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GLBT

Supreme Court "Stay" Order in "Bostic" Marriage Equality Case

by: lowkell

Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 15:18:04 PM EDT

Unfortunately, there will be no LGBT marriages tomorrow in Virginia. Hopefully, that situation will change very soon.

Discuss :: (7 Comments)

Virginia Asks Supreme Court for Expedited Review in Marriage Equality Case

by: lowkell

Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 17:28:22 PM EDT

From AG Herring's office: 

RICHMOND (August 18, 2014)--As requested by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Commonwealth of Virginia has filed its response to a motion by the Clerk of Prince William County to stay the 4th Circuit's ruling regarding marriage equality. In its brief, the Commonwealth of Virginia agrees that a stay is warranted because of unintended negative consequences if the Court later rules against marriage equality, and asks the Court to expedite its review of the case by treating the Clerk's motion as a cross-petition for certiorari, allowing it to consider the Clerk's arguments alongside Virginia's petition for certiorari to determine whether to review the case. This would be an unusual but not unprecedented action by the Supreme Court, but the request is appropriate given the importance of the issue.

 

"Throughout this process we have fought for equality while also recognizing the need for an orderly process," said Attorney General Herring. "I've worked to move the case along quickly and asked the Supreme Court to take this extraordinary step because I don't want this discriminatory ban to stay in place one day longer than necessary. However, a stay is warranted in light of the negative impact on Virginia children, families, and businesses if the Supreme Court eventually rules against marriage equality and forces an unwinding of Virginians' marriages, adoptions, inheritances, or workplace benefits."

 

As was the case at the district and appellate level, Attorney General Herring's filing on behalf of State Registrar of Vital Records Janet Rainey says the Commonwealth believes the courts ruled correctly in finding Virginia's marriage ban unconstitutional, but also believes a stay is warranted until the Supreme Court can definitively resolve the issue.

 

The Office of Attorney General is working with the Governor's Office and client state agencies to make reasonable preparations in the event that the Supreme Court does not stay the 4th Circuit's decision before the order takes effect at 8 a.m. on Thursday, August 21. This includes drafting an updated marriage license application through the State Registrar of Vital Records. 

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Hilarious: Most Politicized AG in History Calls Mark Herring "Most Politicized" AG in Country

by: lowkell

Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 21:08:07 PM EDT

Not that Ken Cuccinelli has any sense of irony, but to hear the guy who wildly misused/abused his office "by using it as a blatantly partisan bully pulpit to attack Obamacare, illegal immigrants, homosexuals and climate-change scientists" and "to bully Virginia's Board of Health into a stance - unprecedented in state history - that could force most of the commonwealth's 20 or soabortion clinics to close" call current Virginia AG Mark Herring the "most politicized" Attorney General in the country is certainly the height of irony. To listen to that howler, check out 3:20 of the audio. In reality, of course, Cooch is just pissed because he's a raging homophobe and doesn't want to see LGBT Virginians treated equally to all other Virginians.

For his part, Mark Herring came to the same conclusion as many other state Attorneys General, that to keep defending a constitutional amendment that court after court has found blatantly violates the U.S. constitution's equal protection provisions is a complete waste of time, resources, and taxpayer money. Of course, AG Cuccinelli's entire four years in office was a case study in wasting time, resources, and taxpayer money, so there's a bit more irony for you, if you have a sense of irony of course (unlike Cuccinelli). ;)

P.S. Cuccinelli also claims says that Herring was "lying to voters to get elected;" "had to lie to become the Attorney General and then he turned on his clients." Seriously? On second thought, don't try to figure it out, just laugh derisively, sarcastically...or ironically? Heh.

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

VIRGINIA ASKS U.S. SUPREME COURT TO REVIEW MARRIAGE EQUALITY CASE

by: lowkell

Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 07:30:43 AM EDT

From AG Mark Herring's office: 

~ Herring is nation's first attorney general supporting marriage equality to prevail in federal district and appeals court and to petition the Supreme Court to quickly and finally answer these constitutional questions ~

 

RICHMOND(August 8, 2014) -- As announced earlier this week, Attorney General Mark Herring has filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court of the United States asking the Court to review the district and appeals court's decisions striking down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional. While Attorney General Herring and the Commonwealth have argued successfully for marriage equality in the lower federal courts, they are still able to request that the high court hear the case. Prince William County Clerk of Court Michèle McQuigg, who opposes marriage equality, has already said she intends to petition for certiorari, but by filing now, the Attorney General may enable the Court to consider the case more quickly.

