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per amica silentia lunae

or, across the ferny brae with the evil voodoo celt

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whatever else you may think of the man, this is bang on target in my book...
Transcript of Remarks by Congressman Jim Moran on the Marriage Amendment in July, 2006 (House of Representatives)

Mr. Moran VA:

We have a conflagration in the Middle East today as we speak. We have raised the debt ceiling four times to over $9 trillion and we're going to pass it all on to our kids, and this is how the Republican congressional leadership chooses to spend its time.

Nobody's marriage is endangered. This is crazy. What this is really about and what this amendment should be entitled is the "Gay Discrimination Act." That's all it is.

And what's its motivation? It's a crass political attempt to divide America in an election year. That's what this is all about. We know it, and I suspect a lot of the American people know it as well.

But you're using the Constitution to do so. Our founding fathers put together the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in order to protect and enhance individual rights and liberties. And this goes directly counter to what our Constitution is all about, prohibiting, limiting individual rights. They talked about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But all you can think about are ways to make life more difficult for people who don't fall into the mainstream of America. That's not what America is about.

This amendment needs to be defeated and we need to stand up for human rights, for civil rights, and for states' rights. We know it's never going to get passed. It's never going to get enacted and we shouldn't be spending our time talking about it. We shouldn't be spending our time trying to seek political gain at the expense of people who want to live committed lives with each other. That's not endangering anybody. That's what America ought to be about and what our founding fathers wanted America to be about.

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So, is he a rarity in VA politics? ...I'm assuming he comes from the part of the state which is closest to the DC metro area, tho I could be wrong.

Alas, a relative rarity. Yes, he comes from the area generally referred to as "Northern Virginia"- he represents our district, as a matter of fact- which is generally higher-income, more socially liberal and politically centrist to liberal than the rest of the state- a "Blue" enclave in a "Red" state.

It's really one of the central tragedies of life here- we provide a huge amount of the tax base for VA (especially with Big Tobacco hitting hard times), but it all goes down to Richmond and little of it seems to ever come back up here... and we're constantly saddled with nasty, regressive, dominionist-friendly stuff from the state legislature.

I think we should secede, frankly.

ISTR that Virginia is the only state which outright prevents *private* companies from giving domestic partner benefits to their employees...
How does, frex, the graphic design department at AOL feel about this?? [Then again, looking at some of their site's pages, maybe I don't wanna know.]

Maybe snolan could answer that, or at least would have a better idea than I do...

ISTR that Virginia is the only state which outright prevents *private* companies from giving domestic partner benefits to their employees...

I have never heard that before, but I do know my employer (AOL) has always been very liberal about partner benefits... perhaps they are fighting the state on the issue, or perhaps they are ignoring the state on the issue... I am not sure. When I first got this job I was surprised at how open people were (of course I was coming from the dark depths of the ass-backwards Pentagon). Many of my co-workers only work here because they get decent life-partner benefits from AOL.

BTW - we are working as hard as we can to get Virginia to show up as blue as it really is. Voters here are actually pretty mainstream, and though our legislature and congressional representation does not show that yet (power of the incumbent), we are shifting our elected officials a bit to more closely line up with the population. Evidence: the last two governor's races, and we continue to gain seats in the legislature.

This November 7th will be a real bell-weather for the state. I am wildly optomistic that Virginians will replace as many as 5 incumbent Republican U.S. congressmen with better choices, and George Allen will be replaced for sure. Even the less-optimistic are saying we can replace 2-3 representatives and the one senator for sure. It's a great time to be involved in politics in Virginia right now... unless you are a neo-con.

This amendment should really be called the "motivated all the neo-con support we can for Allen because he'll be beaten otherwise" amendment. It is already illegal in Virginia for same-sex marriages or unions, so why propose an amendment? To GOTV amongst social conservatives. Allen knows he's going down, and he's the one who assked for the amendment's timing now.

Thanks, snolan (to anyone who knows him, it's not surprising he has a better read on the state of politics in VA than I do. ;-)

I am so looking forward to the fall elections...

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