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Is Virginia Really For Lovers?

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In 1969, the slogan “Virginia Is for Lovers” was adopted and over time it has become well known, as this Internet site proudly recounts.

Except if those lovers happen to gay or lesbian… well, that slogan’s attitude apparently doesn’t apply to them. The state’s draconian laws about domestic partners led some to leave the state.

The movie Barbara & Tibby: A Love Story in the Face of Hate did a good – but sobering – job of explaining the repercussions of those laws as two women clearly still in love left for Maryland. I reviewed the movie here and the Washington Post did a good story on the couple.

It is not that Maryland is perfect, but at least it doesn’t have a slogan with love in its title.

Now comes a new issue showing that at least some Virginia elected officials are again not exactly showing the love. It seems a zoning law has people up in arms since it is believed to be a response to illegal immigration.

The city of Manassas passed a city zoning law prohibiting, the Washington Post says, a grandparent, aunt and uncle from living together as a family. The city said this was a way to combat overcrowding in homes.

But the way it was written it could be used to break up families even if there were a small, legal number of family members.

The city was accused of using the law to harass Hispanics, some of whom were allegedly in the country illegally.

The city has suspended enforcement of the law but eliminating it entirely and apologizing to those offended would be a wise move.

So to review, if you are a lover, Virginia doesn’t want you if you are gay, lesbian or Latino?

That’s one way to deal with growth issues but if the state continues down its path it really does need a new motto.

How about: Virginia is for conformity?

Admittedly it is not as catchy but it seems more accurate.

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About Scott Butki

Scott Butki was a newspaper reporter for more than 10 years before making a career change into education... then into special education. He has been doing special education work for about five years He lives in Austin. He reads at least 50 books a year and has about 15 author interviews each year and, yes, unlike tv hosts he actually reads each one. He is an in-house media critic, a recovering Tetris addict and a proud uncle. He has written articles on practically all topics from zoos to apples and almost everything in between.
  • Not that dark. Our day will come, of that I have no doubt. I may not see it in my lifetime but my kids will see it. And they’ll remember that we were there fighting for a right that really had no business being withheld by a secular government.

  • An update: Now Maryland’s legislature is considering legislation similar to Virginia’s – banning same sex marriages – while Virginia is taking the matter to the voters via a referendum.
    These are dark days for those supporting gay rights.