 

"Many brave men and women have fought for years for the constitutional guarantee of marriage equality, and now, we are almost there," said Attorney General Herring. "It is time to discard these discriminatory bans and to recognize the humanity, dignity, and rights of gay and lesbian Americans seeking to forge life-long bonds. I believe this case will prove compelling for the Court because of the stringent, discriminatory nature of Virginia's marriage ban, the range of critical questions presented, the clear legal standing of the parties, and Virginia's historic role in 1967's Loving case ending bans on interracial marriage. Virginia got that case wrong. Now, we have a chance to get it right, and to help extend to all Americans the right to marry the person they love."

 

Attorney General Herring is the first state attorney general to successfully argue in court at the district and appellate levels that a state marriage ban is unconstitutional, and the first who supports marriage equality to petition the Supreme Court for review.


In arguing that the Court should review Virginia's case, the Attorney General's brief explains that:

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 610 words in story)

AG Mark Herring to Ask Supreme Court for Review of Marriage Equality Case

by: lowkell

Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 16:33:00 PM EDT

From AG Mark Herring's office:

 

VIRGINIA TO ASK SUPREME COURT FOR REVIEW OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY CASE

~ "We are nearly there." ~

 

RICHMOND (August 5, 2014)--Attorney General Mark R. Herring today announced that he will file a petition on Friday for a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States asking it to hear Virginia's marriage equality case and definitively settle the constitutional issues for the Commonwealth and the rest of the country. Virginia's petition will be one of the first in the nation, after Utah filed its petition earlier today, allowing the Court to consider accepting Virginia's case at their September conference. The Commonwealth signaled its intention in a filing today with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, which last week agreed with Attorney General Herring's position that Virginia's same-sex marriage ban violates the U.S. Constitution. That filing requests that the Court stay its mandate pending the Supreme Court's decision whether to hear the case. The Prince William County Clerk of Court announced last Friday that she intended to file a petition for certiorari. Attorney General Herring's filing ensures that no delay arises during the available 90-day window to petition for certiorari.


 

"Throughout this case, I have fought for the fundamental rights of Virginians and the quickest possible resolution," said Attorney General Herring. "I believe the district and appeals courts ruled correctly in striking down Virginia's discriminatory marriage ban, but it has long been clear that the Supreme Court will likely have the final word. I want that decision to come as soon as possible and I want the voices of Virginians to be heard. This case has moved forward at an incredibly swift pace, and I look forward to a final resolution that affirms the fundamental right of all Virginians to marry."


 

Virginia's case presents a number of legal questions that could be settled by the Supreme Court, including whether states can prevent same-sex couples from marrying and whether states can refuse to recognize valid marriages performed in other states.


 

As it has done throughout the case, the Commonwealth has asked the 4th Circuit for a stay of its ruling until all appeals are final. The motion notes that the Supreme Court has already issued stays in similar cases, the complexity of unwinding marriages and transactions that depend on them--like adoptions, inheritance, tax filings, or filings of birth or death certificates-- and the fact that this case has moved extremely quickly and can be resolved in the very near future.


 

The Commonwealth's motion concludes as follows:


 

"This case has moved with unusual speed.  It was argued in the district court in February and in this Court in May, and it is now ready for review by the Supreme Court.  Speed is warranted, for it is unjust for Virginia's same-sex couples to have to wait even a little while longer for the promise of the Fourteenth Amendment to be fulfilled.   As this Court observed, across the Commonwealth, more than 2,500 same-sex couples are raising more than 4,000 children.  They are our fellow Virginians.  And the Attorney General is committed to ensuring that the government stops treating them as second-class citizens. 


