle, I'm the conservative, as I'd like to see the Bill of Rights, and the rights of all Virginians left alone.

Terry M said:

Sophie, I wish I could quit you!! But alas, I can't until November when you will have to find something else to spin about here..

Anyway, just wanted to comment on the McDonnell "explanation" of the amendment. Like it wasn't bad enough that we have this stupid anti-gay family measure to vote on in November, now our tax dollars are paying for a pro-amendment propaganda piece written by the darling of the Christianistas. Worse, it will be passed out to every voter INSIDE the polls on election day pretending to be what should have been an neutral statement of the facts. Talk about election abuse!

Like we don't get that this was part of the deal when the Assembly suddenly reversed course last winter and voted to put the full text of the amendment on the ballot. I'm sure ole Bob made it clear to his buddies that he would "fix" it by stepping into the explanation part. Absolutely disgusting.

Goes hand in hand with your side's hidden campaign budget (grassroots army my ass, your side invented the term soft money)and intention to use every church and pastor you can get in the state to get out your base. I would imagine my ears will be ringing on the Sunday before the election as sermon after sermon becomes a politically charged attack on my family. Shame on you all.

f mcdonald said:

Eve Marie Barner was maliciously described as anti-gay in a comment above. She is anything but. She is a good, decent woman who has the courage to act on her beliefs. Calling her anti-gay because she disagrees with the homosexual agenda being pushed in Virginia is like calling Jim Webb anti-Troops because he disagrees with the war in Iraq.

Jonathan said:

Sorry F. McDonald. Focus on the Family (FoF), parent to the Family Foundation has a well developed political/ideological body of writing that differentiates between homosexuals and gays. FoF self-identifies as anti-gay but not anti-homosexual. The term anti-gay is both descriptive and self descriptive. The connotations of the terms anti-gay and pro-gay are neutral.

Jonathan, sorry bro' but you lost me on the Becket link and the significance of "anti-gay".

On the former, a quick read seems to say same sex marriage will be a problem for churches. This is one of the things I've been thinking about. If SSM is legalized in Virginia, are churches who won't conduct some marriages going to be able to keep their tax exempt status? Sorry if my reading was shallow, but I'm a shallow man.

On the latter, maybe the argument about definition of terms is only relevant vis a vis the commenter? I love Eve Barner...on second read it looks like you're saying "anti-gay" is a technical term describing one side of the debate. Ok.

Jonathan said:

Joe, when an orthodox Jewish synogogue is forced to marry a Southern Baptist couple and serve ham and cheese on potato rolls, a Southern Baptist church will be forced to marry a gay couple.

Yes, in my view, anti-gay is a technical term. Can folks explain why they find the use of the term to be "malicious"?

Jonathan, I'd like to think you're right on the first point. I've read arguments to the contrary but maybe they are misguided.

On terminology, I can't get too excited either way. "Anti-gay" seems technically accurate, describing a side of the debate, as opposed to "bigot" or "homophobe".

Jonathan said:

Joe, when you have time, read the work over at the Becket Fund. They are the experts in this area. Please post a link to the misguided arguments. I'd like to read them.

You may want to discipline your blogger Sophrosyne for gay bashing over on the "Ugh" thread. If an apology is not forthcoming, I'll have to write to the AG and ask if he feels his Loudoun host is engaging is civil dialogue.

If you don't understand how Sophrosyne crossed the bigot line, we'll have to dig into it a little deeper.

Jonathan,

I will read that stuff; I read everything you and David and Stay Puft and Zimzo and the rest send along.

NOVA TownHall is not a corporation or an organization but a free association of individuals. I run the meetings with help from a few others, and I've been doing this for a couple years now. The blog was established six or so months ago and it includes me and a few other people who want to write. We bloggers are a separate part and have never been in the same room together.

I say all this because I want to make it clear I don't try to "manage" our bloggers - I don't police or even read all the comments. I can't.

