Public Sentiment Still Favors Same-Sex Marriage Ban

A Richmond Times-Dispatch poll shows a strong majority of Virginia favoring the proposed constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage. Fifty-four percent of the respondents said they will vote for the Nov. 7 measure, while 40 percent were opposed and six percent undecided.

The results did not change significantly from a poll in July.

I sympathise with the motivation behind the amendment: the desire to counter the activism of out-of-state judges who would impose same-sex marriage by judicial fiat. But I continue to worry about the fall-out from the wording of this particular amendment, which could threaten the rights of unmarried couples, same-sex or otherwise, to enter into wills, trusts and other legal agreements. Pundits can legitimately disagree what that fall-out will be, but we won’t know for sure until the inevitable legal cases are ruled upon… by judges.

If it’s any consolation, at least they’ll be Virginia judges. I suppose that’s better than Massachusetts or California judges.

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33 responses to “Public Sentiment Still Favors Same-Sex Marriage Ban”

  1. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    There won’t be any adverse fallout – assuming judges understand English – because it addresses legislating artifices to approximate marriage. How often does that happen? So, when Arlington (my hometown) writes a county ordnance recognizing civil unions – that won’t fly. No prob.

    The scare tactics about wills etc. is a load of fertilizer. Didn’t happen in other states and won’t happen here.

    I regret it had to come to this. But, Constitutional concrete is needed when legislatures and executives don’t have the backbone to face down judicial tyranny. And, true, Virginia hasn’t been scourged by any out of control black-robed priest-king, yet. It only takes one.

  2. Actually, broadly worded amendments have had effects in other states — Ohio has a similarly worded amendment:

    “In at least two cases last week, the Cuyahoga County public defender’s office has asked a judge to dismiss domestic-violence charges against unmarried defendants. The attorneys in the two cases argue that the charges violate the amendment by affording marriage-like legal status to unmarried victims who live with the people accused of attacking them.”

  3. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Dear Atheist BLM: From Virginia4marriage “Same-sex marriage advocates point to cases in Ohio where trial courts used that state’s amendment to invalidate domestic violence laws. They fail to mention that appellate courts have already reversed several of those decisions. But frankly, what happens in Ohio is irrelevant to Virginia.

    Virginia is in better legal shape than Ohio. Ohio’s law refers to “spouses”, but Virginia’s domestic violence laws are not based on marriage, but instead are based on “households.” Virginia law clearly defines the “class of victims” of domestic violence as any “household member” who “cohabitates” or “resides” with another person. It has no reference to marriage or, in fact, any relationship at all between the two people who reside together (Code section 18.2-57.2). Basically, our domestic violence law applies regardless of the relationship.
    Regardless of what happens in Ohio, Virginia’s domestic violence laws are safe. It is despicable that some people in Virginia are willing to frighten victims of domestic violence to further their agenda.”

  4. Where is there a precadent to codify discrimination into the Virginia (or any other) Constitution? Simply not agreeing with a way of life is grounds to invalidate it? Simply don’t understand… I wish someone would take the time to teach me how two men or women getting married somewhere in VA could possibly make my marriage less valuable or meaningful.

    Not wanting a flame war… just enlightenment.

  5. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Jamie: Regulating marriage isn’t discrimination. It isn’t discrimination that a Muslim can’t marry 4 women in Virginia. It isn’t discrimination that a fundamentalist Mormon can’t marry 40 women. Or that you can’t have a group marriage. Or marry within the blood lines of incest. Etc.

    The Marriage Amendment isn’t about your marriage. It is about future generations of Virginians and their marriages. The compelling interest of the state is to have families with one man as a father and one woman as a mother.

    In 5000 years of recorded history no civilization or culture – down the tiniest tribe – ever confused homosexual sex with marriage and the family. Only today’s Liberals are so mixed up and clueless on how cultures produce societies and states of a civilization.

    Homosexual sex can never produce children. They must procure children. Heterosexual sex, ceteris paribus, produces children and families. When the parents are married their children make better citizens, fewer social pathologies, which is vital to the survival of the state.

