Go Virginia!


Categories: Religion

Someone on a Christian BBS I frequent posted a message titled “Go Virginia!”

Apparently, the state of Virginia has decided to resume their experimentation with denying people fundamental civil rights on the basis of misguided religious fervor.

So… Just a reminder to everyone out there: Read Loving v. Virginia. Here’s a good starting point:


This addresses many of the issues we see today. It’s the same issue. The same words are used, the same rhetoric… It’s the same question, all over again.

Go, Virginia! Go. Far away. Don’t come back until you’re ready to act your age.

Comments [archived]

From: seebs_lawyer
Date: 2004-06-14 18:01:25 -0500

Here’s some reasoning that may be familiar:

In June 1958, two residents of Virginia, Mildred Jeter, a Negro woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, were married in the District of Columbia pursuant to its laws. Shortly after their marriage, the Lovings returned to Virginia and established their marital abode in Caroline County. At the October Term, 1958, of the Circuit Court [388 U.S. 1, 3] of Caroline County, a grand jury issued an indictment charging the Lovings with violating Virginia’s ban on interracial marriages. On January 6, 1959, the Lovings pleaded guilty to the charge and were sentenced to one year in jail; however, the trial judge suspended the sentence for a period of 25 years on the condition that the Lovings leave the State and not return to Virginia together for 25 years. He stated in an opinion that:

  "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."<br />

Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 2-3 (1967).

So much for the state of Jefferson, Madison, and Washington.

From: seebs_lawyer
Date: 2004-06-14 18:08:32 -0500

Two quotes I like:

  1. “Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free … that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry ….

And though we well know that this assembly elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding assemblies, constituted with powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act to be irrevocable would be of no effect in law; yet we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present, or to narrow its operation, such act shall be an infringement of natural right.”

Source: W.W. Hening, ed., Statutes at Large of Virginia, vol. 12 (1823): 84-86.

  1. “Had those who drew and ratified the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth Amendment or the Fourteenth Amendment known the components of liberty in its manifold possibilities, they might have been more specific. They did not presume to have this insight. They knew times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress. As the Constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom.”

Lawrence v. Texas, No. 02-102

From: Chris
Date: 2004-06-23 09:11:05 -0500

I still don’t see how you can think St Paul didn’t preach against homosexuality. Its pretty obvious to me, as much as I would like to ignore the whole thing and accept gay relationships as moral. I mean, maybe you could argue that Sodom’s sin was trying to rape the angels, instead of asking nicely to have sex with them, but Romans is black and white, my friend.


From: dave
Date: 2004-06-23 10:56:10 -0500

“Moral”, no.

“What consenting adults do in private is none of the government’s business”, yes.

From: Chris
Date: 2004-06-24 02:32:51 -0500


“What consenting adults do in private is none of the government’s business”, yes.

Fine, then they can get “married” in their imaginations in their own bedrooms. When it becomes public and starts effecting society, then it is no longer their business.

From: Jesse
Date: 2004-06-24 20:18:48 -0500


You may disagree with the separation of church and state. It looks as if you do, and would prefer to live in a theocracy. But this is not a theocracy, and that means religious arguments are not legal arguments. For the state of Virginia to codify a religious stance into state law is unAmerican.

From: seebs_lawyer
Date: 2004-06-24 20:55:53 -0500

“Fine, then they can get “married” in their imaginations in their own bedrooms. When it becomes public and starts effecting society, then it is no longer their business.”

You are so close to being civilized I will spend some time and effort to push you over.

What gay people do is already in public and is already affecting society. Gay couples exist. They live together. They love each other. Dat’s da fact, Jack.

Remember, you don’t object to gay couples being married in their “imaginations” and in their “bedrooms.” Based upon your premises, sodomy is not an issue.

So, the question is NOT how do we prevent this; the question is what does our government do about it?

Is it wise to make these relationships furtive and fraught with peril? Is it good policy?

I doubt that very much. In fact, it is bad policy.

These people want to live together and share their lives. They want to inherit from each other. They want to own property together. They want a voice in each other’s end-of life decisions.

“But,” you say, “People can do that already by making contracts. They don’t have to get married!”

Here’s the rub: Virginia made those contracts illegal! Not only does Virginia not give State imprimatur to gay marriage, it DECREASES the rights of its gay citizens. Those citizens have LESS rights than other citizens.

That’s wrong. Beyond wrong, that’s stupid.

From: Goliath
Date: 2004-06-25 05:50:20 -0500

“That’s wrong. Beyond wrong, that’s stupid.”

For once, we agree.



From: Kalimarchus
Date: 2004-06-29 07:16:38 -0500

Here’s the rub: Virginia made those contracts illegal! Not only does Virginia not give State imprimatur to gay marriage, it DECREASES the rights of its gay citizens. Those citizens have LESS rights than other citizens.

Actually… gay citizens in Virginia have the same right to marry a member of the opposite sex as anyone else in Virginia. How is that a reduction in rights? A male, heterosexual or homosexual, may not marry another male. I’m just not seeing the reduction, I guess.

From: Goliath
Date: 2004-07-01 03:05:08 -0500

Ummm…you answered your own question, Kalimarchus.



From: seebs_lawyer
Date: 2004-07-02 19:47:21 -0500

You are missing the point of the VA legislation. Not lonly does it bar gay marriage, it bars anyone from entering into contracts that are like marriage. Some of those contracts would be agreements to purchase property as joint tenants, to share proceeds of investments, or to bequeath property after death. These are things that happen automatcially upon marriage. Prior to the VA legislation, you could do these things separately by contract, even if it was not a marriage.

VA now bans these contracts.

Keep in mind my premise: Gay people are already living together and sharing their lives. VA has essentially made it illegal for them to share their legal and economic lives EVEN IF THEY DO NOT CALL IT MARRIAGE.

If you think this does not affect you because you are not gay, you are dead wrong.

I had two great-uncles. Only Uncle Tommy was my blood relation. Tom and Ben lived together for at least thirty years. We spent the majority of holidays at their house–true to stereotype, Ben could cook like a demon and was a great host.

Ben was pretty much rejected by his loser bigoted family. That’s fine, he was a member of my family.

Tom and Ben had nice pour-over wills and had done just as much as possible to join their legal and economic lives without the benefit of marriage.

Tom died several years ago, predeceasing Ben. The property arrangements and the wills worked just great. Ben got everything (as he should). No problem. He got a bunch of our family antiques.

Ben never updated the contracts and the wills …

Ben passed away. Guess who got MY FAMILY ANTIQUES? His white trash relatives who kicked him out of the family.

Fuck them and fuck you too.

From: Chris Tucker
Date: 2004-08-17 22:21:56 -0500

As an aside, here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where same sex marriage has been both legal and a right since May, the sky has not fallen, the earth has not opened, nor has the Chrales River turned to blood.

Neither have the vast majority of heterosexuals turned towards homosexuality.

All that’s happened is that a LOT of happy people have gotten married.

We all got tired of waiting for God to smite us and have all gotten on with our lives, griping about the DNC and the Big Dig, rooting for the Red Sox (Talk about a term in Purgatory!) and griping about the Yankees.

Oh, and letting gay couples enjoy the same equal rights as straight couples here in the Commonwealth.

Give it a try, Virginia, you might like the way it feels to be on the right side for a change.