 

"It is with great reluctance, therefore, that the Attorney General agrees that a stay is warranted.  The unintended consequences that will befall the Commonwealth and its people if the injunction takes effect prematurely, and the clear signal sent by [the Supreme Court] in Evans and Kitchen II, show the necessity of staying the mandate until the Supreme Court can conclusively resolve what may well be the most important civil rights issue of our time. 


 

"We are nearly there." 

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Just Remember, Virginia Republicans Nominated This Lunatic for Lt. Governor

by: lowkell

Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 15:07:09 PM EDT

Yep, the guy who Virginia Republicans nominated for Lieutenant Governor last year, E.W. Jackson, is once again showing his true colors. This time, he's teaming up with Pastor Charles Flowers from San Antonio for another heapin' helpin' o' crazy (and Obama bashing, of course). So who is Pastor Charles Flowers you ask? I'll let ABC News take it from here.
The camp is run by Charles Eugene Flowers, a San Antonio-based pastor known for tough-love tactics to rein in troubled teens.

But Siobahn said that Flowers was anything but caring. "Pastor Flowers was mean," the girl said. "Forceful, mean and strict."

According to the girl, after she fell behind on a run one morning, Flowers yelled at her and had an assistant hold her down. He then tied one end of a rope to her waist, Siobahn said, and the other to his van.

Every time she fell, Siobahn says, she was dragged along a gravel road. "I was, like, so scared," she said. The incident left the girl's knees and legs scraped and bruised.

Bobbi Greer, who worked at the ranch where the incident occurred, said the camp showed less than loving care toward the teen a day earlier. "The torture to this girl went on all afternoon," she said.

Flowers and the 20-year-old assistant, meanwhile, were arrested and charged with aggravated assault - Flowers will fight the charge.

Unbelievable, right? Yet why is it not surprising that this is E.W., Jackson's new BFF, a guy who - not joking here - "tied one end of a rope to [a girl's] waist...and the other to his van," then "every time she fell...she was dragged along a gravel road." Crazy, demented s***, not to mention completely against anything Jesus ever taught. But wait, you say, that was back in 2007, maybe the guy's gotten better since then? Uhhh...not so much.
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Time for VA to Toss Bob Marshall's Anti-LGBT Hate Amendment Into "ash heap of history"

by: lowkell

Tue May 20, 2014 at 15:33:56 PM EDT

Great news for equality in Pennsylvania, as these hateful and unAmerican constitutional amendments are struck down all across the country. Now, thanks in part to our superb Attorney General Mark Herring, it's almost time for Virginia to join Pennsylvania and so many other states. Sure, homophobic wacko Del. "Sideshow Bob" Marshall will be sad, as will others in his party, but that should just make the rest of us even happier! :)

P.S. I'm hoping the ruling will come back in a few weeks and will be 2-1 to strike down Virginia's anti-LGBT hate amendment.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Video: Mark Herring on "a moment in our history that should make Virginians proud"

by: lowkell

Tue May 13, 2014 at 15:27:43 PM EDT

Great stuff from Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, who every day proves that: a) elections have major consequences; b) your vote REALLY matters; and c) what a huge difference there is between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to LGBT equality (and women's rights, the environment, you name it). Thank you Mark Herring, and keep up the great work!
Good morning and thank you for joining us this morning. I'm joined by the Solicitor General of Virginia, Stuart Raphael, who presented Virginia's case in court this morning.

The Commonwealth of Virginia enjoys a history as rich and complicated as any in our great nation. It is marked by moments of profound leadership on the national stage, but it also includes moments where elected officials, including Attorneys General, fought to protect an unjust status quo.

Today was a moment in our history that should make Virginians proud, as our commonwealth again takes the lead, this time, on one of the key civil rights issues of our time.

Today you heard the opponents of marriage equality make the best case they could, but just like in district court, their arguments were wholly unpersuasive. Nothing that was said in the court room today alters the basic incompatibility of this discriminatory ban with the protections guaranteed by our constitution. And every single federal court that has considered the question since last summer's Windsor decision has reached the same conclusion.

The constitution does not permit states laws to mark committed relationships between same-sex couples as deficient and inferior. As we have said repeatedly throughout this case, the issue is not the right to gay marriage or the right to straight marriage, it is just the right to marriage and all the responsibilities that come with it.

