Are we really going to ban Johnny’s chances to read whatever he wants to read – including age-old literature classics?
Some misguided parents and fellow travelers in Accomack County want to create a list of “banned” books including “To Kill a Mocking Bird” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and remove them from classrooms and libraries. Could it be that some want to conceal the storied picture of intolerant whites in the South? A parent in Fairfax wanted Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer prize-winning and National Book award book, “Beloved,” having to do with slaves, banned. There are Richmond legislators who think we need a black list of banned books. They made a run at this wrong-headed legislative initiative last year and, mercifully, the Governor vetoed this backward idea.
We also have Del. Bob Marshall (R.-Prince William) who insists we “resolve” to do something (Bob’s doesn’t say what) to redress the pornographic “epidemic.”
The complaining parent, who wanted “Beloved” banned, said she was really concerned about sexually explicit elements in the prize-winning novel. The Governor refused to ban the book based on a single scene exclusive of the novel’s context.
The targeted books so far have to do with race relations or sex that consider our nation’s failure to fulfill its unfulfilled promise of equality, and a complex of issues that affect the human condition including our youngsters. Continue reading →
Retiring Congressman Frank Wolf is the patriarch of Loudoun’s Christianist right. The patronage system he developed will continue if we don’t stop it. The powerful, detail oriented politician who brought “The Colson Center for Christian Worldview” to Loudoun also brought us spy agency jobs, labyrinthian development, crazy supervisors and school board members, and gridlock. When he retires, he’s going to stick around, continuing his Chuck Colson influenced work, insuring that government directed ideological finance penetrates every aspect of our lives.
In this vacuum, the Washington Post reports that “Northern Virginia [GOP] lurches to the right,” but even the best exposure in the world won’t be enough to win this battle. Barbara Comstock, Wolf’s hand-selected successor, has the backing, power and money of the Republican establishment. For example, she is endorsed by Tim Phillips of Americans For Prosperity who specializes in phony grass tops organizations and dirty attack ads. Even so, the primary is not a wrap. Bob Marshall is running TEA Party attack ads that appeal to the rightmost fringes of the right, reminding voters that Comstock took direction from Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” and voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 primary.
Whoever wins the Republican primary, the congressional race will be exceedingly ugly and hateful. But with Marshall, we won’t need to work too hard to show what a crackpot he is. It happens every time he opens his mouth. He’s proud of it.
So we need your help to insure the “real” TEA Party candidate represents Virginia’s GOP 10th CD. Get out and vote for Bob Marshall. He’s no TINO, and he can be counted on to remind voters of this every step of the way.
Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, said today that he is working with lawyers to file a complaint with the Virginia State Bar against Attorney General Mark R. Herring over his refusal to defend Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban in federal court this week.
Marshall sponsored the 2006 amendment to the state constitution.
“I want the same discipline meted out against him that would be meted out against any attorney similarly situated,” Marshall said in an interview Monday afternoon.
“If after a pleading has been filed an attorney decided that his client is guilty, what would the bar do with that attorney? And they better not go soft because he is the attorney general,” he said.
I suppose that never having been an attorney could explain Marshall being unaware that the legal obligations of a private attorney and a public one, such as an attorney general, are quite different (although that hasn’t prevented me from being aware of it – and I don’t sit on a legislative body). Surely Marshall has some attorney friends in the House of Delegates who could have explained this to him:
Marshall begins this rhetorical circus by asking whether Tim Kaine, governor in 2006-7 when the Marshall-Newman Amendment was enacted, “consciously signed a bill that violated the Fourteenth Amendment.” This is simply a stupid question on its face. Of course he did. How would any unconstitutional law ever become law if this didn’t happen? Every governor in every state that enacted similar amendments signed a bill that violated the Fourteenth Amendment. Does Marshall believe that it’s impossible, by definition, for anything enacted by a legislature or popular vote to be unconstitutional? Because that seems like a problem.
“[T]he attorney general’s job is like a judge. A judge will tell you, ‘Look, I might not agree with the law, but my job is basically not to make law. It is to look at what the law was [and what] the legislature intended,’ ” House Majority Leader M. Kirkland Cox (R-Colonial Heights) said.
