On Sunday, Nov. 21, a forum on the Marshall-Newmann Amendment takes place at Virginia Commonwealth University. The amendment defines marriage in the commonwealth as between one man and one woman.
Delegate Robert G. Marshall, sponsor of the 2006 amendment, will defend while Sarah Warbelow, State Legislative Director at the Human Rights Campaign, will provide an opposing point of view. Students and alumni from both VCU and the University of Richmond School of Law will present diverse positions on the religious and ethical issues surrounding same-sex marriage.
According to the First Freedom Center, one of the event sponsors, in 2006, 57% of Virginia voters, many of them religious conservatives, ratified the Marshall-Newmann Amendment to the Constitution of Virginia, which states: “That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.” The amendment also states that the Commonwealth would never “create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.”
From the First Freedom Center:
Many religion-based opponents of same-sex marriage argue that same-sex marriage rights would violate their freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. Polls show that many Catholics and Evangelical Protestants strongly oppose gay marriage. Recently, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon Church) has played a role in the controversy. Mainline Protestant denominations, on the other hand, are torn by the question of whether to perform and recognize same-sex unions.
This event is the second in a series of public presentations Exploring Issues Vital to Religion, Public Policy and the Law, hosted by a partnership of the First Freedom Center, the Religious Studies Program and L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs of Virginia Commonwealth University, and the University of Richmond School of Law. The purpose of the series is to inform and engage the public in important religion and public-policy issues that are in the headlines nearly every day.
The forum, on Sunday, Nov. 21, 4:00-5:30 p.m. in the Virginia Commonwealth University Student Commons Theater at 907 Floyd Avenue, is free and open to the public.