FALLS CHURCH, Va., June 13 /PRNewswire/ -- In a landmark development,
the board of directors of the Greater Falls Church, Virginia, Chamber of
Commerce voted unanimously to oppose passage of the so-called
Marshall/Newman Amendment on the ballot in Virginia in November. The
amendment would place in the Virginia Constitution a ban on gay marriage
and its benefits.
Because the amendment language extends beyond same-sex marriage to
forbid virtually all contracts between unmarried persons "that intend to
approximate the design, qualities, significance or effects of marriage,"
the Chamber board's resolution stated, "it would render all business
partnerships that could be construed or challenged as being organized after
such a fashion de facto void and punishable by the law, disqualifiable from
government contract bidding and subject to lawsuits by anyone dealing with
such a business partnership."
The board's resolution noted that laws are already on the books in
Virginia prohibiting marriage and its benefits between two persons of the
same gender, and because of that declares the amendment "frivolous and its
appearance on the November ballot and all costs associated with that" as "a
waste of government resources and taxpayer dollars."
It was noted that this marked the first action by a Chamber of Commerce
against the amendment in Virginia, and maybe the nation, in what amendment
opponents hope will be many more. The board's resolution calls for
forwarding its contents to the larger, neighboring Fairfax County Chamber
of Commerce, among other organizations.
The resolution was initiated, authored and introduced by Nicholas F.
Benton, long-time Greater Falls Church Chamber of Commerce board member and
former two-term president who is the owner and editor of the Falls Church
Present at the board meeting to answer questions about the damaging
effects on business of the amendment was Leslie A. Nickel of the Arnold and
Porter Law Firm, representing the Commonwealth Coalition of organizations
opposed to the amendment.
Also presented at the meeting was the text of a letter from David
Snyder, 12-year member of the Falls Church City Council and former
Republican State Delegate candidate, who stated the proposed amendment "is
utterly inconsistent with the Virginia Declaration of Rights" that "takes
away rights from a selected minority when the Declaration of Rights grants
them to all." He associated the amendment with "the Jim Crow laws that also
were enacted as popular measures against an unpopular minority."
CONTACT: Nicholas F. Benton of the Falls Church News-Press,
SOURCE Falls Church News-Press