Friday, July 19, 2013

Richmond Councilmen Propose Gay-Marriage Ordinance

Between dogging and weaving from ties to Star Scientific and bribes gifts he received from Jonnie R. Williams, Ken Cuccinelli is finding himself trying to dodge his own past extremism on social issues.  Thankfully, the promised lawsuit to soon be filed by the ACLU challenging the Marshall-Newman Amendment will make that effort all the more difficult.  Now, from an unexpected front, three members of Richmond City Council have proposed that that city adopt an ordinance recognizing gay marriages performed in other states.  Needless to say, the Christofascists at The Family Foundation have gone ballistic and Victoria Cobb has stormed onto the scene in full protest and just shy of being decked out in her full dominatrix regalia to whip Republicans into line.  Here are excerpts from the Richmond Times Dispatch:

Three members of the Richmond City Council have proposed an ordinance to recognize legal same-sex marriages performed in other states and to extend benefits to legally married same-sex partners who work for the city.

Sponsored by City Council President Charles R. Samuels and fellow council members Parker C. Agelasto and Chris A. Hilbert, the ordinance was inspired by the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to strike down section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, Samuels said.

“We wanted to do something that would allow us to recognize same-sex marriage, because equality is something that America is based on,” Samuels said. “But this doesn’t mean we are recognizing gay marriage in the city, because state law doesn’t allow us to do that.”

If council votes in favor of the measure after a public hearing scheduled for Sept. 9, it would not have an immediate impact on gay or lesbian city employees because such a policy could not take effect without General Assembly authorization, Richmond’s City Attorney Allen L. Jackson said.

Cuccinelli spokesman Brian Gottstein declined to comment on the city ordinance Thursday.

In spite of the proposal’s more symbolic than practical nature, local gay-rights activists welcomed the ordinance.   

Others disagree, including Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia.  “It’s unfortunate that with all the problems plaguing the city of Richmond, the City Council is wasting time on an action that blatantly violates the Virginia Constitution as adopted by the people of Virginia,” Cobb said, adding that the proposal “is little more than a PR stunt that flies in the face of the law.”

In order to pass, the proposal will need a 5-4 majority of council members voting in favor of it.  “The ordinance has three patrons already, but it’s always nice to have consensus,” said Samuels, who is optimistic.

The measure may be symbolic, but anything that causes Cuccinelli and the always virulently anti-gay Ms. Cobb displeasure is something to celebrate.  If the measure passes, it will also put pressure on other Virginia cities to adopt such ordinances.  All of which will make the Virginia GOP's life more difficult.

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