  6. Mr. Bowden: Trying to compare polygamy to homosexuality is a non-starter, whether it’s religious or cultural. That type of relationship is detrimental to all parties, even when entered into openly. It’s been proven time and again. There is also no research at all being done on a “polygamy gene”. No nature vs. nurture debate to have. Apples and Oranges. And there is no evidence that a homosexual relationship can’t be healthy and fulfilling to the involved parties.

    The compelling interest of the state is to have a stable, healthy, profitable society. The state could care less (or SHOULD care less) what makes up said family, as long as it pays it taxes, is not on public assistance, and doesn’t break the laws of the land. The proposed amendment is most definitely about my marriage. It’s an amendment to the Constitution of Virginia DEFINING MARRIAGE. How could mine not be included in that group for definition?

    If you look a little deeper into the Wikipedia, you’ll find that same sex unions were practiced throughout a large part of recorded history. Places like Sparta and 2nd century Rome actually codified it. And several ancient writers (most notably Strabo) documented open homosexuality in the Gauls and Celts. Also, Bardaisan of Edessa (I know, a little obscure but still put to parchement none the less and a primary source) wrote:

    “In the countries of the north — in the lands of the Germans and those of their neighbors, handsome [noble] young men assume the role of wives [women] towards other men, and they celebrate marriage feasts.”.

    You could also toss in the 18th century Molly Houses in London, but they weren’t legally sanctioned.

    As for producing children, I think enough of society produces enough children to cover the few couples who couldn’t do it on their own. Again, another non-starter. Because if the state-recognized purpose of marriage was truly to procreate, we’d have to have fertility tests replace the old blood tests.

    And your comment that children from married households being better citizens is, in addition to being incorrect, insulting to everyone who didn’t have that situation.

    While I have any number of questions about homosexuality (most importantly how anyone, much less another man, can find any man attractive), I don’t presume to know what is best for those people. The state shouldn’t either.

  7. Sorry, forgot to add:

    So I ask again, can someone please explain this to me???

  8. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Jamie, You make some very interesting historical citations regardly the sanctioning of same-sex relationships in past societies. I wasn’t familiar with them, and I think you score a point in your debate with JAB.

    However, I would take you to task regarding your position on polygamy. I share JAB’s position that sanctioning same-sex marriage creates a slippery slope towards polygamy.

    You state that “there is also no research at all being done on a ‘polygamy gene’.” There is no need to do any research on such a gene because the case is settled: Polygamy is so widespread in human society and history — not to mention in other primate species — that there can be no doubt whatsoever that there is a natural proclivity for males to monopolize as many sexual/reproductive partners as he can. The advantages for males to procreate with as many women as possible is a fundamental tenet of evolutionary biology. In polygamous societies, males with greater power, wealth and status have more wives and enjoy greater reproductive success. I would argue that, from an evolutionary perspective, polygamy is the most “natural” state of mankind.

    However, we don’t live in tribes anymore. We have decided that marriage is the union between one man and one woman. Once you’ve decided that core principle is no longer sacred and you make an exception for same-sex marriage, there is no rational grounds to block other forms of marriage.

    We do live, after all, in an age that worships multi-culturalism and cultural diversity. It’s one thing to mock Mormons (depraved cultural conservatives) who want to marry more than one wife. But it’s much harder in our politically correct era to deny Muslims and animists. I can assure you, once the walls are breeched, all sorts of freaks and weirdos will come out of the woodwork. Why stop at polygamy? Why not polyandry — wives with multiple husbands. Or communal marriage?

    The question you have to ask yourself: Once you empower gays to marry, what justification do you have for not empowering Muslims?

  9. Why exactly is it a fear that a California judge would impose same-sex marriage on Virginia? Unless they were sitting on the US Supreme Court, how would they have jurisdiction?

    This amendment is all about fear of people who are different from you. If it was put to a statewide vote, would Virginians ban interracial marriage, as well? What about marriages between Christians and Jews? And if marriages are all about producing children, then I think a ban on marriage for infertile people can’t be far away.

