Thursday, May 27, 2004

New Virginia law protects marriage: "The new law is an amendment to the state's 1997 Affirmation of Marriage Act, which prohibits gay marriages. The amendment extends that ban to civil unions, partnership contracts and other 'arrangements between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage.'

"Virginia's attorney general and other supporters say the law provides a needed safeguard for the institution of marriage."

"The bill's sponsor, Delegate Robert Marshall, a Republican, said the law is aimed at preventing same-sex couples from acquiring the benefits of marriage through other means."

"Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore, the likely GOP nominee for governor next year, has said he believes the law will pass constitutional muster.

"Conservative groups such as the Family Foundation have praised the law, which passed the GOP-controlled legislature by a veto-proof margin after Democratic Gov. Mark R. Warner tried to make it less restrictive."

"Virginia is the only state where companies not large enough to underwrite their own insurance policies are prohibited from offering domestic partner benefits. The state also bans joint adoptions by same-sex couples and refuses to list the names of same-sex couples from other states on the birth certificates of children adopted here.

"Lawmakers also shot down attempts this year to rewrite the state's anti-sodomy law to conform with the U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down a Texas law against gay sex."

"Victoria Cobb, lobbyist for the Family Foundation, … said, 'Virginia has always elevated marriage over all other relationships. Traditional marriage is undeniably beneficial to the economy.'"

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