Poisson Is Out of Touch With VA
David E. Poisson was one of 20 out of 100 delegates in the VA house to vote against the Virginia Marriage Amendment that eventually became law and was put to a referendum vote in the past election. This means even most Democrats in the Virginia house voted in the defense of traditional marriage. Poisson is a minority in his own party. The summary of the bill is as follows:
Constitutional amendment (voter referendum); marriage. Provides for a referendum at the November 2006 election on approval of a proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage. The proposed amendment provides 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." The proposed amendment also prohibits the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions from creating or recognizing "a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage." Further, the proposed amendment prohibits the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions from creating or recognizing "another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage."
The amendment language was nearly identical to a law which passed the VA house and senate previously. However as a law this language (as a bill) was vulnerable to attack from a single activist judge.
An amendment to the Virginia constitution would be safe from judicial fiat. It was this safeguard that provoked the effort to stop the marriage amendment by Poisson and others. This effort was typified by scare tactics involving the supposed loss of rights which has been shown up to now to be spurious:
Earlier this week, The Ohio state Supreme Court dismissed arguments that Ohio's marriage amendment undermined that state's domestic violence laws (State v. Carswell). I'm sure you vividly remember that opponents of Virginia's marriage amendment attempted to scare Virginians into voting against the amendment by pointing to the controversy in Ohio last fall.
The referendum passed overwhelmingly in the last election despite tremendous opposition from local and national homosexual advocates, Democratic Governor Tim Kaine, and the VA Democratic Party leadership. This is not a position Virginians support and as such leaves David Poisson in opposition to his constituency.
The real motivation for the amendment was that Virginians did not want their marriage laws to be decided by the courts as happened in Massachusetts. Poisson's vote and his public statements strongly opposing the Marriage Amendment show his preference for having a judge decide this matter rather than allowing the people to choose. This is a position decidedly out of the mainstream; the electorate does not want Judges making law.
Mr. Poisson's position supporting a redefinition of marriage places him well outside the mainstream of Northern Virginia - although he has tried to position himself as a "moderate." This moderate position is at odds with his voting record in general.
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