I am concerned about what you are saying, and I will read the thread - but before doing so I'll just say I know Soph is not a bigot nor a gay basher, and if we had a lot more Sophrosynes in this county we'd have a much more tolerant county. Not with same sex marriage legalized, maybe, but a place where gays would not be threatened.

I am particularly uncowed by the prospect of you digging deeper - or writing to the AG.

I know you a little, and you are certainly savvy enough to understand grassroots groups and the blogosphere. Do you honestly think I'm going to govern this blog like the friggin' White House press office?

"Dig into it a little deeper" -- are you honestly comfortable with that, assuming it could go both ways?

But you are right in that irresponsible statements here reflect on me and NOVA TownHall, and just on the basis of civil behavior I should weigh in. I'll post my opinion on that thread.

Bill Garnett said:

We seven million plus Virginians are a community, and our democratic government is the way we have of governing. We do have a level of shared traditions and values. But most of what I read on here are the belief systems, and particularly beliefs systems that incorporate a type of intransigence and even hostility to even considering an opposing idea.

I don't see Socratic debate. I don’t see factual arguments or deference to scientific conclusions. I see instead an echo chamber of people who have an unchangeable point of view. I don’t see that you can extricate yourself from your point of view. I don’t think that you can reach a neutral and broader perspective. I don’t think you are interested or willing to question your belief systems.

And such a shame that is, for at some level we would all benefit from a more shared sense of community – or at least civility.

I don’t see that lessons of history have been appreciated. No analogy is perfect but some are illustrative. Ask yourselves this question. Who was it that so vigorously obstructed inclusion in our democratic process, with full and equal rights, in the past? Ask yourselves this question. Who obstructed the rights of blacks, the rights of women? And should you take the time to read the arguments posited back then from protestant pulpits and conservative politicians – you would find them eerily similar in tone and logic to the arguments today against gay marriage.

It won’t make a difference to me. I’m gay and 63. I had only hoped that a younger generation would not have to face the ignorance and fear, the discrimination, bias and prejudice. And certainly not to see state sponsored discrimination written into our Bill of Rights. I know you will fight off this assertion, I know you will object to this. But in my mind you are far too close to the hooded Ku Klux Klan, who for some twisted reason found something positive in claiming privileges to themselves, that they would withhold from other human beings. It’s already been written all through history, and it’s always so sad in the end to see what unnecessary pain and hurt we humans can inflict on one another.

Bill,

I'm no fan of hurt and pain. I don't think changing the definition of marriage is anywhere near the same level of social significance of the civil rights movements. But I understand where you are coming from.

I don't care if you are gay, and ultimately I'd hope your sexual preference would make you a major ally on the issue which I think is the most important issue of our age: The battle against Islamic extremism. If there is an army of true "liberals" in Loudoun County opposed to our real enemies - the radical Muslims - I'll work with you to find a middle ground on gay rights.

Bill Garnett said:

I agree that the crass use of socially explosive issues to hypocritically achieve political ends is reprehensible. I also agree that to analogize gay civil rights to black civil rights has its pitfalls – as do all analogies.

I hope you see some similarity of the Islamic fascists to the extreme religious right wing nut jobs that are trying to cram their own version of God down everyone else’s throat. I am a Christian and will stand toe-to-toe against anyone who contends that they know God’s will better than I do. However, I also respect both other people’s beliefs and our concept that religious beliefs should not intrude on civil affairs.

I fear that the recent polarization of extreme liberal and conservative views in America is undermining our nation’s strength and security – not just against Islamic terrorists – but distracts us from many, many commonly faced problems.

A middle ground on the “gay issue” to me would be to sensibly give all citizens equal civil rights regardless of their sexual orientation – and leave religious marriage decisions to the church, synagogue, or mosque. That is fair and that is just and that is in the spirit of our country’s long history of extending these rights.

It was only a short time ago in our history that resistance to women’s rights and suffrage was such that no popular vote would have allowed them. Ironically, President Bush is now trying to insure that Muslim women are guaranteed equal rights in Iraq. I respect most those who are willing to stand up when the right policy is not necessarily the popular policy.