    If this regressive amendment passes, it will be a terrible embarrassment for a state that prides itself on being a home of cutting-edge tech companies.

  10. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Miles, here’s my understanding (which is admittedly imperfect) of the question you raise. If a California judge approves same-sex marriage, what happens if a married, same-sex couple from California moves to Virginia? (Not many are likely to do so, but all it takes is one to file a lawsuit.) Does the Commonwealth of Virginia have to honor that marriage?

    I don’t know what the legal principles are — interstate commerce, reciprocity of laws, whatever — but I have heard that Virginia might be compelled to honor California law.

    (I would be delighted for someone to elucidate this point and correct me where I am wrong.)

  11. First off, Miles. Look to the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution. If you’re married in California, VA has to recognize it if we want to stay in the union.

    Mr. Bacon,

    Fair point on how allowing homosexuals to marry could conveivably open the door to other unions which would truly be undesirable, and also on polygamy in society throughout history. Even today, having a “mistress” is a certain sign of power and an elite status. Much the same situation.

    But I believe the solution can be found within the problem that our current proposed amendment is reputed to have. The wording.

    I agree that polygamy is off the table. It’s not healthy for any of the participants, and numerous studies show that the wives are treated as little more than objects. Of course, incest and polyandry and the other unhealthy relationships should be excluded as they currently are.

    A marriage could (should?) be defined within the purview of the state as a union between two loving people of legal age who are not of blood relation (within a defined limit) and choose to join their lives together. Voila. No polygamy. Eureka, No Jerry Lee Lewis marrying his cousin. Hooray, Only 2 people can do it. Voila, nothing involving sheep or donkeys. The term “people” cures that one. NAMBLA is out because the people have to be of legal age. Everything else? It’s truly none of my business what is going on in your household and what kind of relationship you find as healthy.

    There can’t be a valid argument made that homosexuals being married would rip the fabric of society asunder and destroy life as we know it. Homosexuals are no more morally deficient and depraved than heterosexuals. I point you to and enter the word “porn”. How far down into the results do you have to go before you find a site dedicated to homosexual pornography? The rest of it is generated for the “benefit” of the straight, “marrying” population. Even taking into account the minority status of homosexuals, we most definately don’t have the moral high ground that some of us pretend to have.

    So I ask again, what is the rational political argument that this is the solution we need? Why do these people need to be singled out to have rights not extended to them (the definition of discrimination), if a solution I came up with in about 4 seconds would define marriage in a way to allow them to have healthy relationships with one another (which we all know they are capable of doing) and still exclude the nasty tribal and unhealthy things that we as a society moving forward really should set aside?

  12. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Jamie: Wikipedia is bogus for history. Homosexual marriage didn’t exist in Rome. If it had there would be on billboards all over the country. Lots of homosexual behavior was celebrated during Rome’s decline but it was never confused with or called marriage. Never. Try citing a scholarly work.

    Marriage is not a right. Marriage is regulated for the survival of the state.

    The Federal DOMA challenge is already in the courts. Lesbian A ‘marries’ Lesbian B in Vermont. Lesbian has a baby with a man (oddly not Lesbian A – hmm that biology thing about marriage, children and family). Lesbian B decides she is not a Lesbian and separates from Lesbian A. Former Lesbian B (what happened to that sexual orientation gene – did it evolve in her in her lifetime?) moves to VA. Lesbian A sues for parental rights of visitation – although Lesbian A had nothing to do with the conception of the baby. Round one – I believe – is that Lesbian A has no parental rights because she is not a parent.

    Support for the family that marriages naturally produce – as opposed to the children homosexuals have to procure – is important to the state. Marriages which are infertile and adopt are an extension of the natural family where the man is the father and the woman is the mother. Homosexual marriages lack either a mother or a father. No man can be a mother like a woman. No woman can be a father like a man.

    No code of an ethical-moral system says that homosexual marriage is right for a culture and polygamy, polyandry, group marriage, incest etc are wrong. Liberals are just making it up as they go along.

