Friday, November 03, 2006

Prominent Republicans to "Vote No on No. 1"

A news conference via telephone at 10:30 this morning brought together prominent Republicans from around Virginia, urging their fellow party members and other voters to cast a ballot against Ballot Question No. 1 (the Marshall/Newman amendment) on Election Day.

Participants in the teleconference included former sixth district Congressman M. Caldwell Butler; former Delegates James Dillard and Anne G. "Panny" Rhodes; former Arlington County Board Member Mike Lane; Mac Pence, owner of the Pence Auto Group; David Lampo, vice president of the Log Cabin Republicans of Virginia; John Sherman, former CEO and chair, Scott & Stringfellow, and myself.

Mike Lane introduced himself to the group on the line and then said, to my embarrasment, that he would like to "thank Rick Sincere for working so hard on my campaign when he used to be an Arlingtonian."

Former Congressman Butler said that his "own perception of this is that it is not a partisan issue at all, it's just common sense. What is basically wrong with it is that it is poorly conceived. It is even mean-spirited. It is poorly drafted, as well." He added that the second sentence about "approximating marriage" doesn't belong in the Constitution. "The Constitution," he said, "sets up the fundamentals of the law, then you let the legislature work out the details."

Former Delegate Dillard laughed and said, "Can I just put my quotes around Caldwell's comments?" Then he added: "This will be a major embarrassment to Virginia to have this in our Bill of Rights and Constitution."

Mac Pence said that, "from the perspective of a businessman and a lifetime Republican, I would like to see our government and elected officials getting back to the basics. I believe in a limited government that keeps out of the lives of citizens."

Drawing on his experience as a business executive and community leader -- including as chairman of the Chamber of Commerce -- John Sherman commented that "the Statute for Religious Rreedom made Virginia a model of tolerance for not only the country but the world. This amendment will undermine tolerance. It's time to draw a line in the sand and stand up for the rights of all individuals and for tolerance."

Mike Lane said that he would like to "shift gears a little." From his perspective, he said, defeating the amendment would be "good for the [Republican] party. Since the Republicans took over the majority in the General Assembly, we've been on a march toward turning that majority back to the other side." He identified the danger of losing control of the legislature to a worsening rupture between Northern Virginia and the rest of the state. "If we don't understand the values of NoVA," Lane said, "we hasten the day when we lose the majority." What are those values? "Limited government and a smaller footprint on the backs of the citizens of the Commonwealth."

I commented that the amendment is not in tune with the values of Republicans who cut their teeth on the campaigns of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, that it is intrusive and an expansion of government, and that -- because its terms are not otherwise defined in the Code of Virginia -- it will lead to mischief and litigation for decades to come.

David Lampo said that the amendment "represents a repudiation of limited government. It is social engineering run amok. By denying legal rights to couples and relationships [the amendment's drafters] do not approve of, if you follow their rules you have rights, if you don't follow their rules, you don't." He concluded by saying, "That they want to write this into the Bill of Rights section is obscene."

Congressman Butler responded to Lampo by saying that he was "understating the outrage." He continued: "This is an ultimate indignity to try to put this in the Bill of Rights." Pointing out that the Declaration of Rights was written by George Mason in 1776, he said the proposed amendment "is unVirginian."

Former Delegate Panny Rhodes added: "Republicans have always stood for individual rights. This goes against everything we stand for."

The consensus within the group was remarkable, considering that it included conservative, libertarian, moderate, and liberal Republicans, and it also included grassroots activists, former elected officials, business leaders, and at least one blogger.

Later today, the Commonwealth Coalition -- which made arrangements for the news conference -- will be distributing a news release based on the official transcript. I will provide an update if there is any new information available.

Other posts on Republicans and conservatives who oppose the Marshall/Newman amendment, which pretends to ban gay marriage in Virginia but does much more to interfere in the relationships of both same-sex and opposite-sex unmarried couples, can be found here, here, here, here, and here.


James Young said...

"Deny rights"!?!?!? What nonsense! Rick, this is nothing at all about rights --- since I know of nowhere that the law denies to homosexuals the "right" to marry someone of the opposite sex enjoyed by the entirety of the population --- it's about a con job. It's hardly suprising that so many has-beens have been conned by the radical homosexual lobby. I can only hope that you are merely blinded by your own interests. It would be disappointing to learn that you actually believed such tripe.

Rick Sincere said...

If you'd like your daughter to marry a gay man, or your son to marry a lesbian, feel free to teach them that that will bring them a lifetime of happiness.

If they buy into that, I would like to invest in their therapists' business. A lot of profits over a long, long time will come from your way of thinking.

Or, let me ask you more directly: Would you marry a lesbian and think that is an authentic "marriage"? Or would you recognize it for the sham that it is?

David said...

That is really something, isn't it?

I hate to pile on, but if people like James think of such fraudulant marriages as authentic, or "God's design," or whatever it is that they say, that certainly goes a long way toward explaining why the institution of marriage is in trouble.

I'm so happy to see Mike Lane on this list. We appeared on a local tv show together, on opposite sides of a student free speech issue. He seemed to be a decent guy in spite of the wrongness of his position :)

Vivian J. Paige said...

To summarize:
Voting yes - social conservatives
Voting NO - everybody else