In her decision striking down the marriage ban, Judge Wright Allen said it well, invoking the Emancipation Proclamation: "The men and women, and the children too, whose voices join in noble harmony with Plaintiffs today, also ask for fairness, and fairness only. This, so far as it is in this Court's power, they and all others shall have."

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AG Mark Herring: "Virginia's same-sex couples are entitled to equal justice under law"

by: lowkell

Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 11:55:39 AM EDT

More great work by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring - thank you! Also, check out the "flip" of this post for selected quotes from Virginia's brief in the Bostic case (oral arguments will begin on May 13). As Herring's office says, "Hopefully this will make it a little easier to identify the conclusions of the Commonwealth's arguments, as well as some of Attorney General Herring's more noteworthy points."

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Video: After All These Years Frank Wolf Still Doesn't Understand the Constitution...or "Amurica"

by: lowkell

Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 15:36:12 PM EDT

According to Rep. Frank Wolf, speaking earlier today on the House floor, "regardless of your views on marriage, any American who values the 1st Amendment should be deeply troubled that [former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich] was essentially driven from his job because of his personal beliefs...about traditional marriage." In Wolf's view, "the chilling effect it will have on the broader issues of free speech cannot be overstated." Wolf adds that "Amurica" (as he weirdly pronounces it) has "never been defined by mob rule," and supposedly "what happened last week  was not debate, it was stifling of debate...the silencing of dissent...the compromising of two of our nation's most cherished principles - freedom of speech and freedom of religion." And, Wolf concludes, "the implications are vast and deeply troubling."

Except that this is mostly wild hyperbole and hysterics, two things which Frank Wolf has specialized in over the years, and factually questionable at best. In reality, the resignation of (now former) Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich does NOT have "vast" implications for "Amurica," nor does it have anything whatsoever to do with the 1st Amendment. For starters, the 1st Amendment deals with the government, not the private sector, stating that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech."

Let's repeat: the 1st Amendment has to do with Congress. What the 1st Amendment does NOT have anything to do with is such things as specifying that a private company must employ someone it doesn't want to employ. You'd think a Republican, if anyone, would appreciate that. Guess not. Of course, there are laws - and rightfully so! - against companies firing people because of their religion, race, ethnicity, etc. But that's not what the 1st Amendment talks about. Personally, I don't believe that Mozilla should have fired Eich based on his religious beliefs. Fortunately, that isn't what happened. Instead, as the New Yorker explains, what unfolded was an "uprising within the Mozilla community: a public petition was circulated demanding that he step down, the dating site OkCupid recommended that its customers stop using Firefox, and some Mozilla employees (though far from all of them) called for his resignation." The problem, in the end, wasn't "that he took a political stance," but that " Eich's stance was unacceptable in Silicon Valley, a region of the business world where social liberalism is close to a universal ideology." But it's even more than that; it's about the potential future of Mozilla.

Mozilla is not like most companies. It's a wholly-owned subsidiary of the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation, and is just one part of the broader Mozilla community, which includes thousands of open-source software developers and other volunteers around the world. These people still do much of the work behind Mozilla's products-contributing code, technical support, design improvements, and so on. This means that Mozilla depends on the goodwill of its supporters more than most corporations do; it relies on their willingness to donate their services in pursuit of the broader Mozilla project, which is all about keeping the Web transparent and accessible. If it alienates them, Mozilla's entire mission will be at risk.
So, there you have it: Mozilla made a business decision (to the extent it pressured Eich out, which is actually hard to determine exactly), one presumably that was based on its (or its community's) perception of its/their own self interest. Whatever the case may be, the decisions had absolutely NOTHING to do with the government, except insofar as its former CEO had supported efforts to have the government discriminating against one group of Americans and depriving them of their rights to equal protection under the...yes, Constitution! Ironic, ain't it? Also amazing that Frank Wolf, after all these years in public life, still doesn't get it. He can't retire soon enough.
Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Case Study: How An Attack Can Actually Turn Into a Positive in Politics

by: lowkell

Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 14:33:08 PM EDT

As a Virginia Democratic political blogger who lives in the 8th CD, I get pitched on stories by the various 8th CD Democratic candidates fairly frequently. Some of the pitches are good ones (e.g., newsworthy, interesting), some of them are "meh," and some are...well, let's just say, not worth blogging about.