    When you throw away the one man father and one woman mother model, you have no legal,moral or ethical barrier to anything be called ‘marriage’.

    I would love to see which high tech companies will leave the Commonwealth because marriage remains as it has been defined for 400 years.

  13. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    “Homosexuals are no more morally deficient and depraved than heterosexuals”.

    Recent American Pyschiatry Assoc study of 6% of the total foster kids nationally (several states) showed that homosexuals (1% of the population) committed over 33% of the sexual child abuse of foster children. The study didn’t show what per cent of the foster parents were homosexual. If homosexuals were less than 33% of the parents – then it validates other studies that show homosexuals are disproportionally represented in child sex abuse (pediophiles) – as in 35% or so – of the cases.

    Homosexual behavior is morally deficient because it is a sin – to Bible-believing Christians and Jews – as is incest and bestiality – and adultery.

  14. Mr. Bowden: I wasn’t quoting a source found in Wikipedia. I was referencing information that I found written by Rictor Norton, a British historian.

    Much later, in 2nd century Rome, conjugal contracts between men of about the same age were ridiculed but legally binding. Such marriages were blessed by pagan religions, particularly sects of the Mother Goddess Cybele (imported from Asia Minor).

    If you can disprove him I’m sure he’d like to hear your counter-source.

    A question:

    If marriage is not a right, what is it?

    Another question:

    Is it really a popular view of the groups who support this Amendment that marriage
    a.) needs to be regulated
    b.) it not being regulated will lead to the downfall of the Commonwealth of Virginia in any way, shape or form?
    If so, then I respectfully ask that they all calm down and look at the reality of the situation.

    Polygamy is shown to have adverse effects on both the participants in the marriages and the children born of such marriages. There are any number of scholarly articles on the subject that I won’t cite her for lack of space (I’m long-winded enough). There is no study on the effect that being raised by gay parents has on children that I could find that isn’t hopelessly biased for one side or the other. If you find one I’d love to see it.

    Your anecdote about the 2 lesbians is one I can’t begin to untangle, as I am not a family court judge. But seeing as “A” (we’ll call her that for short) had to have an extra-marital affair to wind up pregnant, I’d imagine that would be a good jumping off point the fictional family court judge to start with. One of marriages biggest bonuses (depending on which side of the table you are on) is alimony.

    Of course there are unanswered questions. I don’t pretend to know the answers. But I do know that our state (and by extension our country) does not (should not?) make a habit of not allowing groups of people to have certain rights (privelages?) with no good reason (and if you don’t like the word “rights” there, I apologize but couldn’t find a synomym). And there is no good reason that I’ve been given to not allow gays to marry. Why are they not good enough?

    So I ask again, what is the RATIONAL POLITICAL REASON for not allowing gays to marry? If your only answer is “because they can’t have babies, and society will crumble if people who can’t have babies together are allowed to get married”, then I have no respect for your position because it has no ground in either reality or good sense.

    This is a great conversation, by the way. I’m having a wonderful time. thanks.


    Same source, totally different outcome.

    By Charlotte Patterson, of the University of Va., no less.

    What is the entire article that you got your quote from, Mr. Bowden?

  16. quote:
    Homosexual behavior is morally deficient because it is a sin – to Bible-believing Christians and Jews – as is incest and bestiality – and adultery.

    Mr. Bowden, if your true problem with gay people is that you believe that it’s a sin, then please take that up on Sunday morning at your family’s church, and leave it out of our state’s Constitution.

  17. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    jamie: “your true problem”? Stay with the message, not about the messenger. Typical for Liberals who can’t argue issues. Attack the person.

    You claimed that homosexuals are not morally deviant or depraved. If you want to keep that limited to discussion on Sunday, then don’t bring it up.

    I posted the APA citation but can’t find it. You can google APA Foster Parent Homosexuality etc and find it. If I take the time to find it again, I’ll send it in. Likewise, you can look up the lesbian case. The two lesbians planned for the pregancy so the natural act which produced the child was consensual and not a problem for the lesbian who couldn’t produce a child naturally.

