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The "Virginia Family Foundation" has lost the argument about marriage equality

Following U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen's opinion finding that Virginia's controversial marriage amendment violates the U.S. Constitution, I received a list of Virginia Family Foundation “talking points” for use in letters to the editor. The list is a tour-de-force of false statements. 

Contrary to the claim of VFF, the opinion is based precisely on the facts of the case and the testimony presented - including testimony that a Virginia state official told one of the plaintiffs, of her legal relationship to her daughter, "You don't matter. You're nobody." The facts of the case show that the amendment doesn't protect children, it harms them.

VFF claims that "social science proves" that same sex couples are inferior parents; in fact, the opposite is true. VFF claims that the legalization of "polygamy" is now inevitable; opponents of interracial marriage made the same claim in 1967 when Virginia's anti-miscegenation law was ruled unconstitutional. As for the claim that Judge Wright Allen had no right to overrule the Virginia voters who endorsed discrimination in 2006, her ruling can speak for itself:

"While ever-vigilant for the wisdom that can come from the voices of our voting public, our courts have never long tolerated the perpetuation of laws rooted in unlawful prejudice. One of the judiciary's noblest endeavors is to scrutinize laws that emerge from such roots."

Every judge who has considered the question since last summer's Supreme Court opinion striking down the "Defense of Marriage Act," a total of 32 judges appointed by both Republicans and Democrats, has reached the same legal conclusions as Judge Wright Allen: There is no legitimate government reason for classifying people on the basis of sexual orientation for the purpose of unequal treatment. 

Finally, to the VFF claim that Judge Wright Allen ruled the way she did because of a "personal political agenda:" The judge, when she was confirmed, was accompanied by her pastor, who she described as, other than her husband, "probably the closest man in my life." She attends a rather conservative church, one whose tenets of faith include the infallibility of scripture and that marriage is designed by God for a man and a woman.

If this deeply religious judge is able to differentiate between religious and civil marriage, why can't the VFF?

David Weintraub, Lovettsville
Jonathan Weintraub February 17, 2014 at 04:20 PM
Great letter!

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