Jack said:

Bill:

You asked: "I don’t see that lessons of history have been appreciated. No analogy is perfect but some are illustrative. Ask yourselves this question. Who was it that so vigorously obstructed inclusion in our democratic process, with full and equal rights, in the past? Ask yourselves this question. Who obstructed the rights of blacks...?"

Answer: The Democratic Party.

It was the REPUBLICANS that freed the slaves, and a higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats voted for the Civil Rights Act. It was the DEMOCRATS (Robert KKK Byrd) that opposed it.

Jack said:

Bill:

It is the LEFT that is trying to cram things down our throats. It is the LEFT that is suing to redefine marriage. You cannot win in the legislatures, so you have gone to the courts. We are fighting back in the courts by Constitutional Amendments.

Bill Garnett said:

Yes Jack, but what are you fighting for?

Are you trying to impose your religious beliefs? -- that is not democratic in our system of separation of church and state.

Are you trying to present some rational argument against the facts? -- that is in opposition to all recognized medical and scientific authority that says homosexuality is a NOT a moral choice but is a state of being?

Are you trying to say that a gay or lesbian couple in a loving committed relationship is not entitled to the same rights and privileges that every straight couple is entitled? Even the American Bar Association doesn't favor that.

Or are you just saying that you find gays icky and disdainful and you just don't want them fully included in the American dream that you take for granted?

Jack said:

BG: Are you trying to impose your religious beliefs? -- that is not democratic in our system of separation of church and state.

I disagree -- the US has a long history of imposing the religios beliefs of the Christian majority. Utah was not admitted to the Union until it outlawed polygamy. We do not allow Jews and Muslims to perform the sacrifices required by the O.T. and Q'uran.

Majority rule is the definition of a democracy. Be glad this is not a democracy, subject to the tyrrany of the majority, but a republic, in which minority rights are protected.

Furthermore, the "separation of church and state" phrase does not appear in the US Constitution, but in the USSR Constitution (Article 52). (I assume you do not want a Soviet-style government.) The First Amendment to OUR Constitution reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...."

Tell me, how does restricting marriage to "one man and one woman" unions establishe a State Religion? What religious establishment, exactly, does it respect? (Never mind that it is not Congress passing this, but the people of the State by Amendment to their State's Constitution.)

BG: Are you trying to present some rational argument against the facts? -- that is in opposition to all recognized medical and scientific authority that says homosexuality is a NOT a moral choice but is a state of being?

Irrelevant. It is your ACTIONS that are moral choices, not your state of being. I know many middle-aged and older virgin heterosexuals, who have chosen that path. Do nat ask me to support your actions.

BG: Are you trying to say that a gay or lesbian couple in a loving committed relationship is not entitled to the same rights and privileges that every straight couple is entitled? Even the American Bar Association doesn't favor that.

That is EXACTLY what I am saying. Your behavior is immoral, and I will not support it, nor should my tax money go to support it. As for the ABA, I don't favor them, either.

BG: Or are you just saying that you find gays icky and disdainful and you just don't want them fully included in the American dream that you take for granted?

I find your ACTIONS "icky and disdainful," but more to the point, SINFUL. I really don't care what you do in your bedroom, save for the fact that such immoral behavior (both by homosexuals and heterosexuals) has resulted in AIDS, herpes, and a host of other nasty diseases, which you then pressure us to spend boatloads of money curing, when the prevention is so simple.

As for the American dream and rights, you have the same right as I do to marry any woman who will have you. That you cannot find such a woman, or are disinclined to do so, is not a violation of your rights.

Bill Garnett said:

For heaven’s sake, don’t lecture me on religion. You disrespect my faith and belief. Spiritual beliefs are a personal matter between God and me. And you are judging, and clearly that is the province of God as well.

Our civil governing has to be on based on something where we all can have a common ground – and our founders intended that to be rational thought and debate – not dictated by someone’s or some group’s religious beliefs.

Jack said:

BG says: And you are judging, and clearly that is the province of God as well.

