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.