Ballot Question #1:Just your typical no gay marriages rhetoric, right? No, not exactly.
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."
See, gay marriage has been illegal in VA for over 30 years. One would think that this amendment would be superfluous. If it's already illegal why vote on this amendment? Well, the new amendment doesn't change the legality of gay marriage one bit. It does, however, greatly restrict the rights and privileges of all unmarried couples. It effectively removes protection from unmarried domestic violence victims and will deny unmarried couples the right to make agreements to protect their families. i.e. Wills and Trusts.
This amendment opens the door to allowing the removal of previously existing rights for all unmarried couples. Rights such as making legal agreements for the guardianship of their children and to give the loved one of their choice the right to make medical and end of life decisions for them.
This is so much more than a Gay Rights issue. On November 6th, Virginia was known as the first governing body in the world to create a bill of rights that guaranteed each citizen individual rights against the government. After November 7th, it is now one of many to have taken away much of these rights.
As for me, I still don't understand it all. There is no logical, rational, sane reason to deny Gay's the right to marry. If a particular religion doesn't allow for it that's all fine and dandy but there's no reason what-so-ever to apply the same restrictions in the civil/legal world.