Monday, August 07, 2006

Thanks but No Thanks, Virginia

In a seminal article, The Washington Post writes about disenchanted gays who have decided to let their wallets, purse and feet do their talking.

Antigay bias in Virginia is having a deleterious economic effect on the region.

In a lede front page story in the Metro section, the paper notes that "[f]eeling unwelcome, some gays" have chosen to leave Virginia.

I mean, who the hell wants to be in a place where they're not wanted? And who the hell wants to pay taxes and contribute to a state's economy that discriminates against them?
Edel Quinones lived in Virginia for 10 years, but early this year, he sold his Arlington townhouse to move to the District.

"It felt like I wasn't welcome anymore," he said.

Quinones and his partner of three years are joining a migration of gay people out of Virginia in the face of recent legislative action they perceive as hostile.
Like Germany during the 30s and 40s when Jews either migrated or were exterminated, a huge talent drain is leaving the commonwealth for happier lands.

Only this spring, Howling Latina learned of a talented professor who was being recruited by George Mason's nationally acclaimed English department but instead chose another university because of Virginia's bigoted policies regarding sexual orientation.

Keep it up, and Virginia will become a band of inbreds or Jerry Falwell clones or BOTH.

I know so many talented and skilled people who plan to leave VA if that hateful Amendment is passed in November.

It will truly be Virginia's loss...some of these will be taking their businesses with them...I heard one local business owner who is straight talk about leaving b/c he will lose two talented employees if this Amendment is passed.

IT will truly be Virginia's loss....and some are too stupid to even realize the ramifications of this bill socially and economocially.
Virginia will pass its hateful amendment and, yes, sooner or later gay men and lesbians will have to go to court to try to assert rights to common property, make funeral arrangements, and on and on. Many of these cases will be won (it would take the most virulently homophobic activist judge to deny the primacy of the very old common law right to form a contract), but in the mean time lives will be harmed and only lawyers will benefit.

Another generation or so and most of the states passing these anti-civil rights amendments will have abandoned them. But not Virginia! I make this prediction now, without any doubt the time will prove me correct: Virginia will be one of the last states to ever give full civil rights to gay men and lesbians, and that will happen only when a future U.S. Supreme Court (one not filled with Bush appointees) finally overturns Virginia law.

It's a tragedy that Virginia, home to so many of the brilliant Enlightenment figures who created this country, has worked so hard to go backwards ever since. Just look at Virginia's shames of the past century: Involuntary sterilization, anti-miscegenation laws, the second-highest capital punishment rate in the country, post-Brown and post-civil rights legislation attempts to maintain segregation, and on and on and on.

The wonder is not why gay men and lesbians who can are leaving Virginia; the wonder is why other right-thinking people don't try to join them in better places. For sure, enlightenment left Virginia a long time ago, and there's not much reason to hope it will be brought back here any time soon.
The best way to dispel the idea that most Virginians actually want to live in Alabama is to defeat this disgusting amendment.

Virginia is not Alabama. We are capable of learning from the mistakes of the past like Massive Resistance. If what people assume about Virginians were true, the proponents of the Marshall/Newman "We don't want you to read the second paragraph" amendment would be promoting the fact that it would prohibit civil unions and any other means of creating legal rights within families, instead of pretending that those second two sentences really don't mean anything.

It's significant that pro-amendment mouthpieces keep repeating the mantra "it only defines marriage as between a man and a woman." They are well aware that Virginians don't support going farther than that, and it's giving them chills.

This amendment can be defeated, with only 45% of likely voters supporting it when they read the whole thing. Instead of despairing, contact the Commonwealth Coalition and help make history.
As one who never gives up until I am forced to ... David is right.

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