Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Marshall-Newman "anti-gay marriage" amendment passes in Virginia

NBC4 is reporting as of about 10 PM Nov 7 that the Marshall-Newman amendment passed the referendum, which would amend the Virginia Bill of Rights to limit marriage to one man and one woman, and ban civil union benefits. You can verify results at this website.

However, the Commonwealth Attorney had provided the election board and voters (with hardcopy handouts at the polling places--I could not find this tonight on the web) with an explanation that maintains that the amendment will not preclude non-married couples from manually exercising their wishes, which such isses as
. durable medical power of attorney or advance medical directive in case a partner is incapacitated
. application of domestic violence statutes
. ability to enforce wills (which have to be specifically written in advance)
. ability to own real property with joint tenancy, with or without survivorship rights

With the other states,
Arizona rejected its gay-marriage ban amendment.
Seven other states (Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin) approved them. Colorado defeated its Amendment 1, which would have approved civil unions, AP Denver Post story by Colleen Slevin here.

The Washington Post, on Nov. 20, has a story by Sonya Gets, "New Tactic in Fighting Marriage Initiaites: Opponents Cite Effects on Straight Couples." In Arizona, many senior heterosexual couples do not marry because of the "marriage penatly" and fear loss of visitation rights and loss of other benefits if civil unions were forbidden. Proposition 107 was defeated 52%-48%.

On related stories, South Dakota rejected a ban on almost all abortions. In Missouri, a ballot measure to approve stem cell research barely won.

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