    Thanks for the reference – Norton. I’ll look it up.

    The majority rules in a representative democracy. Since our culture has been based on a Judeo-Christian worldview the State Consitution reflects that in what is legal and illegal. That is why marriage is between one man and one woman. Not one man and four women as in an Islamic country.

    Our Virginia Constitution specifically calls for ‘Christian’ tolerance of other religions. That should give you a hint on the worldview that has guided our legislation – among other things – since 1619.

    Marriage is an institution. It is a covenant relationship. It is not a right. Every culture, ever, regulated it. None had homosexual marriage.

    Making up a new moral-ethical code is just making it up. Supporting monogamous homosexuals and calling them parents while opposing polygamy is – again – just making it up as you go along.

    The 400 year old marriage in Virginia with one man and one woman is the best family for the children – and thus the best for the state.

  18. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    This is the source for homosexual marriage:

    Rictor Norton Ph.D. Social and literary historian and writer, born 25 June 1945, Friendship, New York, USA; Education: Florida Southern College, BA 1967; Florida State University, MA, PhD 1972. Doctoral dissertation on homosexual themes in English Renaissance literature, published as The Homosexual Literary Tradition, 1972. Career: Instructor, Florida State University, 1970-72. Member of the Gay Liberation Front, Florida, 1971-72. Edited The Homosexual Imagination, a special issue of College English, the first all-gay issue of an academic journal, 1974. Emigrated from Florida to London in 1973. Research Editor, Gay News, London, 1974-78. Foreign Rights Manager, Western Publishing Company (Golden Books), 1979-90. Freelance publishing consultant 1991-94; freelance writer and editor since 1995. Wrote articles for Gay Sunshine, The Advocate, and Gay News, etc. during the 1970s. Author of books on gay history and on the Gothic Novel (2000), biography of Ann Radcliffe (1999), edited academic collections of erotica (2002, 2004), contributor of entries to Who’s Who in Gay & Lesbian History (Routledge, 2001) and contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

    No bias here, huh? How did Toynbee, Gibbons, McNeil and Braudel miss this?

    Please, no more jokes about history.

  19. Mr. Bowden: I didn’t attack you. I referenced something you said and asked if that was why you truly wanted an amendment added to our State Constitution. Fair game since you decided to compare gay people to people who have sex with animals. But luckily in America, we can (still) be as close-minded as we choose in America.

    There is no rational reason to stop gay people from getting married. “That they will destroy marriage” is tripe. Las Vegas and $150 divorces have done that for us, but that’s apparently OK with everyone. Since you say it’s not a right, then it shouldn’t NEED to be protected by the Constitution, anyway. It’s simply the current whipping boy for the powers that be. Pure and Simple. It’s politics. And politics should be in the state laws and codes. The Constitution should be only for the things that won’t change in 10 years. Or 20. Or 30 or 100. And this will most definitely change as time goes on. Luckily, our society slowly accepts people who are different. This is just the next group. Even though the “Conservatives” don’t want it to.

    For us living by “Judeo-Christian” principles, I’d have to take exception that that as well. If you really want to call us a Christian nation then we’d better start living up to true Christian principles. Start clothing and feeding people, and stop beating up on gay people and “Liberals” as you like to put it.

    All in all, I’ve had a great time. There’s no need to get into quoting the founding fathers. We both know that for every quote from Washington you find I have one from Jefferson that means the opposite from across the room. I now know that there truly IS NOT a rational reason for a “Marriage Amendment” here in VA. It’s simply fear and bigotry mis-interperating the Bible.

    Good luck with it in November. I’ve had a blast.


  20. please don’t talk about bias. I’ve looked at your website. ACWII?

  21. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Jamie: Thanks for looking at my website.

    Saying homosexuality is a sin for Bible-believing Christians and Jews is not mis-interpreting the Bible, it’s called reading the Bible.

    In the Bible the sexual sins of homosexuality are listed in the Old Testament after Incest and before Bestiality.