One of those "definitely not worth blogging about" pitches came a couple weeks ago, when I was informed that - are you sitting down now? - a certain 8th CD Democratic candidate was against gay marriage back in 1997. I'm being snarky here not because this isn't a serious issue, but for several other reasons:

1) Back in the late 1990s, according to Gallup, support for same-sex marriage was very low, in the 27%-30% range (vs. opposition in the 60s).

2) Overwhelmingly, prominent Democratic politicians weren't out front of public opinion on this issue. For instance, in 1996, Bill Clinton said upon signing the deplorable "Defense of Marriage Act," "I have long opposed governmental recognition of same-gender marriages and this legislation is consistent with that position." Also in 1996, Clinton said to The Advocate, "I remain opposed to same-sex marriage. I believe marriage is an institution for the union of a man and a woman." That was pretty much the typical position of Democratic politicians back then, with very few exceptions. For instance, Al Gore said he agreed with George W. Bush's statement in a debate that "I'm not for gay marriage. I think marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman." Finally, a gay friend of mine notes that not even Howard Dean was for same-sex marriage in 2003 (let alone 1997), and that in the 2003-2004 Democratic presidential primaries, only Dennis Kucinich, Al Sharpton, and Carol Moseley Braun were for same-sex marriage. Nobody else in the 2003/2004 Democratic primary field had "evolved" that far, including eventual 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry (he said that "for historical, cultural and religious reasons, most in American society regard marriage as a 'union between a man and a woman,'" and that he supported "civil unions"). (Also note that neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama were for same-sex marriage in 2008)

3) As for Virginia Democrats, other than the courageous Chuck Robb, I'm not sure if any other prominent one supported same-sex marriage back in 1997. That's to Chuck Robb's credit, and everyone else's detriment I suppose, but again, support for same-sex marriage was clearly a minority position back in 1997, one that very few politicians were willing to adopt publicly. (Note: Jim Moran and Bobby Scott both voted against DOMA in 1996)

There's More... :: (4 Comments, 560 words in story)

Video: Joel McDonald's Powerful Speech to DPVA on LGBT Equality, What It Means to Be a Democrat

by: lowkell

Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 21:44:56 PM EDT

Thanks to Catherine Read for the video of Joel McDonald speaking to the Democratic Party of Virginia earlier today. It's a powerful and moving speech, positive and unifying, despite what was undoubtedly a difficult, emotional week. Great job by Joel; I recommend his speech to everyone!

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Virginia LGBT Dems Call on Central Committee to Oppose Dwight Jones for DPVA Chair

by: lowkell

Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 17:44:47 PM EST

It will be fascinating to see how Terry McAuliffe et al respond to this. Clearly, sentiment in the Virginia Democratic "base" is strongly against Mayor Dwight Jones, who opposes marriage equality, to be the next DPVA Chair. Among other evidence, note that the Blue Virginia poll is now running overwhelmingly against Jones. The bottom line is that marriage equality at this point is a core principle of the Democratic Party, one which Dwight Jones disagrees with. Also worth noting is that, in the 8th CD primary, so far four candidates - Adam Ebbin, Patrick Hope, Mark Levine, and Bill Euille - have issued statements opposing Jones (at least unless he changes his position opposing marriage equality). I encourage the remaining candidates to add their voices...


You are receiving this as a member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Virginia.

Maggie Sacra, Chair of the LGBT Democrats of Virginia, today spoke about the submission of Dwight Jones, Richmond City Mayor, to be Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia, saying, “In response to the many phone calls and emails members of our board have received regarding Mayor Jones’ opposition to marriage equality, and frankly, in response to our own concerns and alarm, the LGBT Democrats of Virginia held an emergency meeting today of our board. After a unanimous vote, we are releasing the statement below to our State Central Committee, our statewide elected officials, and our legislators.”