That’s right. AG Herring looked at the Virginia constitutional and statutory ban on same-sex marriage, and what the legislature clearly intended by it, and made the determination that it was unconstitutional. Given the recent rulings in Utah and Oklahoma that affirm the reasoning of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Windsor, it’s clear that the Virginia amendment does, and was intended to, violate the due process and equal protection rights of Virginia same sex couples under the Fourteenth Amendment. There is a reason, after all, that the legal team of David Boies and Ted Olson, who so brilliantly argued the Prop 8 case on behalf of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, chose Virginia as their next venue: Virginia’s anti-marriage amendment is considered the most extremely worded and restrictive in the nation.
Frank Wolf trains Eugene Delgaudio (Sterlingfest, 2006)
Box Turtle Bulletin reports that Frank Wolf is co-sponsoring Rep Tim Huelskamp’s (R – KS) Federal Marriage [sic] Amendment. The language is:
Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.
And that language runs afoul of the recent Supreme Court DOMA ruling. Here are excerpts from Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion:
The history of DOMA’s enactment and its own text demonstrate that interference with the equal dignity of same-sex marriages, a dignity conferred by the States in the exercise of their sovereign power, was more than an incidental effect of the federal statute. It was its essence.
…The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.
My initial reaction to hearing about Bob Marshall’s highly unusual actions to cause the rejection of Tracy Thorne-Begland’s nomination to the General District Court was “petulant temper tantrum.” The latest admission from Marshall shows just how accurate that first impression was:
“He holds himself out as being married,” said Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), who is running for U.S. Senate. He said Thorne-Begland’s “life is a contradiction to the requirement of submission to the constitution.”
It’s not good enough, you see, that Thorne-Begland’s marriage is not recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Nor is it good enough that he and his husband can’t even obtain recognition of a civil union, domestic partnership, or any other “legal status that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage” or obtain a status to which are assigned “the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.”
No, that’s not enough. Like Haman, little Bobby Marshall wants Tracy Thorne-Begland to bow down. Because Bobby Marshall was able to insert his tiny god of fear into the Virginia Constitution, he now believes he is entitled to demand “submission” to it. Those who fail to bow down to his little god must be punished. That is just how stark this is.
It’s not enough for Bob Marshall that same sex couples have to move outside the state temporarily in order for both to be adoptive parents – in Virginia, second parent adoption or adoption by unmarried couples is illegal, so we have families in which one parent is literally a legal stranger to their own child. Think about what that means for a child’s security, if something were to happen to his or her legally recognized parent.
In 2005, Bob Marshall shared the embarrassment with Dick Black of having “Adoption: Prohibited if Homosexual” basically laughed out of the Senate after Black flew the disgraced Paul Cameron in as an “expert witness.” That wouldn’t have been enough, either – and the truth is that nothing will ever be enough for this obsessive oddball, short of our complete elimination. As he let slip to the Leesburg Today back in 2006, “This is a springboard. If they get this [defeat of the Marshall-Newman anti-marriage amendment], they are getting other things.” By “other things,” he refers to the freedom to live our lives with the same safety and security as everyone else. That amendment never had anything to do with marriage. Its purpose, as I explained here, was simply to create more danger for gay and lesbian couples, to discourage us from living openly and visibly – because it’s exactly that visibility that is driving the rapid shifts in public opinion toward support for equality.
It’s that same purpose that leads Mr. Marshall to have a hissy fit about this revision to the Virginia Department of Social Services regulations: Continue reading →
Marshall, who is considering running for U.S. Senate in 2012, is one of the House’s most conservative members. He said Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16 of the Constitution gives Virginia the authority to uphold the ban by “reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.”
Like the architects of Virginia’s shameful “Massive Resistance” to an earlier era of civil rights, long after the rest of the world has moved on these bitter old men will still be lashing out at their imaginary enemies and wasting everyone’s time. Mr. Marshall’s legislative career needs to join DADT in the dustbin of history.
Bonus: On a lighter note, watch these two videos and tell me you don’t see the uncanny resemblance.