If Virginia can't pass a law that limits marriage to a man and a woman and rejects all counterfeits ["Virginia's New Jim Crow," op-ed, June 13], then the legislature cannot reject the claims of bisexuals who say they can love and be committed to both a male and a female.

Counterfeit money hurts our wallets. Counterfeit marriage will do the same to real marriage. Homosexuals need no special institution parallel to marriage, such as civil unions or domestic partnerships, to enjoy the same rights under law to vote, buy a house, go to public colleges, start businesses, and exercise rights and opportunities now available to all Virginians.

In 1997 Virginia prohibited same-sex marriage; it also declared that a same-sex marriage approved elsewhere would "be void in all respects in Virginia and any contractual rights created by such marriage shall be void and unenforceable." What? No complaints about overbroad language and void contracts? Virginia homosexuals could have gotten "married" in Holland and returned. Did that void their power of attorney, joint bank accounts or wills in Virginia? No! Did Gov. Mark Warner "correct" the 1997 law? No!

Attorney General Jerry Kilgore said that the Marriage Affirmation Act "provides a needed safeguard for the institution of marriage while not depriving any individual of rights currently available to all citizens. . . . The purpose of this legislation is not to prohibit business partnership agreements, medical directives, joint bank accounts, or any other rights or privileges not exclusive to the institution of marriage."

Two-thirds of the Virginia General Assembly -- Democrats, Republicans and independents -- simply added civil unions and domestic partnerships to the existing prohibition against same-sex marriage. The law is needed to resist the agenda of activist homosexuals. The danger is real.

In Massachusetts, public schools teach about gay marriage and gay sex. In New York City, the Salvation Army may walk away from $250 million in city contracts to help the poor, abandoned children, battered women and AIDS patients because the city requires its contractors to provide partner benefits to same-sex and unmarried couples, which offends the Salvation Army's religious beliefs. In Virginia, activist homosexuals opposed legislation that criminalizes sex in public. They called it "anti-gay." They also opposed a law allowing the Boy Scouts to meet in public schools because they consider the Scouts "anti-gay." In 2004, homosexual couples went to courthouses across Virginia demanding marriage licenses.

Drawing a clear line on marriage in Virginia law does not deny equal rights.

-- Robert G. Marshall


The writer, a Republican, represents the 13th District, which includes parts of Prince William and Loudoun counties, in the Virginia House of Delegates.