Home Social Issues On Gay Marriage, What Waldo Said

On Gay Marriage, What Waldo Said


Per the Washington Post poll which found that more Virginians now support gay marriage than oppose it, I couldn’t agree more with Waldo Jaquith’s analysis:

…These results aren’t totally surprising, since this is the same shift that’s occurred nationally in the same time period. The big source is my own generation. Most young folks think that gay marriage should be legal. Most old folks think it should be illegal. As those old folks become dead folks, and more young folks come along, there’s every reason to think that these numbers will keep right on rising.

So here we are. We’ve needlessly marginalized 5-10% of the state’s population, creating some huge headaches and heartaches for thousands of people. How long will we wait to fix this? We could be ahead of the curve, we could wait to do it when all of the other states are fixing their own constitutions, or we could wait until it’s a source of state shame-say, another decade or so-and then be humiliated into making this right. I’m pretty sure I know which route Virginia will go with.

Which makes it all the more sad, frustrating, and infuriating to see Bob McDonnell continuing to get it completely wrong, calling the Marshall-Newman anti-gay-marriage amendment “the right decision.” Sorry, but just because the majority votes a certain way at a particular snapshot in time doesn’t make it “right,” whether we’re talking morality or public policy, whether at that specific point in time or into the future. In this case, it was clearly the wrong decision on every level, as many of us said at the time.

So…now that the people of Virginia are shifting rapidly towards greater acceptance of gay marriage, and would almost certainly not approve Marshall-Newman if it were put on the ballot today, the only question is how long we have to suffer with this monstrosity marring the text of George Mason’s and Thomas Jefferson’s great Virginia constitution. Unfortunately, given right-wing, homophobic Republican control of the House of Delegates (probably for the next decade given their recently-approved gerrymander/incumbent protection plan), it looks like we’re talking the mid-2020s at the earliest. By that time, if current trends continue, the amendment should be repealed overwhelmingly. But I’m not holding my breath.

  • JimWebster

    Hey Waldo, some of us straight old fogies (73) are all out supporters of gay marriage too. But then what do I know, I live in Arlington.

  • FreeDem

    I’ve heard many complaints from folks in Richmond about the current budget process and wanting to change when the two years start. But changing it would probably require a constitutional amendment to modify which years are the long ones and which are the even ones.

    There’s also the issue of Virginia’s one consecutive term limit for Governor.

    What else could we improve with Virginia’s constitution? I don’t know, but I feel like repealing the gay marriage amendment will be very difficult to get done. Especially with today’s Democratic Party of Virginia. An entirely new Constitution, one that doesn’t have the ban, could be easier to see in the future.

  • That the amendment stays enshrined in the Virginia Constitution forever after it gets voided by the Federal Supreme Court when they decide that marriage equality is the law of the land.

  • Mike1987

    I see the trends, but for the next 20 or so years, hate has a constituency. As long as there is no electoral or business price to be paid, bigots will thrive. Right now, it’s not fashionable to be a racist (in most circles) yet it’s ok to be a homophobe. No price is paid, no elections lost.

    I strongly suspect that the current SCOTUS will in fact enshrine homophobia along with sexism and a dash of racism. We see this in state after state. Anti-gay, Anti-brown, Anti-women, Anti-abortion, Anti-vote, Anti-anti laws being enacted everywhere.

    I don’t see anti-gay marriage laws being overturned by this conservative SCOTUS who attends John Birch society meetings at the expense of Koch Industries.

    My partner of 25 years and I will in fact be dead before LGB get the right to marry and get double taxed like the rest of you.