  22. Avatar

    right. and just before eating shellfish.

    Leviticus. 11:9-12:

    “These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.
    10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
    11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.
    12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.”

    If you’re going to take Mosaic law, you have to take ALL of it. You can’t cherry pick the bits and pieces that suit you and then still go to Red Lobster for the all you can eat shrimp.

    But now this is not a political discussion. It’s one I’d love to have, just not in this forum.

  23. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Jamie: No you don’t have to take all the Mosaic Law. A casual reading of the Bible shows you that the Mosaic Law had three parts. Dietary/Ceremonial, civil and moral.

    The NT reveals new covenants between God and man that superced the dietary and ceremonial (revealed to Peter and Paul). The civil doesn’t apply unless you are a Jewish theocracy. It did guide our Founders in making our laws. Which leaves the moral law intact.

    Nice try though. This old saw always comes up. The NT also condemns the sin of homosexual behavior.

  24. No, Mosaic law was pretty thoroughly set aside by the NT.

    Romans 8:2-4
    For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For God achieved what the law could not do because it was weakened through the flesh. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and concerning sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the righteous requirement of the law may be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

    Now, obviously that can be turned around and read about 14 different ways. But since everything that is directly attributed to Christ was dealing with love, acceptance, and understanding I tend to lean towards trying to fashion myself and my surroundings to be loving, accepting and understanding of people. Of course I fail. But I try. I consider that living in the Spirit.

    If you choose to disregard the one undebatable point of this passage, that the law was imperfect because it was of man, and that Christ’s death and resurrection superceded ALL of man’s attempts to enforce the will of God, then go ahead and beat people over the head with Leviticus and Deuteronomy and parts of Romans and ignore the other parts, even though most of those people say they “literally” interperet the Bible. Just not all of it I guess.

    J. Hampton Keathley III explains it better than most:

    “…a great deal of confusion exists over the issues of law and grace and the place of the Mosaic law in the New Testament believer’s life. However, the basic principle is that the “fusion” of law and grace brings a “confusion” which results in sterile legalism. Because of man’s natural bent toward either legalism or license, the place and function of the Law has been an issue in the Christian community since the very early days of the church. There have always been those who have sought to put the Christian back under the Law or make the Law necessary for both salvation and sanctification. As a result large sections of the New Testament are written directly to this issue (see Acts 15 and the council at Jerusalem; Romans 5:10; 6:14; 7:1f; 2 Cor. 3:6-18; and the entire book of Galatians). These passages were written against a legalistic use of the Law? (emphasis mine), one which promotes works to gain points with either God or people; works of self-effort rather than a life lived by the power and personal leading of the Holy Spirit.

    Of course, other parts of the New Testament are written against license and the misuse of liberty (Gal. 5:13ff. Rom. 6:1ff; 8:4ff; Tit. 2:11-14). But the answer is never to put the Christian back under the Law, but rather a proper understanding and appreciation of God’s grace to us in Christ. Christian liberty is not the right to do as one pleases, but the power, desire, and will to do as one ought in and by the power of God and a regenerated life.”

    Christ said to love people, plain and simple Unconditional Love. This amendment is not loving gay people. How is this what God would want us to do, and not what people who are scared of gay people want?

  25. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Jamie: Jesus said he came to fulfill the Law. He forgave the woman at the well and told her,”Sin no more.”

    Liberals always forget this part about sin no more.

    Every sexual sin can be forgiven, not by me, but by the Lord. That doesn’t mean you honor the sinful behavior.

    If that were so, then you would applaud adultery, etc.

    Unconditional love for homosexuals means to love them as individuals, to encourage them to find Grace and know the Lord, and NOT to honor their sexual sins.

    This Marriage Amendment is about unconditional love because it promotes the best way to have families under marriage with a man as the father and a woman as the mother. Nowhere in the Bible does it say a man should marry a man or a woman should marry a woman.

    In 5000 years of history no one thought homosexual sex had anything to do with marriage. Liberals are making it up. Sissy Christians who support their cause are in the words of Lenin, “useful fools”.

