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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Heat is on anti-gay Democratic Virginia Governor Tim Kaine

As Lloydletta reported earlier, the Democrats have chosen the anti-gay Democratic Virginia Governor Tim Kaine to give the response to the State of the Union address. Pam Spaulding has more. From the Washington Blade:

Kaine clarifies stance on marriage ban
Va. governor disagrees with amendment's scope but will sign

A spokesman for Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine clarified today that he opposes the scope of the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage working its way quicklty through the Virginia legislature, but will nonetheless sign the measure as written if it is adopted, putting it to a referendum.

Va. Gov. Tim Kaine (D) is supporting a referendum on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage even though he does not support the it's language. (AP file photo)
"He was not comfortable with [the current amendment] language," said Kaine spokeswoman Delacey Skinner. "He preferred language that was not as broad."

Skinner told the Washington Blade for reports earlier this week and in today's print edition that Kaine supported the amendment. She did not mention his reservations about the scope of the language.

Kaine, a Democrat sworn into office just this week, agrees with the first line of the amendment, which limits marriage to a man and woman, but does not support the additional language, she said. Kaine wants to discuss measures "to make sure people can still be able to contract with each other," Skinner said.

However, she added, "he does plan to sign the bill to take it to referendum."

The amendment's broad language has alarmed legislators, gay rights supporters and domestic violence advocates who fear the amendment could strip unmarried couples of domestic violence protections and other rights.

Virginia's marriage amendment moved closer to the November ballot when, on Jan. 17, the Senate Committee on Privileges & Elections gave the measure its blessing. The Virginia House voted 76 to 20 in favor of the gay marriage ban.

Before Virginia voters have their say, the full Senate must decide the fate of the bill.

Josh Israel, president of the Virginia Partisans Gay & Lesbian Democratic Club, which endorsed Kaine, said he hopes the newly installed governor will at least work to make the ballot language more reflective of the amendment's wide scope.

"We would certainly hope that the governor will consider using his power to make sure the language and process is fair," Israel said.

Israel should have a stronger statement that that. I'd suggest that gays who gave this creep money should call up his campaign and ask for a refund. Generally campaigns do give refunds to angry contributors when they ask for the money back.

Pam Spaulding notes:

If this statement is supposed to take the heat off of the Virginia governor, his shill is sorely mistaken. I see the PR weasel is squirming and Tim Kaine is desperately trying to have it both ways, soothing the bigots and trying to get the gays off his back.

Let's see, if Tim Kaine doesn't like the language of the current marriage amendment making its way to his desk, but will sign it anyway, what is the point of blowing this hot air? Your legislature is going to send it to you, Tim, and you could decide not to sign it, but that's not politically palatable is it? All the efforts in the legislature designed to limit the scope of the amendment were defeated. You're on your own.

Unless, of course, the governor is planning on engaging his state's Senate before it takes the final vote to send it to him. Highly unlikely, as Kaine is counting on raising his national profile during the SOTU response as a "new face of the Democratic party."

The Senate's ballot language, by the way, prohibits anything that "approximates marriage," so it's pretty muddy and broad territory, vague enough to leave gay Virginians twisting in the wind. Kaine is already on the record opposing same-sex marriage and civil unions, so it's pretty ridiculous at this point for him to suggest there is something about the amendment's scope he objects to.

These games about what he's "comfortable with" are not going to change the fact that Kaine's about to let the voters of his state relegate its gay citizens to second-class status. You hate it, you own it, Tim.

I was looking for Kaine's campaign finance reports on the web but was unsuccessful in finding them.

From Pam's comments, it appears that Kaine went to gay events and sung a different tune.

What a shame.

I met Tim at an Equality Virginia fundraiser during his campaign and he really talked the talk, saying that most fair-minded Virginians understand the fundamental unfairness of HB751 and other measures that VA has passed which "leave us twisting in the wind."

He spoke quite sincerely. I have a harsh e-mail to fire off to his office, putting my disappointment very bluntly. Mark Warner refused to sigh HB 751, though he did not symbolically VETO it. Tim could at least say that its unfair and give it a veto.

Come on Equality Virginia.... you raised a TON of money for this man, speak up!

Dan sent an email to Kaine which he published on his blog.

Dear Governor Kaine, I heartily supported you in your run for Governor of our state. I donated to your campaign, asked my significant other to do the same, and made phone calls at the local democratic party office on your behalf. I support your notions of balanced and well-planned growth, pre-K schooling for children, and share your fundamental opposition to the death penalty with a pragmatic acknowledgement that it is the law of the land, and something I must live with but work to change. I was distressed to hear news that you plan to sign the amendment working through the legislature which would prohibit marriage and "similar arrangements" in Virginia for same-sex couples. I met you at an event hosted by Equality Virginia in Alexandria, and organization that raised money for you and helped organize phone banking for you (for which I also volunteered). At that event, during a discussion of HB 751, you spoke eloquently about the fundamental fair-mindedness of Virginians, and the likelihood that it would be repealed in the not-too-distant future. I was impressed by your sincerity, by our brief one-on-one exchange about education in Virginia (I am a school administrator), and went forward to ask my friends who said things like, "oh he is another republican-lite," or "he'll never win in Virginia," or "he will leave us twisting in the wind like Clinton," to change their minds, turn out and vote, and even donate to you. Many did. Please do not sign the marriage amendment. Even if the legislature overrides a veto from you, what does it matter? Your veto would put forward the message that this enshrines discrimination in a most unpleasant manner, not consistent with a forward-moving democracy. It would give meaning to your words when you say that you don't approve of the scope of the amendment. Send it back to the legislature with your disapproval. If they override your veto, so be it. At least you will have taken a stand. Governor Kaine, please don't let us down. So many of us worked so hard to see your elected. So many of us carried hope forward that Virginia would be saved from the worst excesses of the far right for four more years under your leadership. Be a leader. Veto this mean-spirited, nasty amendment.

Tim Kaine: Used Politics Salesman.