Breaking: Statement Regarding AG Marriage Amendment Decision

By

January 23, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 23, 2014

STATEMENT FROM VICTORIA COBB, PRESIDENT OF THE FAMILY FOUNDATION OF VIRGINIA, REGARDING ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DECISION TO NOT DEFEND CONSTITUTION

          “The decision by the Attorney General is not surprising, but it is disappointing and frightening.  It’s disappointing that he wouldn’t be clear about his intentions on this issue while campaigning for the office.  More importantly, it’s frightening that politicians like the Attorney General feel that they can pick and choose which aspects of the Constitution they deem worth to defend and apply.  Whether one agrees with the marriage amendment or not, the idea that over a million Virginia citizens can be left defenseless by the Attorney General after legally voting for an amendment that he himself supported is chilling.”

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39 Responses to “Breaking: Statement Regarding AG Marriage Amendment Decision”

  1. […] will not defend it against ongoing court challenges. While Virginia’s leading anti-LGBT group quickly condemned his decision, it is completely in line with precedent set by conservative predecessors that the […]

  2. Bill Jones says:

    Who would Jesus discriminate against?

    • Megan says:

      Jesus did not discriminate sin, you are right. He actively pointed it out, not out of condemnation, out of love. Let he who is without sin throw the first stone, He said. What is usually missed in this statement is that “all” have sinned. Jesus gives us all equal opportunity to sin. Then Jesus equally tells us to go and sin no more. And thankfully TFF is supporting Jesus’ view. Sin is not good for us personally. It is not good for the Commonwealth. And I value TFF standing up for truth on behalf of Christ-followers everywhere.

      You are missing the bigger point of Ms. Cobb’s statement. The AG’s actions are an abuse of power, deliberately going against the will of the people of Virginia. If you disagree with the law, legally change it. Find the votes. Elect the officials. Get other Virginians to agree with you.

      • M Mirabelle says:

        Hi Megan!

        The people of Virginia did find the votes to begin overturning the marriage amendment. They voted in Herring, McAuliffe, and Northam, knowing full well the candidates’ opinions on the issue. They were all elected legally and by the majority of Virginians (who now support gay marriage by about 55 percent to 45 opposed). So now begins the task of striking down the amendment by perfectly legal means. Nothing going on before you is illegal. It’s good old checks and balances at work, which is a credit to our system because this should kick in when a majority passes a law that’s unconstitutional.

        Given that the vast majority of Virginians support gay marriage nowadays, perhaps it would be good to put it on the ballot again anyway. Why not? Why stay tethered to an amendment that is the product of a bygone era? Would you support this?

      • Megan says:

        M, I am sorry, but the checks and balances system only works when you do your job. The legislators are responsible for writing laws, who then can be held accountable by the voters who put them into office. The executives are to enforce the laws on the books, to uphold and defend the constitution as written, not as you’d like it to be written. It is an abuse of power to ignore the will of the people and decide which laws are worthy of defense. As well as using the judicial branch of govt to create law. If such a vast majority agree with the change, get the law changed. Back door policies like the AG’s decision is a dereliction of duty. And I dare say, getting into office off a few hundred votes is not support by the vast majority, he squeaked by. And when special interests bought and paid for an election, outspending an opponent 10:1, and winning by such small margins? not sure the result was overwhelming but a win by the skin of your teeth. Doesn’t sound like monumental transformation is really the will of the people. This amendment that is of a “bygone era” as you say, was passed just 7 years ago.

        • Joe says:

          They are not ignoring the will of the people. The 14th amendment was passed -unanimously- by the states to amend our federal constitution that “No state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” The fact that a majority of citizens in a single state cannot override the federal constitution that the majority of the citizens in the -country- passed. And so, the will of the people is done. It’s simply up to the justice system as our system of checks and balances to ensure that it is done. And that is what is happening.

        • M Mirabelle says:

          Hi Megan!

          I understand you are probably very angry. This is a big change from kind of Virginia that you appear to support, and that’s naturally upsetting. Thousands of Virginians have been in a similar position for decades, feeling the same way as you are now for the first time. It’s not a nice feeling.