Apparently, you need such a lecture. Recognizing sin is not judgement. I do not judge you, I tell you that your acts are sinful. As Jesus tells us, "Go, and sin no more." The Bible also tells us:

1Cor5:11 "But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person."

The Declaration of Independence itself has reference to God. The reason was based on a belief in God, as is mine. What is YOUR basis for reason?

How can you reason that homosexual acts are not sins, if you are a Christian? (If you are a Christian, such reason must be based on scripture.)

Bill Garnett said:

Well, since you’ve insisted that homosexual behavior between loving, committed, monogamous, couples is a sin, I have to ask you to refute the conclusion (http://www.predict-the-future.com/fundamentalists.html) of a Doctor of Theology from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY, 1968. Southern Baptist Pastor from 1953 to 1973, Professor of Religion at Baptist College of Charleston, SC, 1973-1981. This theologian argues that the Bible does not call this love a sin, and that the verses often cited to suggest so are really admonitions against promiscuity, temple prostitutes, and pedophiles.

The Bible has been used throughout history to advance many a political purpose and fully out of context of the main message of the love and grace of Jesus. The main admonitions were against judgmental behavior and hateful actions. Luke 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

However, these most core values of Christianity seem to be conveniently lost by the zealot religious right agenda, dead set on imposing their own religious values -- as are many, I might add, anonymous posters and bloggers who seemingly haven’t the courage to publicly stand up for their convictions.

I do, however, have the courage to identify myself -- and the courage to stand up against bias, prejudice, and ignorance

Jack said:

Where have you been, Bill? This was last posted to two weeks ago!

While I am not going to answer all of the Doctor's mistakes, I'll remark on a couple of problems with his thesis.

1) He is himself gay, so he has a vested interest in denying the clear meaning of scripture.

2) He claims the Lev18:22 and Lev20:13 admonitioins against homosexual activity were simply part of "Baal fertility rituals" and were therefore unclean. His conclusion is that, so long as one is not engaged in a Baal fertitliy rite, it's OK. Of course, there is no mention of Baal at all in Leviticus, so I don't know where he gets that idea. Furthermore, the verses in question are right in the middle of the parts about incest, adultery, and bestiality. Are those OK now, too? (Assuming, of course, that we are not committing these acts as part of a Baal fertility ritual.)

3) His interpretations are vastly outnumbered by the opposing scholars of the past and present.

Are you really willing to risk your soul for this pleasure? Are you willing to risk others souls by telling them is it OK, when you will be held responsible for those you mislead?

Jonathan said:

NoPromoHomo! No tax dollars for "gay pleasure seekers".

Well there it is. A yes vote places a stamp of approval on Jack's pathalogical thinking and immoral behavior. Virginia will end up funneling OUR tax dollars to promote a mob-o-Jacks running around trying to prevent sin. THE GAYS ARE SINNING THE GAYS ARE SINNING. WE'VE GOT TO STOP THEM. IT'S UUURRRRGENT! (hat-tip to Eve Marie Barner) That should be reason enough to vote NO on NOvember 7.

If not, remember that the inquisition started because a Pope thought that torture was ok so as long as it was levied against groups of people who "eclipse God". Shame on those liberal Jews. They got what they deserved.

Let's hope that Virginia voters vote their moral values.

As for "majorities", remember that line from "An Inconvenient Truth":

"3 out of 4 doctors who smoke, smoke Camels."

The corollary from yesterday's Washington Post article about Brian D. McLaren and progressive evangelicals:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/09/AR2006090901155.html?nav=hcmodule

"When we present Jesus as a pro-war, anti-poor, anti-homosexual, anti-environment, pro-nuclear weapons authority figure draped in an American flag, I think we are making a travesty of the portrait of Jesus we find in the gospels,"

Or to give that thought numbers; between 64% and 89% of evangelicals "make a travesty of the portrait of Jesus we find in the gospels".

Now turning that statistic around *is* UUUURRRRRGENT!

Jacob Ash said:

Jonathon,
Have you become completely unhinged?

Jon:“NoPromoHomo! No tax dollars for "gay pleasure seekers".”
Snarky, yes, but essentially that is the point here now isn’t Jonathon. The rest of us do not want to fund your behavior. That is part of living in a democracy.