The statement reads: “Given repeated opportunities over the past few years, Mayor Dwight Jones has consistently refused to endorse marriage equality. LGBT Democrats of Virginia is extremely disappointed with the consideration of Mayor Jones for Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia. We oppose his nomination and call on Virginia Democrats to seek pro-equality nominees at all levels of the Party and public office."

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Video: VA Homophobes All Should Watch Chris Cuomo Expose Anti-Gay Bigotry for What It Is

by: lowkell

Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 11:54:22 AM EST

I strongly recommend this video to Ken Cuccinelli, "Sideshow Bob" Marshall, E.W. Jackson, and to everyone who ranted against Attorney General Mark Herring for announcing that he would no longer defend Virginia's anti-gay bigotry amendment, etc. It beautifully exposes the anti-gay bigots as having no rational arguments whatsoever. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Check it out and see for yourself.

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Wild Discussion Erupts at Raging Homophobic Del. "Sideshow" Bob Marshall's FB Page re: Gay Marriage

by: lowkell

Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 09:21:09 AM EST

Fascinating, horrifying and hilarious all at the same time...check out Del. "Sideshow" Bob Marshall's Facebook page for more, including comments by a "staffer" posting as "Bob Marshall" for some strange reason. I've captured it, just in case either Del. Bob Marshall or "Bob Marshall" try to delete it.

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Virginia's Anti-Gay-Marriage Amendment Unconstitutional; Attorney General Herring Was Right!

by: lowkell

Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 06:19:37 AM EST

Looks like Attorney General Herring was right all along, and everyone who said he was wrong were, well, wrong. The bottom line is that the U.S. constitution trumps the state constitution, and under the U.S. constitution we all have to be treated equally under the law and not discriminated against just because a majority feels like it. Why is that such a difficult concept for right wingnuts like Bob Marshall to understand? Here are a few highlights from the ruling, which you can read in full on the "flip." Enjoy! :)

*The plaintiffs are found to have standing. A key reason: the plaintiffs "suffer humiliation and discriminatory treatment on the basis of their sexual orientation," which opposite-sex couples so not likewise suffer. Furthermore, "This stigmatic harm flows directly from current state law." Any further questions?
*On legal precedent, the court writes: "doctrinal developments in the question of who among our
citizens are permitted to exercise the right to marry have foreclosed the previously precedential
nature of the summary dismissal in [the Baker v. Nelson decision of 1971]. The Baker summary dismissal is no longer binding."
*"Marriage is a fundamental right...protected
by both the Due Process and Equal Protection
Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment." Isn't that exactly what Mark Herring said? :)
*There is "no dispute" that the Marshall-Newman, anti-gay-marriage amendment, "Plaintiffs and Virginia citizens similar to Plaintiffs are deprived of that right to marry." That, obviously, is BLATANTLY unconstitutional.
*"Because marriage is a fundamental right, therefore, Virginia's Marriage Laws cannot be
upheld unless they are justified by compelling state interests and are narrowly drawn to
express only those interests." #FAIL and #FAIL some more.
*"The state's compelling interests in protecting and supporting our children are not furthered by a prohibition against same-sex marriage," just as bans on inter-racial marriage weren't so furthered. The fact is, "The for-the-children rationale rests upon an unconstitutional, hurtful and unfounded presumption that same-sex couples cannot be good parents." Utterly and maliciously false.
*Bottom line: the Virginia anti-gay-marriage amendment (and laws) fail under the U.S. Constitution's 14th amendment and specifically its Equal Protection Clause. As if that's not enough, "Virginia's Marriage Laws fail to display a rational relationship to a legitimate purpose, and so must be viewed as constitutionally infirm under even the least onerous level of scrutiny." The court clearly states that the main reason these anti-gay-marriage laws are in place is anti-gay animus and prejudice. And that's not sufficient reason to discriminate under the U.S. Constitution, which right wingers like Ken Cuccinelli, E.W. Jackson, Mark Obenshain, Bob Marshall, etc. (falsely) claim to revere so much. Sorry guys, you and your bigotry lose!

