Saturday, October 14, 2006


The Commonwealth Coalition is invoking Jefferson's Virginia Bill of Rights in their upcoming TV ads against the same-sex marriage amendment, in which a narrator says: "The Virginia Bill of Rights, Jefferson's model for the Declaration of Independence. Ballot Question One would destroy it."

The bill of rights says, among other things:

"2. That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.

3. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the people, nation, or community; of all the various modes and forms of government that is best, which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration; and that whenever any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right, to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the publick weal."

These provisions seem to support the idea that the majority should amend the constitution when they see that the government is inadequate, which is what the proponents of the amendment seek to do.

The public relations campaign against the same-sex marriage amendment has been, in my opinion, wrong-headed from the beginning. They should have said "oppose this because it is wrong and hurtful," instead of this legalistic nonsense, which is unconvincing largely because it is so transparently bogus.

I can understand why they did not try to sell my take on the amendment, that it is unnecessary to amend the Constitution because the legislative ban will never be overruled.

The last thing, however, that same-sex marriage supporters want anyone, let alone any judge, to consider is history, as evidenced by the discourse between the majority and the dissenter in the recent Marriage Cases decision in California. If history counts, a ban on same-sex marriage will always pass constitutional muster.

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