LETTER- Gay marriage already banned

In Tony Perrino's essay, "Bible beating: Let's lay homophobia to rest" [August 31], the author states that if Ballot Question #1 passes this November, the resulting constitutional amendment will in effect ban gay marriages. Perrino is misinformed. This amendment will not ban gay marriage or civil unions.

That's because gay marriage and civil unions have already been banned in Virginia– many times over, in fact. The Commonwealth also does not recognize same-sex marriages, civil unions, or domestic partnerships from other states. None of the relevant statutes has met a serious court challenge, and if the amendment passes, none of them will be affected.

But because the language of this amendment is so vague, no one knows what else it might do. It could strip unmarried women of their protections against domestic violence, as a similar amendment did in Ohio. And if previous anti-gay laws are any indication, it will hamper Virginia's economic development, especially where the tech industry is concerned.

The one thing we can be certain Ballot Question #1 won't do, is actually ban gay marriage.

Tim Hulsey