          But that doesn’t change the political facts driving this development.

          Respectfully, the characterization of the checks-and-balances that you present is not entirely accurate. It’s too simplistic, not as nuanced as it is in the real Virginia government system.

          It is not the role of any executive branch to implement laws in a robotic fashion. No executive branch does this. That’s why there are popular state-wide elections for top-level executive officers, with campaigns highlighting the differences, so the people may choose which things they want to emphasize and which they want to move away from.

          Political executives have leanings, platforms, and priorities, and operate from a certain political philosophy that colors their administrations. That’s why the top-tier state-wide executives are elected by popular vote. In this case, the majority of Virginians chose Mr Herring and his particular legal leanings in a fair up-and-down vote. Mr Obenshain’s legal philosophies were rejected by the majority of voters. So what you’re seeing happen now is simply the implementation of the will of the majority of Virginians as regards to the legal philosophies behind same-sex marriage.

          Remember, Mr Herring’s opinion doesn’t make it law. To say that would be incorrect. To make it have full legal status, it has to pass through judicial review or the legislature. Mr Herring is simply performing one of the duties of his office which is to review perceived conflicts between the US Constitution and the Virginia Constitution. He is sworn to uphold both (that’s the official job description for AG) so an AG must review and weigh in on any perceived discrepancies and conflicts. Mr Herring has simply done this.

          Basically, November’s popular state-wide vote of the people has resulted in Mr Herring’s legal opinions becoming the official state-wide legal opinion regarding same-sex marriage and everything else that falls under his purview. It is the legal philosophy and leaning that was chosen by the majority of Virginians in a fair up-and-down vote. This is the rule-of-law working the way its supposed to.

          The fact that Mr Herring won by a super-slim margin is irrelevant, according to current Virginia law. So again, that is the rule of law in action.

          God Bless.

      • Joe says:

        As a Christian, I believe absolutely every last word my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ ever said about homosexuality. To remind you of what it was, I have reprinted every last word of it in its entirety for you here: “”

      • Michael Hampton says:

        I hate to be the one who has to tell you this, but our laws do not follow your religion. They are not interchangeable. And I didn’t hear any of you crying when conservatives called for county clerks to ignore the law and not issue licenses to couples in New Mexico or Pennsylvania. In fact, you called on them to ignore the law and not issue licenses to gay couples. So you are a hypocrite.

  3. Michael Barber says:

    Dear Ms. Cobb,

    Just how are a million Virginian’s left defenseless and from what do they need a defense? Their outright religious bigotry?; because there is no other explanation for the marriage amendment but religious animus. As for your hyperbolic rhetoric, it is perfectly pitched to your religitard audience, how convenient. Let me say this; You and yours have had your day persecuting and imposing your religious “values” (although anyone whose holy book approves of and instructs on how to keep slaves actually has no basis for a moral code) on the rest of society through the force of law. That day is over. We live under secular law, the U.S. Constitution. No matter what the “will of the people” is, if it conflicts with individual constitutional rights, it’s not going to stand up to the scrutiny of the courts. Good day.

    • KB says:

      I find many things ironic and sad.

      Those who support gay marriage, and the homosexual lifestyle in general have often taken up the very tactics they deplore publicly. The discriminate willingly against those who disagree with them, all are tolerated – as long as they are not “one of them.” They can judge a person as being a “bigot” they have never met, just based on their view on ONE issue of the day. They want their opponents to shut their mouths, and go in to the “closet” of their churches, and have no chance to be heard fairly on their views. I was barely alive during the times homosexuality was not accepted, and perhaps those practicing homosexuality were treated shamefully at times. Perhaps people calling themselves Christians perpetrated some that behavior. But, I see many of the posts on here indicate that bible-believing Christians (yes the Bible and Jesus call homosexual behavior a sin, God made men and women for each other, not same sex, sorry)should be thrown to the lions, burned at the stake or crucified if they won’t get with society. Well, so be it. Folks, can’t we sit down with out opponents and hear their view and see things from the other’s points of view?? I think that would please God. How do you know I am a bigot, ever try to get to know me?

