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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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9/14/11  12:03 am
Commenter: Paula Atkinson, Virginia Resident

Dear Commonwealth, Original Colony, Remember Our Founding Principles: No More Discriminatory Laws

As a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia, I am strongly opposed to writing any further form of discrimination into our state's constitution, laws or regulations.  Virginians who are gay already face insideous discrimination that was regrettably written into our laws via the Marriage Affirmation Act and later constitutional amendment.   Virginia, as one of the original American Colonies and, thus, party to the US Declaration of Independence and US Constitution which are founded on ideals of liberty and justice for all individuals, should stand firmly behind these founding principles and not engage in shameful acts of legislative discrimination.  Virginia has earned the dubious distinction of having one of the most homophobic legal environments in the entire US.  That is hardly a record of which to be proud.  In contrast, our more enlightened sister original Colony states are actively conforming their laws to comport with the growing consensus among Americans that gay marriage is fully acceptable and, more importantly, to comport with the US constiutional guarantee of equal protection under the law for all Americans.  Virginia's existing list of discriminatory laws, which are based on irrational fears and outdated prejudices are, and will be, dark clouds on our state's history in future years, and we should not add to that list any further.  In particular, I urge you to stop this recent pattern of legal discrimination targeted at gays and, thus, to not strike out the protections from discrimination in the pending regulations based on gender and sexual orientation.   All American adults deserve an equal chance to demonstrate that they can be good, loving and devoted parents without being excluded because some people (even if a majority - and even more so if it's a majority) may not understand,  like or agree with some aspect of their lives.  Dear Commonwealth of Virginia (and those officials who make and carry out her laws), please remember our country's founding principles, and these will guide you to a wise decision.

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