BTW we also do not have to approve of your behavior. AND this does not mean we are 'pathologically' immoral.

What has brought this all about, you have not been your usual level self. Is everything OK, aside from Jack not backing down from Bill Garnett?

Jon:“Well there it is. A yes vote places a stamp of approval on Jack's pathalogical thinking and immoral behavior. Virginia will end up funneling OUR tax dollars to promote a mob-o-Jacks running around trying to prevent sin. “
How do you go from Jack’s calling like he see’s it to the government of VA using tax dollars to prevent you from doing what you will in your bedroom? That is the sin you are defending here is it not.

Jon:‘THE GAYS ARE SINNING THE GAYS ARE SINNING. WE'VE GOT TO STOP THEM. IT'S UUURRRRGENT! (hat-tip to Eve Marie Barner) That should be reason enough to vote NO on NOvember 7.’
I have never seen hysterics and snide sarcasm leveled at a lady labeled as ‘reason’, this is a new experience. Would you care to get a hold of yourself?

Jon:‘If not, remember that the inquisition started because a Pope thought that torture was ok so as long as it was levied against groups of people who "eclipse God". Shame on those liberal Jews. They got what they deserved.’
Kewel. This is a leap of logic that is truly epic in its hysteria.

Remember, you are publicly seeking to stop an amendment to the constitution of VA. This is a part of the democratic process, a process I find to be noble. But, participation does not mean you win always. You are doing yourself no favors here. Barking mad is not a good public image.

As far as making a travesty of what is in the gospels, McLaren did say …

When we present Jesus as a pro-war, anti-poor, anti-homosexual, anti-environment, pro-nuclear weapons authority figure draped in an American flag, I think we are making a travesty of the portrait of Jesus we find in the gospels.

I say, "Nice straw man.", I have never seen God or Christ portrayed as McLaren states. When you do, let me know.

-JA

Jack said:

Jonathan:

We have been charged to be our brothers' keepers. If my meager efforts save but a single soul, they will have been worth it.

Good point about straw man, J.A. - straw men, actually, if you want to bring in his comment about the Inquisition. To continue the point I made the other day, we're getting a glimpse of the mindset of those opposing the Virginia Marriage amendment.

Bill Garnett said:

"1) He is himself gay, so he has a vested interest in denying the clear meaning of scripture."

Does that mean that being straight implies one has a vested interest in denying equal civil rights?

=====================

What arrogance to imply that anyone does not have the authentic spiritual right to find his or her path to God. How are these Christian religious zealots not unlike Muslim fundamentalist zealots in their insistence that their own take on scripture is absolute God’s truth and thus all other contrary voices are automatically shut out and condemned to Hell.

I will stand toe-to-toe against any of the so-called Christians on this board (if only they would come out into the light of day and not hide in anonymity like the Ku Klux Klan under their hoods), in my defense of my faith. But I will not require these zealots to accept my faith or go to Hell – nor would I force a change in the Bill of Rights to assure they are stigmatized by their government and denied rights and benefits for themselves, their partners, or their children.

These religious rights extremists make a mockery of Christianity, can be seen historically and culturally for the hypocrites they are, and will be the last to accept the science or compassionate understanding that will eventually stop this needless discrimination in our civil law.

Jack said:

"Does that mean that being straight implies one has a vested interest in denying equal civil rights?"

Don't be silly. We, as Christians, have a vested interest in saving souls.

" How are these Christian religious zealots not unlike Muslim fundamentalist zealots...?"

We don't lop your head off for disagreeing with us.

"But I will not require these zealots to accept my faith...."

But that is EXACTLY what you want. You want us to accept your sins, and to teach our children that what you do is not sinful. That is a path to Hell.

Considering the penchant for violence shown by the left, I think anonymity is a wise precaution. Some of us have rather unique names. And as for going toe-to-toe with you on religious matters, I have done so a couple of times, and blown you out of the water each time. (I notice you did not address any factual argument of my dismemberment of your last post.)

