Panhandle (W.Va.) Grassroots for Democracy

The Panhandle Grassroots for Democracy is working to improve our corner of eastern West Virginia, our state and our nation.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

WV Dem stops anti-gay amendment

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"I'd hate to see discrimination put into the Constitution," Del. Joe Talbott (D-Webster County).


We won a battle for equality and it went unnoticed.


On Feb. 2, mph2005 had an excellent diary, WV Dems propose Marriage Protection Amendment.


The bill appeared nothing more than an incredibly stupid effort to appeal to bigoted homophobes.

It was a gift to the WV GOP in an election year.


The GOP delegates loved the measure so much they wanted to bypass all of the usual rules and procedures (no surprise) and demanded an immediate up or down vote.


"Courts throughout the country are attacking statutory enactments on the definition of marriage," said Delegate Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, who led the effort. "It's very important that we do this."


When introduced the measure was sent to the Constitutional Affairs committee and then assigned to the Judiciary Committee for review.


Del. Joe Talbott, chairman of the Constitutional Affairs committee, refused to bow to the GOP demands.

All bills have to be reviewed by committees.


The GOP forced a vote to bypass Talbott's decision. Here's how the Human Rights Campaign described it: Gay Marriage Amendment Fails.


CHARLESTON--The House of Delegates rejected a bid Wednesday to advance a proposed constitutional amendment that targets same-sex marriage, which is banned under a 2000 state law.


With two absent, a largely party-line vote of 35-63 defeated an attempt to have the necessary resolution bypass the House's Constitutional Revision Committee.


So I talked to Del. Talbott today and that's when he said that line I used at the beginning. He's not a proponent for same sex marriage. But he told me he does believe in liberty and people should be free to live as they want as long as it doesn't interfere with others.


He's been targeted by the religious right for killing this bill. They also hate him for his support of reproductive rights.


He represents a very rural West Virginia county. I ask that you take a moment and thank him for stopping the so-called "Marriage Protection Amendment."


Write a letter to

Joe Talbott

205 East

State Capitol Complex

Charleston, WV 25305


or email jtalbott@mail.wvnet.edu


or fax 304-340-3351.


Please remember: he helped us win a battle. We need allies like him to win the struggle.

P.S. Steve M has a nice email for those not sure what to say:

Mr. Talbott,

I just wanted to take the time to drop you a note and thank you for your courageous act in blocking the cynical GOP maneuvers on the "Marriage Protection Amendment."

It really doesn't matter what any of us think of someone else's marriage. America is supposed to be about equality and tolerance and as long as we remember those values we can't go wrong. I married a lovely woman last year and I do not feel that our marriage is the least bit "threatened" by anyone else's gay or straight marriage. Even if someone chooses to marry a Republican, I still don't feel that would threaten the wonderful institution of marriage in the least. We can all agree to let other people's business remain their business.

Thank you again for doing the right thing.

Best,

Steve M

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