    I don’t know anyone who is afraid of homosexuals. I know many who anti-homosexual political agenda, suppression of free speech, ending Christian speech, forcing others to accept their sinful behavior and honor it in the law, give them more, easier access to procure children, etc.

  26. The “Love the sinner hate the sin” is the worst kind of theology. You’re smarter than that.

    When I decided that I was indeed a Christian I sat down and read the New Testament, in several translations and versions. What I took from those pages were these few points (in no particular order):

    -Peter wasn’t the brightest guy, but her tried hard.
    -Christ is God on Earth
    -I believe in Him
    -He died for all of my sins and the sins of the world so I won’t have to
    -Judas got a bum wrap
    -he loved everyone unconditionally, regardless of their imperfections, and asked only that they love him in return and perform a few simple tasks. (none of those tasks included amending the VA Constitution to pick on gay people)
    -he didn’t discriminate against anyone, and wouldn’t allow it to happen around him or in his name (boy, we’ve gotten that one wrong over the years)
    -he wanted us to be good people, feed the hungry, clothe the poor, and help the sick and infirm
    -he didn’t like divorce, and one particular fig tree. Other than that, as long as you love Him, believe in Him, and live a life that you truly think is right with Him, your’e aces when he comes back.

    Everything else is conjecture. And I don’t presume to be smart enough to know what Christ actually thought.

    I’d like to think that if Jesus came back, the first group that he’d rally around were the homosexuals. And maybe Orioles fans.

    Picking on people is not being a good Christian. And this is picking on people at its most basic. I don’t care which truncated Bible verse you use to justify it. Jesus doesn’t like bullys, and neither do I.

  27. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    “The “Love the sinner hate the sin” is the worst kind of theology”

    We have freedom of religion in Virginia. Take a poll. Most Christian Virginians ascribe to the theology you disagree with.

    “And I don’t presume to be smart enough to know what Christ actually thought” + “Jesus doesn’t like bullys” = non sequitor.

    Protecting and preserving the 400 year old standard of state approved marriage written by the legislature representing the will of The People against an assault by social experimenters for a behavior the majority of The People find wrong, sinful and harmful is hardly being a ‘bully’.

  28. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    In 1619 the General Assembly met in a church in Jamestown establishing the first representative democracy in the Western Hemisphere. I don’t know when they wrote the colonial code on marriage. They established a body of law that was built upon to today.

    It stood well until activist judges started over-ruling the legislatures on the issue of marriage. 3 supreme court justices in Massachusetts out voted 2 others and ordered the legislature to write legislation for homosexual marriage.

    The Marriage Amendment will prevent that from happening in Virginia.

    The Marriage Amendment isn’t about religion. It is about the needs of the secular state.

    Religion only comes up when Homosexual activists push to have their behavior honored, and established in law with all criticism silenced – against the deeply held religious beliefs of the majority.

  29. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Ah, nothing like a good theological argument. Jamie, you said, “Mosaic law was pretty thoroughly set aside by the NT.” Then you proceed to quote Romans. Romans, of course, was written by Paul. So, Paul may have sought to set aside Mosaic law, but it is highly debatable that Jesus sought to set aside Mosaic law.

    Although Jesus counseled forgiveness of those who transgressed the law, he also expected them to continue abiding by it. In the case of the adulterous woman whom the Jews were stoning to death, he saved her life, but then chastened her to “go forth and sin no more.” He didn’t say it was OK to commit more adultery, and he did not extend unconditional love.

    There is a significant body of thought in liberal Christian scholarship (which, I presume, you subscribe to) that emphasizes Jesus’ Jewishness. Although Jesus took issue with certain aspects of the purity code, he upheld Mosaic law. Indeed Matthew (I think) quotes him as saying that he did not come to overthrow the law but to uphold it.

    Although the Gospels never mention homosexuality, there is no evidence whatsoever that Jesus would have thought the practice was OK. One could argue that he would have accepted homosexuals in his flock, just as he accepted adulterers, but only if they ceased committing their sin and embraced the way of the lord.

