Sunday, June 25, 2017

From the Archives: LP gubernatorial hopeful Robert Sarvis aims for marriage equality in Virginia

LP gubernatorial hopeful Robert Sarvis aims for marriage equality in Virginia
June 25, 2013 11:51 PM MST

On the eve of the U.S. Supreme Court's historic rulings in two gay marriage cases -- Hollingsworth v. Perry, which addresses the Proposition 8 marriage ban in California, and United States v. Windsor, which challenges the federal Defense of Marriage Act -- one Virginia candidate has released a campaign video declaring his intention to "lead the fight now—in this election—to recognize same-sex marriages in Virginia."

Libertarian nominee for Virginia governor Robert Sarvis announced his position on his campaign web site on June 25.

While Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe has said he supports marriage equality, he has also said that repeal of the state's constitutional prohibition of same-sex marriage "would not be among his legislative priorities."

According to the Washington Post, McAuliffe said:

“If you look at the composure of the legislature, it’s not an issue that I’m going to spend my time focusing on. It’s not going to change during my four years as governor.”

For his part, Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli, in his role as Virginia's Attorney General, submitted a brief to the Supreme Court in the Hollingsworth (Prop 8) case arguing that “there is no coherent reason for government to recognize same-sex marriages.”

Libertarian contrast

In contrast to the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor, the LP's Sarvis declared this week that he will make marriage equality a priority in his administration.

gay marriage Hollingsworth Windsor Robert Sarvice Virginia Loving
Sarvis, whose own marriage is mixed-race, noted that it was a Virginia couple, Richard and Mildred Loving, who took the fight to end the state's ban on interracial marriage to the U.S. Supreme Court, and won.

"We all know the slogan, 'Virginia is for lovers,'" he says in the 48-second campaign video, "but today Virginia still isn't for all lovers."

For that reason, Sarvis explains, "I want to honor the Loving legacy and lead the fight now, in this election, to recognize same-sex marriage in Virginia."

Notably, as early as 1996, the Libertarian Party platform "urged the abolition of laws banning same-sex marriage."

The Sarvis campaign's video addressing marriage equality can be viewed on YouTube and also on the campaign's web site.

Publisher's note: This article is part of a series to mark June as Gay Pride Month. It was originally published on on June 25, 2013. The publishing platform was discontinued July 1, 2016, and its web site went dark on or about July 10, 2016.  I am republishing this piece in an effort to preserve it and all my other contributions to since April 6, 2010. It is reposted here without most of the internal links that were in the original.

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