P.S. We're all eagerly awaiting the heartfelt apology to Mark Herring by all the right wingers who slandered him (as well as by everyone who supported discriminating against an entire class of Virginia citizens). Any time now. :)

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AG Mark Herring: Virginia stood on "right side of the law and the right side of history today"

by: lowkell

Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 14:09:20 PM EST

Great work by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring; I'm prouder today than ever for having supported him and worked to get him elected. :)
STATEMENT OF ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING
~ Following oral arguments in same-sex marriage case ~

Richmond--Attorney General Mark R. Herring released the following statement after oral arguments were heard today in Bostic v. Rainey, a challenge in federal court to Virginia's ban on marriage for same-sex couples.

"Today was a very significant day in the journey towards full equality under the law for all Virginians. I am proud to say that the Commonwealth of Virginia stood on the right side of the law and the right side of history today in opposing this discriminatory ban.

"This case is fundamentally about whether Virginia can legally treat same-sex couples as second-class citizens, or whether the U.S. Constitution truly guarantees equality under the law. But this is more than an abstract legal debate. The answer to this question affects the lives of thousands of Virginians who are our friends, our neighbors, coworkers, fellow parishioners at our churches, our brothers and our sisters, and they deserve to be treated exactly the same as all other Virginians.

"Although we have much to be proud of, there have been times where brave Virginians have led the fight for civil rights while their state stood against them. Whether it was the right to a public education regardless of race, the right to marry the person you love regardless of skin color, or the right to attend state colleges and universities regardless of gender, Virginia has too often found itself on the wrong side of landmark civil rights cases. The injustice of Virginia's position in those cases will not be repeated this time. Today, the Commonwealth of Virginia got it right."

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Video: Del. Eileen Filler-Corn Notes That Young People Overwhelmingly Favor Marriage Equality

by: lowkell

Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 11:22:28 AM EST

Great speech yesterday by Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, as the debate over marriage equality - and specifically whether or not Attorney General Mark Herring should defend the anti-gay-marriage amendment to the Virginia Constitution - rages on. Also note that Del. Filler-Corn spoke after Del. "Sideshow" Bob Marshall (R-Manassas), a rabid homophobe and co-author of Virginia's anti-gay-marriage amendment (also the exact opposite of the young, tolerant generation Del. Filler-Corn references), gave a speech about impeaching Attorney General Herring for his stance against bigotry in Virginia.

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Right Wingers, Homophobes Go Nuts on Cooch's Facebook Page Over Herring Gay Marriage Announcement

by: lowkell

Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 18:31:04 PM EST

As you're probably aware, the far-right, theocratic, and otherwise cuckoo-for-Cocoa-Puffs wing of the Virginia Republican Party is in full meltdown mode over Attorney General Mark Herring's gay marriage announcement the other day. Case in point: Ken Cuccinelli's Facebook page, and specifically the comments in reaction to his posting of the image to the far right (appropriately enough) of this post. Check out a few examples of the insanity below, not to mention the utter idiocy (e.g., English grammar totally optional and typos mandatory, such as spelling "liar" as "lier;" "riddled" as "riddeled;" "election" as "Ellection;" "Presidential" as "Presidental;" "break" as "brake;" etc.; etc.) and anti-LGBT hysteria. Craaaaaaaazy!

Allegations of Democrats Stealing the Election via "Voter Fraud," etc.
*"i knew this was going to happen the moment i saw how the elections were riddeled with voter fraud. they wish to push their anti gun, pro abortion and pro gay agenda as quickly as possible."
*"I would not be surprised if these elections were rigged. Obama, was not elected with majority."
*"We MUST clean up VOTER FRAUD=NOW, BEFORE the Upcomeing Nov. 2014 Election's, & the 2016 Presidental Ellection!!! NOW!"
*"if we do not stand to liberals and their affinity to brake the law and cause voter fraud we will have a divided and destroyed United States."
*"Thank God Glenn Beck exposed the fraud between Libertarians and the Democrats."
*"DC has taken over our state and I think the election here in NOV. was all about FRAUD !!!!!"

Northern Virginia Needs to Go!
*"Man, what a sad time for VA. It sickens me to see such a great state turning into one of the liberal petri dishes of the north. NOVA just needs to be given to DC."
*"If Fairfax would join DC and leave Virginia we would be a much different state ... large percent of people in N VA are imports and bring the NJ NY mindset with them ....."
*"Can the Commonwelth rid Themselves of Fairfax and Arlington counties then we would be Red Again need to start a remove Northern VA from the rest of VA."
*"Take Arlington and separate it from the rest of the state and give Arlington to DC. Problem solved."

