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Bob McDonnell Trashes His Legacy

By Greg L | 5 September 2013 | Virginia Politics | 7 Comments

When Bob McDonnell championed Virginia’s largest-ever tax hike as his signature achievement, a lot of us on the conservative side thought there couldn’t possibly be any worse way for McDonnell to seal the memory of his administration.  Today, he attempts to eclipse that outrageous betrayal of the principles he claimed he held by disregarding the state Constitution and extending benefits to same-sex “married” persons.  One wonders at this point whether there’s any previously “deeply held” convictions remaining in Bob McDonnell that haven’t been casually discarded for one reason or another.

Voters in 2006 approved a constitutional amendment that added the following language to our state constitution:

That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions. This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.

Nowhere in that language is the Governor empowered to unilaterally alter the state tax code or change regulations in the Department of Taxation to provide benefits to same-sex couples similar to what married persons enjoy.  For someone who is supposedly an attorney, how that escapes Bob McDonnell is beyond any rabid speculation.  The law doesn’t allow this in any way, and actually forbids it, but McDonnell decided to do it anyways.

Whether this amendment should or should not have passed or otherwise been enacted isn’t the point. There is either a law that constrains the actions of government officials, or it is nothing but a meaningless subterfuge and we are ruled by kings and tyrants who will do whatever they please.  If you don’t like the law, work to change it.  Until that happens what the law says is the law we follow.

Governor McDonnell, you are astoundingly, unbelievably wrong on this.

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  1. Bubbles said on 6 Sep 2013 at 6:04 pm:
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    Sometimes the law is an ass.

  2. TRD said on 7 Sep 2013 at 9:02 am:
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    The Virginia law became questionable after the US Supreme Court decided in favor of gay marriage in United States v Windsor (12-307) and striking down section 3 of the defense of marriage act. Are you advocating to disobey the part of the US Constitution that establishes the primacy of the SCOTUS like that done with respect to the Affordable Healthcare Act? If a groundswell of support for DOMA (and healthcare) exists, then where are all the state conventions to initiate a constitutional amendment?

  3. Greg L said on 7 Sep 2013 at 3:33 pm:
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    Neither DOMA nor US v. Windsor compels Virginia to take an affirmative action. DOMA prohibited federal action, and Windsor arguably prohibits enforcement of at least parts of DOMA.

    The state constitution is not affected by either of these. McDonnell is taking an affirmative action explicitly prohibited by the state constitution, and not required under federal law or any SCOTUS action of late. There’s completely no legal basis for this.

  4. Bubbles said on 8 Sep 2013 at 4:51 pm:
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    But there is a moral one to consider dumping the overreach of DOMA and its ilk and get out of folks bedrooms sooner rather than later.

  5. charles said on 8 Sep 2013 at 7:58 pm:
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    It is funny that the commenter arguing for government to get OUT of the bedroom is arguing that we should grant special benefits based on whether someone is IN the bedroom together or not.

    Not giving benefits to same-sex couples has nothing to do with being “IN” the bedroom of those couples. It doesn’t stop those couples from existing, or doing whatever they want.

  6. Bubbles said on 9 Sep 2013 at 8:02 am:
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    I never argued for special benefits. Only the benefits all other married people are lawfully entitled to. Not giving those benefits to same sex couples is a civil rights issue, and while the denial of those rights does not keep them from existing, it certainly keeps them from doing what they want. Which is to get married. DOMA was unnecessary. Want to defend marriage? Outlaw divorce.

  7. TRD said on 15 Sep 2013 at 6:47 am:
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    …but yet, no state constitutional conventions. So much for the groundswell. The world is changing. Get on or move over…or move to western Maryland.

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