Lastly, to my being "the last to accept science," I hold a BS in Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Mathematics, and am currently working on a Ph.D. in Computaional Astrophysics. What's your educational background?

David said:

Clearly an education in Aerospace Engineering, while valuable in and of itself, does not equip one to understand the science of human biology and behavior.

Bill is referring to the well established understanding in the fields of medicine, psychology and sociology that there is natural variance in sexual orientation among human beings. That understanding is not contrary in any way to faith, since it describes the world that God created.

It's only contrary to literalism - and you consistently reject even the possibility that there is an objective reality that is understandable through empirical observation that would call into question the assumptions of your literalism. That is why your view is being characterized as anti-science, despite your otherwise fine credentials.

Jack said:

David:

You have a very bad tendency to misinterpret what others say. I have never denied the existance of "natural variance in sexual orientation among human beings," and you know it. In fact, you know that I have repeatedly said, on this blog and on your own, that HOMOSEXUALITY is not a sin, homosexual ACTS are.

Science books teach us about about Nature. The Bible teaches about sin.

leslie said:

The state can not force a church to perform acts against their religion, so of course no church would be forced to marry two people they do not want to. Some churches already do that anyway.

Really I think this is what should happen. As our country is founded on the idea of religious freedom, marriage should be open to straight and gay people alike- then, its up to the specific church to decide whether or not they want to participate.

Amendment I of the US Consitution says "Congress shall make no law respecting and establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise of..." This is interpreted to mean the State can not encourage a religious ideology. If marriage is truly a religious institution- the State has no business regulating it, only the Church, Synagogue,etc. does for their own members.

That is just my opinion though. :)

Jack said:

Utah was forced to outlaw polygamy before it would be allowed into the Union. Where was the religious freedom then?


Jack the Stupid Rocket Scientist said:

Time for this Stupid Rocket Scientist to go to his Quantum Mechanics class. Good day to you all.

Jenn said:

Consider:
1. The amendment specifically exclludes rights to all unmarried individuals. This includes straight unmarried individuals.
2. An almost identically worded state constitutional amendment that passed in 2004 has been used in Ohio to throw out domestic violence charges against unmarried couples based on their state amendment barring recognition of unmarried individuals as a family unit. Now the charges are a much lesser assualt charge. (You can contact a case supervisor in Columbus Ohio to verify)
3. A recent poll shows 59% of registered Virginia voters support civil unions.
4. This proposed amendment not only bans recognition of same-sex marriage, but also civil unions and domestic partnerships, as well as any "legal ataus for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage." Anyone who says they can tell you for sure what that means or does not mean is trying to sell you something. It is beyond vague in what it could mean; who exactly falls into the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage? Custody agreements? Medical directives and wills? Property agreements? Joint Tenancy arrangements? Powers of Attorney? We are voting on a text that is nothing but vague and nobody can definitively explain whit it sys or doesn't say.
Go read the actual Marriage Amendment if you can find the full version. See if you agree with my view of its text. Yes I am a partial I am a mother to a 6 yr old and we live with his dad. His father and I are in acivil union. If this amendment passes it will greatly effect us in a negative matter. We can not afford an attorney to go through all the lagal maneuvering to try and protect each other. If somethinf ever happens to him I would lose everything to his greedy family (no matter how much they love us we are not money. Even we have the paperwork I am still not considered next of kin and if our son is still minor. You get the picture. Please try and research the Amendment you might see it is not actually what it seems to be. Many will suffer for the sins of others.

Jack said:

Consider that you and your child's father are already violating VA Code 18.2-345. Domestic Violence statutes are designed to protect married people. Which begs the question, if you want the protections of marriage, why don't you just get married?

C.P. SNYDER said:

THE BIBLE (GOD'S WORD) IS CLEAR ON THE SUBJECT OF SAME SEX UNIONS WHETHER MARRIED OF NOT, IT IS WRONG! NO IF AND OR BUTS ABOUT IT

Le 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

C.P. SNYDER said:

ROMANS 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

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