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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]

Go to penknife's journal. If you haven't read it elsewhere.

Your views on gay marriage rights may differ from mine, but this is not about gay marriage rights.

This is about taking away rights that already exist. This is about a government telling a not inconsiderable group of its citizens (and taxpayers) that they do not have the right to decide who should raise their children, who should own their property with them, who should have the right to take care of them in sickness or old age or who should receive their property after they die. This does not protect heterosexual marriage, which needs no protection.

This is a government telling a group of its citizens "convert or leave."

And doesn't that sound familiar? Is the next step, I wonder, registration or simply confiscating the property of those who choose to leave?

And does Virginia know what happens to states that practise expulsion? What happens when a large group of professionals and artists and just plain people who contribute economically to the state leave? This is not just horrible and wrong, it's *stupid*.

not just stupid, but blatantly unconstitutional

IANAL, but ... Colorado's Amendment 2, a state constitutional amendment that forbade gay-rights laws and policies, was ruled unconstitutional in Romer v. Evans, 517 US 620. This Virginia law seems to be even more clearly unconstitutional. In Romer, "[t]he State's principal argument in defense of Amendment 2 is that it put gays and lesbians in the same position as all other persons" (ibid, at 4), and the majority found this argument unconvincing. "A State cannot so deem a class of persons a stranger to its laws" (ibid, at 13).

Even Justice Scalia, in his dissent, argued that since a gay Coloradan would still be protected by "general laws and policies that prohibit arbitrary discrimination" (ibid, Scalia, J. [dissenting], at 3), Amendment 2 did not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. I think even he would have a hard time accepting this Virginia law, which excludes a class of people from the protection of general laws.

But I'm glad I have no plans to travel to Virginia in the near future.