      The outrage here is no attorney general, from Eric Holder to our own VA AG has the right to pick and choose which laws he defends. He is shirking his duty. If he chose to not defend a law or constitutional provision favored by the left it would be just as much of an outrage.

      Lastly, if marriage is to be legally recognized by our government it must be defined or it has no meaning logically at all. People are free to go through marriage ceremonies with whomever they choose, but the government must define it for its own purposes. Otherwise, we MUST allow all marriage definitions, including polygamy, marrying yourself, and on and on to ridiculousness. We can argue what the definition should be but we must have on.

      • Joe says:

        So you fear that gay people will treat you the way you treated gay people? I think there’s some kind of Golden Rule about that one.

      • M Mirabelle says:

        Hi KB!

        A key part of the job of any state’s Attorney General is to evaluate the constitutionality of state laws in the context of the federal US Constitution. An AG is tasked with identifying unconstitutional state laws and recommending action on those perceived illegal laws.

        Even the AGs oath of office captures this dual task, whereby they swear to uphold both the US and state constitutions. If there is a conflict between the two, then the AG recommends action, usually to the judiciary.

        Mr Herring is simply doing this. There is nothing illegal or improper in what he’s doing, nor is his opinion the last word about anything.

  4. Adrian P. says:

    Victoria,

    How does it feel to be losing so terribly?

    VA will have same-sex marriage.
    “Conversion therapy” for minors WILL be banned.
    ENDA WILL be passed as Federal Law!

    Perhaps you should move onto more important “family matters”.

    • Megan says:

      Unlike your views, what TFF stands for are eternal truths that stand the test of time. They are not called to win, but to remain faithful. There will always be voices of the modern day or current wind of teaching, as you are promoting. God’s truth will never make sense according to the world’s wisdom. But the Creator of the world does know best, and I am thankful to TFF for voicing those truths. So whether or not TFF “loses” is not really a concern. In the end, they will always win.

      • Rem Cabrera says:

        First of all, no one religion is to be imposed upon any group of American citizens. Secondly, as a Christian and a follower of the Bible, I understand that it is human nature to select and ignore certain teachings to comply with our world view. We no longer condone stoning disobedient children at the city gates, nor do we permit slavery, nor do we insist that women be subservient to their husbands. My view of religion envisions God as compassionate and loving. I am made in his image. His truth IS eternal, but how we choose to understand and interpret the limitless vastness of His truth is not.

        • Megan says:

          As one who knows God’s Word, surely you agree that God’s way is best, and while not imposing any “religion” on anyone, would work towards the values and principles found throughout, since we would agree that following them allows for the greatest blessing and benefit. These do not change.

          As a follower of the one true God, you would know about the character of God and His covenants with His people, as revealed through His Word. He had a plan since the beginning to redeem man, which was worked out through covenants with Abraham and Moses, revealing man’s sin and need for restoration with God through sacrifice for our sins. This was ultimately fulfilled with Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice.

          An inevitable list of harsh punishments listed in the OT is a sure tell sign of misusing God’s Word. This was God’s way of dealing with sin in His camp, revealing His justice and righteousness. Today we have jails. God’s Word never condones slavery, but acknowledges its existence, encouraging those in positions of authority to be fair, and those in positions of enslavement to honor their master in their work. God’s Word does not ask women to be subservient, another buzzword of those mischaracterizing God’s Word, but wives to be submissive. I find this to be a beautiful word which has been abused by husbands…the image that comes to mind is Jesus submitting Himself to His father’s will, death on the cross. May we all be able to surrender, like Him. See, I cannot pick and choose, that is, with a worldview based on God’s Word.

          We can choose a limited view of God that is just compassionate and loving, but based on God’s Word, that would be wholly inadequate.

          • Joe says:

            “Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” – Romans 13:10

            The attorney general is indeed just fulfilling the law as told in the bible. God is indeed great!

