Lawyers defending Virginia’s state constitutional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman are headed to the courthouse in Richmond next month. They’ll ask a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a misguided district court ruling that held the traditional definition of marriage to be a violation of equal protection of the law.
In advance of the May 13 hearing, the homosexual lobby has put its propaganda campaign into overdrive. First out of the gate was something called the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy (or WISOGIL&PP, for short) with a report that purports to show that Virginia is losing money, big time, by denying homosexuals their chance at wedded bliss.
Allowing Adam and Steve to marry, say researchers at the think tank at UCLA, would create 600 jobs and generate up $60 million in spending over three years in Virginia, as same-sex couples go all-out with wedding ceremonies. Guests would fly in from everywhere, and florists would compete to create spectacular arrangements of roses and posies for the ceremony. Like it or not, willing or not, wedding photographers and reception bakers would join the festivities. Waiting in the wings for their share would be the divorce lawyers.
Based on 2010 census figures counting 14,243 homosexual couples in Virginia, the institute estimates that half would be anxious to tie the knot within three years were the ban to be lifted. If Virginia doesn’t act now, the researchers say, couples will continue flocking to the District or Maryland, taking $3.2 million in state and local tax revenues with them.
Assuming the figures are correct, $3.2 million represents about five hours’ worth of sales-tax collection for the commonwealth. If raising government revenue is the goal, there are ways to do that without upending the definition of marriage that has served mankind for millennia. Authentic marriage has its purpose, to create a family best able to raise children.
The alternative posed by homosexual activist groups such as the Williams Institute is to render marriage an empty concept. By erasing children from the equation, the revised definition imposed by the judicial branch amounts to an “anything goes.”
Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy made an important point Tuesday in the court’s decision upholding Michigan’s voter-approved ban on affirmative action in college admissions, that may be applicable elsewhere. “This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved,” he wrote. “It is about who may resolve it.”
The sanctity of traditional marriage and the family is far more foundational than deciding who gets to go to the University of Michigan and who has to settle for Michigan State. The people of Virginia have spoken on the subject of marriage in a constitutional amendment that affirms the traditional understanding of the term. This is a decision that the people must make, not a handful of judges acting on whim and fashion.