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01/18/2007

What, we're now destroying the sanctity of White-Out!?

by Jeremy Hooper

This audio chat between the Concerned Women For America's Mike Mears and Martha Kleder might be the most bizarre discussion we've ever heard from two gay rights opponents:

KLEDER: Mike, there is trouble afoot in Virginia.

MEARS: Oh, most definitely. This is affectionally known as the "White-out Bill," and basically what Del. Englin is trying to do here in Virginia is trying to wipe out the will of the people. And what I mean by that is, they're trying to get rid of the marriage amendment that was just passed here in Virginia with nearly 60% of the vote.

KLEDER: But they're doing it in a very odd way. It's not by judicial challenge, it's not by another vote and a repeal or something, how are they trying to accomplish this?

MEARS: Absolutely. Not only that, they're not trying to fix it to add some sort of domestic partnership or anything like that, basically what they've done is they've gone back to the constitution that was just added this amendment and they've taken it out, they've basically whited it out.

KLEDER: In fact, I'm looking at a copy of the page of the state constitution, and you have the article right there. Article 1, Bill of Rights, Section 15-A Marriage. And entire section 15-A Marriage -- through the entire amendment -- IS LINED OUT!

And of course upon first hearing this, our first response was: "HOLY SH*T, LIBERAL LAWMAKERS HAVE THE POWER TO JUST CROSS THROUGH WHATEVER PART OF THE CONSTITUTION THEY WANT?!?!?!? How come nobody told us that?!?" But after stopping a second and realizing the absurdity of that notion, we realized that Ms. Kleder is clearly looking at a copy of the constitution where someone has taken it upon themselves to non-bindingly draw through the text. See, look, we can do it too:

Constt

But despite our super-cute penmanship, our changes to Article VII will not affect the lives of palm trees or suns with smily faces in the state. Don't be confused, like Ms. Kleder apparently was, into thinking the above copy is official, folks -- it ain't! That is, of course, because our pen, which may be mightier than the sword, is not quite mighty enough to alter governing documents.

 Vertical Sites {A880Cfef-7993-4Db5-8D3D-32Bab22F395B} Uploads {5C2E2C62-0Fd7-4Eda-96D6-8B57669Fa8B2}So what is Del. Englin ACTUALLY proposing in Virginia? Well, two separate bills, one of which would fully repeal the amendment (on the grounds that it is unjust and unconstitutional), and another that would leave in the “one man, one woman” part but repeal the rest of the amendment’s language. And despite what Mr. Mears says, he IS working to make provisions for those who are targeted by the hurtful amendment. Here, from his own website:

In response to the passage of the anti-gay constitutional amendment in November, I am working with other equal rights advocates to write additional specific protections into the law. One bill I am working on would give hospital patients the right to designate anyone they choose as an authorized visitor without regard to marital status, sex, or sexual orientation. Currently, hospitals have complete discretion to set any policy they want, often to the detriment of same-sex partners.

And Mr. Englin isn't doing these thinks to "wipe out the will of the people," but rather to protect the rights of CERTAIN people from the tyranny of a majority! So while this whole "White-Out" setup is handy in making it seem to CWA's listeners that those pesky gays are once again trying to circumvent fairness, it is nothing more than a red herring. Mr. Englin and cronies are doing what they can to right a wrong in the state, and they are even acknowledging that their chances of success are Virginia Slim to none. But they are in no way acting in inappropriate ways, no matter what Mears and Kleder would like you to believe.

Now if you'll excuse me, this writer's going to go see if perhaps the crayon is mightier than the "right to bear arms"...

Virginia Legislator Proposes to ‘White-Out’ Marriage Protection [CWA]

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