There's More... :: (9 Comments, 296 words in story)

Virginia Republicans Splintering Over Anti-Gay-Marriage Amendment?

by: lowkell

Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 15:12:55 PM EST

For years, the Republican Party has been a weird alliance of wildly disparate groups you'd think would not be able to coexist. Yet somehow, the culture warrior/theocratic/"American Taliban" wing (Pat Robertson, Mike Huckabee, Ken Cuccinelli, E.W. Jackson, etc.) has managed for several decades now to share the same "tent" as the Wall Street/pro-business/corporate welfare/Chamber of Commerce wing (pre-2012 Mitt Romney, the Bush family, Bill Bolling, etc.), the "neoconservatives" (John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Don Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, etc.), the "libertarians" of various stripes (I'd argue that most Republicans, like Ron and Rand Paul, who claim to be "libertarian," actually are not really libertarian on social issues at all), and even the Tea Party (right-wing extremists and populists like Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, Steve King, etc.). Of course, there's overlap between many of these factions (e.g., McCain is a "neoconservative" and also a pro-crony-capitalist Wall Street Republican, with occasional overtures to the extremist wing, such as his insane/desperate pick of Sarah Freakin' Palin as his running mate in 2008). Still, it's kind of amazing to me that this party has held together as well as it has, given the fundamental contradictions between its different components.

Well, here in Virginia, we may now be seeing a Republican schism, if not a splintering, over a key "social issue" - namely, gay marriage (and LGBT equality, more broadly). What brought this to the surface in recent days was Attorney General Mark Herring's announcement that Virginia would no longer defend the anti-gay-marriage ("Marshall-Newman") amendment in court. On the Democratic side, this announcement was greeted overwhelmingly with praise and celebration (with a few, predictable exceptions, like corrupt/homophobic "Democrat In Name Only" Del. Johnny Joannou) On the Republican side, though, the reaction has been all over the place, from foaming-at-the-mouth rage to pro-forma condemnation to "meh" to actual support for what Mark Herring did. A few examples.

1. Foaming-at-the-Mouth Rage: Predictably, raging homophobe and theocrat Del. "Sideshow Bob" Marshall went NUTS, talking about "a Pearl Harbor attack on the people of Virginia" and ranting that "the advocates for this are the gay, lesbian, BISEXUAL and transgendered...well the bisexuals have to have at least one of each to be satisfied." Marshall was joined by 30 fellow GOP delegates in condemning what Mark Herring said (although interestingly, there are 36 other GOP delegates who did NOT join "Sideshow Bob"). In addition, "Sideshow Bob" was joined by the even-more-extreme-if-that's-humanly-possible Sen. Dick Black, who ranted, "I don't know what the difference between a dictatorship and this is." Finally, Marshall and Black were joined by...let's just say, some of the more excitable, less moderate voices in the Virginia right-wing blogosphere, some of whom even raised the prospect of impeaching Mark Herring (LOL, as if THAT is going to happen!) and generally spoke in apocalyptic terms about the end of the rule of law, chaos, anarchy, and god knows what else (gays rampaging in the streets?). It would be amusing if it weren't so disturbing in its rabid, anti-LGBT bigotry.  

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 477 words in story)
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The purpose of Blue Virginia is to cover Virginia politics from a progressive and Democratic perspective. This is a group blog and a community blog. We invite everyone to comment here, but please be aware that profanity, personal attacks, bigotry, insults, rudeness, frequent unsupported or off-point statements, "trolling" (NOTE: that includes outright lies, whether about climate science, or what other people said, or whatever), and "troll ratings abuse" (e.g., "troll" rating someone simply because you disagree with their argument) are not permitted and, if continued, will lead to banning. For more on trolling, see the Daily Kos FAQs. Also note that diaries may be deleted if they do not contain at least 2 solid paragraphs of original text; if not, please use the comments section of a relevant diary. For more on writing diaries, click here. Thanks, and enjoy!

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