In just over twenty-four hours, shortly after President Bush delivers
the State of the Union address, Timothy M. Kaine, the new Democratic
Governor of Virginia will delivered “his party’s response.” Although
this Democrat signed a bill calling for a referendum on a constitutional
amendment to ban state recognition of gay marriage in the Old Dominion,
gay leaders have largely been silent about the Democrats’ choice of
Kaine. They have not faulted Democrats for tapping such a man nor have
they even faulted him for supporting this measure.
And unlike Connecticut’s Republican Governor Jodi Rell, who signed a
bill into law recognizing same-sex civil unions in the Nutmeg State, the
Virginia Democrat opposes civil unions. Indeed, while the Human Rights
Campaign (HRC) faulted California’s Republican Governor Arnold
Schwarzenengger in multiple press releases for his veto of a bill which
would have recognized same-sex marriage in the Golden State, the only
reference on HRC’s web-site to Kaine’s support of his state’s amendment
resolution was a Washington Post article on the Virginia referendum that
they posted here.
HRC accused California’s Republican Governor, more open to state
recognition of same-sex unions than his Virginia Democratic counterpart,
of putting “politics over people.” Yet, their silence on Kaine suggests
that they believe Democrats never put politic over people. No wonder HRC
removed the word bipartisan from its Mission Statement.
Indeed, it is a sign of HRC’s increasing partisanship that it refuses to
fault a Democratic Governor for having a more narrow view of state
recognition of same-sex unions than a Republican they criticize on
multiple occasions. And this group, like the National Gay and Lesbian
Task Force (NGLTF) has issued no statement taking issue with Democrats
for picking a man who just days before he was tapped to be the face of
their party (after the President delivers the State of the Union
address) pledged to put the constitutional amendment banning gay
marriage to a referendum, almost certain to pass.