The Virginia General Assembly passed a law April 21 banning all contracts between partners in homosexual relationships. Not just marriage, all contracts.
At the center of HB 751 is this language:
"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."
After hearing about this law, and reading up on it, I penned the following email to our dear friend, Delegate Bob Marshall, who was kind enough to sponsor the bill...
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2004 20:42:51 -0400
From: Jay Corvid
I am an affluent white male who, as is evidenced by the state sanctioned ring I wear on my left hand, is as heterosexual as they come. And, despite the fact that I work an average of 60 hours a week (in Virginia, by the way) and have numerous other activities that keep my calendar quite full, I feel compelled to spend a moment to let you know how I feel regarding your recent sponsorship of HB751. If you aren't
sure where this is headed, I invite you to glance at the subject line of this email.
I sit here completely vexed by the decision passed by the Virginia General Assembly, which serves to further alienate and punish the homosexuals in our community. And what really galls me about this whole matter, is that you and some of your colleagues seem to eagerly seek out every possible means of de-stabilizing and de-humanizing some of your own citizens, in your malicious fervor to impress your own moral values upon everyone you have sworn to represent. You see, committing an act of evil is one thing, but to do it with a gleam in your eye and with hate in your heart, is something else entirely. Think I have gone to far? Please allow me to
There are those who are against gay marriage, and rally from behind the shield of "the sanctity of marriage." Despite the rampant rate of divorce in this country (even without gay marriage), I can understand (if not respect) their view. Just as the racist bigots of the not-to-distant past ultimately learned in the case of civil rights, these individuals will succumb to fairness and justice in time.
However, what you have done goes far beyond that. You are not doing anything as noble as the concept of "saving marriage." You had the opportunity to leave marriage as it is, and to provide another recourse for those whom you have deemed unfit to be bonded by matrimony. You had the option to turn this into a win-win situation, but instead, you chose the mean-spirited and malicious path of denying civil unions in order to prevent people who are in love from being able to take care of each other. And for good measure, you even pushed further to lay the groundwork to prevent their ability to have durable powers of attorney, health care directives,
and wills. These were not the actions of a man protecting something. These were the actions of a man who hates. A man who is so caught up in his own self-righteousness that he cannot even tolerate the existence of a thought he doesn’t
share. You could have simply said, "no civil unions." But you didn’t. You took it further. You turned what could have been simply a display of poor character and insensitivity, into an act of cruelty.
I suppose that in the future it is conceivable you will be viewed as the sacrosanct protector of contractual obligations. Maybe the Queen of England will make you a
Knight of the Realm for valiantly standing firm, buoyed by your religion, against the stalwart foes of contract law. These things are possible, but more likely I see your actions and those of your colleagues, to be remembered as the death throes of a bygone era, where intolerance and inhumanity struggled for one last gasp of air, before being overcome by humanity’s irresistible strides towards equality.
You know, it’s a funny thing. Throughout the history of the world, there were always those who sought to hold people back and to restrict the rights of others, and during those times they enjoyed the support of many of their colleagues and
neighbors. Yet the measure of time has always held constant. Whenever we look back, those that used their power to deny the rights of others and to limit the liberty of their people, are without fail condemned for their actions and are reviled for their lack of character. And unerringly, in the long run their efforts have always failed, always been torn down by those who followed.
I would humbly ask that you keep this final thought in mind as you continue your service to the people.