  5. michaelinnorfolk says:

    I suggest you read the U. S. Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Windsor which says religious based disapproval of a group or actual animus by the majority does not make a discriminatory law magically constitutional under the U. S. Constitution. Last time I checked, the U.S. Constitution overrides the Virginia Constitution. If you doubt that, read the U. S. Supreme Court ruling in Loving v. Virginia. Attorney General Herring is merely following the law of the land as opposed to the Bible based bigotry that always motivates The Family Foundation.

    • Jordan says:

      United States v. Windsor applied to the *federal* definition, not the states’. Nowhere in that Supreme Court decision does it say that a DOMA law in effect in any state is by default now unconstitutional. That’s because the Court did not make an additional amendment to the Constitution adding a new definition of marriage. Because there’s no clear definition, the states are allowed to make their own decisions on the matter because of the 10th Amendment. The federal courts simply said in United States v. Windsor that DOMA is unconstitutional at a federal level, but did not say that gay marriages are to be enforced onto the states.

  6. Jeninrichmond says:

    Dear everyone at the Family Foundation,
    Thank you for continuing to speak truth and expose how our freedoms as Christians, parents, and taxpayers are being increasingly eroded. You are not losing terribly, some voices just seem louder right now…

    • M Mirabelle says:

      Dear Jeninrichmond,

      How are your freedoms as Christians, parents, and taxpayers being taken away by this development?

  7. John (not McCain) says:

    When bigots are whining it means justice has occurred. May you never be silent.

  8. Jim Smith says:

    “More importantly, it’s frightening that politicians like the Attorney General feel that they can pick and choose which aspects of the Constitution they deem worth to defend and apply.”

    Sorry Vicki – missed your whining when Cuccinelli did precisely the same thing.

    Please explain the difference?

  9. M Mirabelle says:

    Dear Ms Cobb,

    The Family Foundation is losing on this issue for a number of reasons:

    A) The Family Foundation hasn’t done a good job of consistently communicating a cogent, fact-based case for why same-sex marriage is actually harmful to society. In order to take away equality from an entire group of American citizens, the state must have a compelling reason to do so. What is that reason and why is it so genuinely and factually compelling? The Family Foundation doesn’t communicate their thinking on this very clearly or consistently, in a way that is pursuasive to non-Christians, to moderate-to-liberal Christians, and to young conservatives.

    B) The Family Foundation hasn’t done a good job of consistently communicating why they think marriage discrimination is legally OK. Most folks understand pretty intrinsically, without legal training, why marriage discrimination is probably unconstitutional. If the Family Foundation thinks it is perfectly legal and constitutional, then why do they think that? The Family Foundation doesn’t communicate their thinking on this with clarity or consistency either, thereby ceding the legal argument and legal reasoning to those supporting gay marriage.

    It’s not that the Family Foundation doesn’t have opinions about these two things. It’s that the Foundation has done an awful job of getting their message out and engaging the issue on these two fronts. Let’s have these conversations. Is the Family Foundation game anymore? Even today’s Breaking Statement captures this tone-deaf approach, as it comes off as relying simply on name calling and hysterics rather than any compelling, data-driven reasoning supporting the Foundation’s point of view.

  10. Jacob says:

    Whether or not we agree with the policy that the ammendment establishes, it was passed by a majority of VA Voters in 2006. The people of the Commonwealth desired such an ammendment, and only the people of this Commonwealth have the right to change their stance. No elected offical should inject his personal bias into matters that have already been settled by the people who elected him.

    • Joe says:

      It doesn’t matter if it was 51% or 99%. No one, not politicians, not the people, can enact laws that violate the constitution. Just as California couldn’t vote to violate the 2nd amendment, Virginia can’t vote to violate the 14th. Not by a small margin, not by a large one. The attorney general has a duty to uphold the constitution and that is exactly what he has done.

  11. […] will not defend it against ongoing court challenges. While Virginia’s leading anti-LGBT activists quickly condemned his decision, it is completely in line with the actions of conservative predecessors that those […]

  12. Andrea says:

    The Family Foundation is fighting for foundational principles – principles that many Virginians support and need to be informed about. As Americans, we are supposed to contact our representatives and inform them on issues we agree and disagree with. On the other hand, a representative’s job is to listen to constituents and reflect their position as accurately as possible. The Attorney General does not seem to be doing this. Like Victoria said, “Whether one agrees with the marriage amendment or not, the idea that over a million Virginia citizens can be left defenseless by the Attorney General after legally voting for an amendment that he himself supported is chilling.” We don’t want our freedom of speech to be taken away, which is why we as Americans need to stand up for what we believe.

