At the Equality Virginia Commonwealth Coalition Dinner on April 4, 2009, the boyfriend and I had the opportunity to meet and have a substantial conversation with Brian Moran, one of the Democrat nominee candidates for Governor of Virginia. I was very impressed with him and his gay supportive views. Indeed, close friends in Norfolk will be hosting an event for Moran on May 11, 3009, at their home and I look forward to speaking further with him.
Meanwhile, The Virginia Partisans, a gay Democrat organization has endorsed Moran for Governor. The full release can be found here.
As the blog Raising Morgan points out, this endorsement is a bit out of the ordinary and likely arises from Moran's position on gay marriage.
Here are some highlights:
So what happened? Why did Virginia Partisans break with their normal behavior to step out and recommend Moran for governor? I think the answer can be found in each primary candidates answer regarding the possibly of gay marriage in Virginia during recent Farm Team debate. The video can be found on Vivian's blog, but here's a transcript of each candidate's take on the issue.
Creigh Deeds: "
I'm not sure it's a major issue for governors around the country, but it is a major issue...I grew up with a pretty fundamentalist background, but like most people I'm a work in progress. I've come to believe that marriage isn't something the state should be involved with.
Equality to me is one of the reasons I'm a Democrat. Everyone should have the same start, and treating our gay and lesbian Virginians equally is important to me; it's a Democratic value. I'm the only one up here who stood on the floor of the House of Delegates and publicly condemned the marriage amendment, the Marshall-Newman amendment. The rights of a minority are protected in our constitution. That's why we have a constitution. The rights of the majority are dictated by elections, but we are sworn to uphold the constitution and the constitution protects the minority, whether it be religious rights, or the right to assemble, the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, or the right to vote. To put discriminatory language in our constitution, to say no to civil unions, to say no to gay marriage, to say no to contacts between same-sex individuals is absolutely wrong. If I'm elected as governor, I will fight to repeal the Marshall-Newman amendment.
I believe the Republicans have tried to use this as a divisive wedge issue. They're going to try to do it in the fall campaign. In order to change it here, you know, it has to pass two sessions of the legislature with an election in between. That's a hard thing to try to get done. Let's deal with the reality of what we have to do. I've always been for contractual rights for all individuals. We should not have any discrimination against anyone. I've said that as chairman of the party, and in all the things I have fought for. I believe when it relates to gay marriage, it's a religious issue, and we ought to treat it as a religious issue. To think that I can actually change it, to go and try to deal with a constitutional amendment with what we need to do, that's not going to happen because as I said you have to have two votes in the General Assembly with an intervening election.
So, for Virginia Partisans and all Virginians, the choice is between a candidate who has a shaky history and would like to avoid the issue, a candidate who stands on Democratic ideals and will fight to equality, and a candidate who won't try to because it's too difficult.
I agree with Joel - I believe that Brian Moran is the best candidate for Governor of Virginia. He is everything that Bob "Taliban Bob" McDonnell is not. Moreover, I suspect that he will have the broadest appeal across Virginia. Deeds, while a worthy candidate is too tied to Southwest Virginia which represents Virginia's past as opposed to its future. As for Terry McAuliffe, he can raise money, but can he resonate with regular Virginians? I have my doubts and Virginia cannot afford to have Bob McDonnell win in November