    JAB, if you want to base your marriage laws on the New Testament, there is one thing that Jesus said very clearly: “Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commited adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery” (Matthew). In that case, he advocated a position even stricter than the Mosaic law, not more forgiving.

    How can anyone oppose same-sex marriage on Biblical grounds without also advocating an end to America’s liberal divorce laws. We don’t have to guess what Jesus might have said about adulter. We know what he said!

    There are inconsistencies aplenty on both sides of the argument. Bottom line: I would recommend NOT basing arguments for/against same-sex marriage on Biblical authority.

  30. well said, Mr. Bacon.

    That does lead back to my original question, though. What is the POLITICAL argument for this amendment?

  31. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Jim, I’m impressed with your reading of the Scriptures.

    I advocate basing our morality laws on the moral-ethical framework of our Judeo-Christian culture and tradition – and applying (as a good child of the Enlightenment) rational thought among reasonable men and women to make the laws for our time and place. It is the same process the Founders took after they dumped the Crown.

    I advocate reforming our divorce laws.

  32. Anonymous Avatar

    Oy vay! Instead of reforming divorce laws, how about making it harder to marry, at least at hard as it is for an under 21 year old to legally purchase an alcoholic beverage…not to mention sending under 21 year olds to war. An old argument, of course. And maybe not valid.

    This thread has been silly; bottom line is that government should only interfere when necessary to assist the health and welfare of the citizenry. Defining marriage (when so many marrieds fail at it) seems a noncritical issue compared to improving murder rates, addressing domestic violence, helping stop a lawless society, etc. The modern classic work on this issue is Margaret Atwood’s very scary novel showing what happens if fundamentalist fanatics take over (remember she starts the novel with scary Iranians taking over the capitol building.)

    Whenever I hear about the marriage amendment, I think of Atwood’s sound warning. Too much government is a dangerous thing.

  33. Rick DeLano Avatar
    Rick DeLano

    Just doing a little housekeeping with regard to a certain forgery that has been popping up on the net lately, and which I had occasion to nail down as a forgery in a debate here:

    Janie states (falsely):

    "Also, Bardaisan of Edessa (I know, a little obscure but still put to parchement none the less and a primary source) wrote:

    "In the countries of the north — in the lands of the Germans and those of their neighbors, handsome [noble] young men assume the role of wives [women] towards other men, and they celebrate marriage feasts.".

    Two things. First, the quote is spurious. It is not Bardaisan's. We know this because the authentic text of Bardaisan is quoted in Eusebius' "Praeparatio Evangelica", as follows:

    "'Among the Gauls the young men give themselves in marriage openly, not regarding this as a matter of reproach, because of the law among them. Yet it cannot possibly have been the lot of all in Gaul who thus impiously suffer outrage to have the morning-star with Mercury setting in the houses of Saturn and regions of Mars at their nativities."

    The spurious forgery jamie has offered is a corruption of the authentic text, and is not Bardasian's:

    "But in the North, and in the country of the Gauls and their neighbours, such youths among them as are handsome the men take as wives, and they even have feasts on the occasion; and it is not considered by them as a disgrace, nor as a reproach, because of the law which prevails among them. But it is a thing impossible that all those in Gaul who are branded with this disgrace should at their Nativities have had Mercury posited with Venus in the house of Saturn, and within the limits of Mars, and in the signs of the zodiac to the west. For, concerning such men as are born under these conditions, it is written that they are branded with infamy, as being like women."

    Since jamie has never so much as set eyes upon the *actual text* of Bardasian (it does not exist on the internet), and most likely does not even know the title of the work from which Eusebius quotes, we can safely assume he simply lifted the forgery from a pro-gay site which offers forgeries of *both* the original Eusebius text *and* the Bardasian forgery above.

    Just wanted to set the record straght.

    There is *zero* truthfulness in jamie's assertions of a "primary source" attestation of gay marriage in Bardasian of Edessa.


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