    • Hdtexan says:

      Defenseless? Heterosexual Virginians are “defenseless?” I had no idea the power we wield.

    • Rem Cabrera says:

      This issue isn’t about freedom of speech. No one is denying you the right to express your opinion. We are all free to expose our prejudices. This issue is about the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee that all citizens are entitled to equality, to fair treatment under the law. The U.S. Constitution trumps any state constitution. It protects a minority population from the tyranny of the prejudiced majority. If the will of the majority had had its say less than 100 years ago, you, as a woman, would not have been granted with the right to vote.

    • Joe says:

      Oh really? Which government is jailing you for your speech?

      And something really odd happened…. You’re still talking. If you don’t have freedom of speech, how can I still read what your’e saying?

  13. Liberty says:

    Nope, the fact that over a million Virginia anti-gay, anti-freedom, un-American, barbarian, fascist trash think they have the right to illegally control the lives of others is what is chilling and will not be tolerated anymore. You will back off OUR lives, OUR freedoms, OUR rights willingly or you will be forced to. Fair warning.

  14. “Picking and choosing aspects of the Constitution?” How about that pesky 14th Amendment, requiring that laws be applied equally among relevant demographic groups?

    While it’s true that the Constitution doesn’t define “marriage,” the federal government has complicated the issue by taking a vested interest in married couples for the purposes of tax law and Social Security (among the 1,138 legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities that are automatically bestowed on couples once they marry). Therefore this is not an issue that can be left up to the states to decide individually, since it wouldn’t do for a Gay couple that is legally married in Iowa, for instance, to become automatically UN-married once they decide to move somewhere else.

    Religious beliefs are irrelevant to this debate, because (1) the United States is not theocracy, and (2) churches will continue to be free to conduct or deny ceremonies to whomever they want.

    Procreation and parenting are irrelevant, since (1) couples do not have to marry to have children, and (2) the ability or even desire to have children is not a prerequisite for getting a marriage license.

    This is simply a matter of equal treatment under the law.

    The quest for marriage equality by Gay couples has absolutely nothing to do with Straight (i.e. heterosexual) couples. Nothing is changing for them. Nothing is happening to “traditional marriage.” Most people are Straight, and they will continue to date, get engaged, marry and build lives and families together as they always have. None of that will change by allowing Gay couples to do the same. This is really not any sort of a “sea change” for marriage, since the only difference between Gay and Straight couples is the gender of the two persons in the relationship.

  15. Joe says:

    Actually it isn’t defenseless. The constitution provides that anybody who can show harm can sue under a concept legally known as “standing.”

    And so thus, anybody who is actually harmed by gay marriage, feel free to sue! Who is actually harmed by gay marriage anyways? Anybody? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

  16. Josh says:

    Joe, whether it’s gay marriage or just a gay relationship, both of the people in the relationship get hurt. The public doesn’t get affected by it at all, but the gay couples are actually hurting themselves. Corinthians 1:9 says “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men.” The passage goes on to list other sins, so don’t think I’m just hating on homosexuality, every sin is bad, and anyone who continually practices sin without repentance cannot enter the kingdom of God. So in that case, gays are hurting themselves by continuing in their sin (which God specifically names as a sin) and not repenting and allowing God to transform them into His image. So to answer your question, gays are harming themselves.

  17. Josh says:

    1 Corinthians*

  18. […] will not defend it against ongoing court challenges. While Virginia’s leading anti-LGBT activists quickly condemned his decision, it is completely in line with the actions of conservative predecessors that those […]

  19. Shelby says:

    Virginia families do NOT want the hateful anti-Christian homosexuals shoving their sick&twisted immoral mental disorders down our throats. Virginians will RISE&FIGHT&WIN the hateful homosexual agenda!

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