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April 26, 2004

Virginia is for Haters - the website

Update Jun 14 2004: virginiaisforhaters.org has been forced offline. For the time being, you can still see the front-page content at the Google cache.

If you missed the news (which we first mentioned here), Virginia sunk to a new low in the anti-gay-marriage fight last week, banning ALL contracts between same-sex partners that aim to approximate any of the rights and protections of marriage.

This is the most punitive and dangerous bit of backlash we’ve yet seen, and I felt viscerally that it couldn’t go unchecked. It may be unconstitutional, but overturning it could take years. In that time, same-sex couples with face illness, death, and other life changes without the benefit of the legal arrangements they painstakingly made in the past. David and I just did this last year, at great cost, and it was galling how little protection it offers compared with civil marriage. But Virginia is attacking even this slim recourse.

So this weekend, with a little help from David, I launched Virginia is For Haters … check it out. I’m still working out some of the style issues—it’s just another blog and none too pretty—but it’s up, just a few days after HB 751 was passed.

Basically, we’re going the boycott route, starting with every homo’s favorite source for preppiness, J. Crew. Our first activity is just to get people to cancel their catalog subscriptions. We’ll be looking for other good Virginia-based targets to add to the list—and of course we want people to skip any travel to the state. (Virginia’s decades-old “Virginia is for Lovers” tourism slogan is, of course, the cognitive-dissonance inspiration for the site’s name.)

Longer-term and more strategically, we’re going to ferret out companies being courted by Virginia’s economic development department and let them know what’s up. (I have friends the other states' economic development offices, they will be more than happy to share what companies Virginia is actively courting.) Virginia’s governor was against the bill, but was overridden by a 2-1 margin in the Assembly. We think a little more ammunition might make them reconsider.

This is obviously a lousy time (wedding-wise) to launch a new site… but duty calls. Of course I’d ask all of you to forward the site around via email and blog posts.

Posted by jay at April 26, 2004 03:06 PM | TrackBack
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Comments

Thanks for getting active and getting down to some grassroots activism. We need more of this in Virginia! Unfortunatly www.virginiaisforhaters.com isnt working when I try and log onto it so you may want to check that out. Everyone out there visit HRC.org or contact equality virginia to find out what you can do to help secure the rights we deserve.

no time for hate.

Posted by: Meg on June 13, 2004 07:06 AM

When government and corporations do the wrong thing, people need to know about it and I will do my part by posting your web site link on my own busy web site. To some others that have made comments I say this: I am not one of those who thinks the states should decide. Equality under the Constitution and in particular the 5th and 14th amendments should never be put to a vote. Sorry folks, the Constitution was also intended to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority. If a state is going to grant licenses or rights to a group of citizens, it must grant licenses and rights to all citizens, not just the favored or preferred ones.

Posted by: DanielFTL on June 13, 2004 08:28 AM

Yeah, the haters have knocked the site down for a minute. We'll be back up soon.

Posted by: jay on June 13, 2004 09:20 AM

Important to get it up and going, since it's been referred to by the San Fransisco Chronicle as well as other major news outlets. You'll miss major traffic! Who are "the haters" and how do they knock out sites? Just wondering.

Good luck, and I hope to review and promote your site soon,

Anna

Posted by: anna on June 13, 2004 09:56 AM

I know this isn't politically correct, and I don't want my e-mail address posted because I don't want any replies, but I don't feel unions between same-sex people should be valid. People who disapprove of same-sex unions are not necessarily "haters".

Posted by: Anonymous on June 13, 2004 03:05 PM

My maternal family are Virginians, going back over 300 years, and I have owned a second home in Virginia for 25 years. I intend to honor the boycott, even though it will be an inconvienence to me and hurt the businesses I deal with.

I want to spead the word--I need bumper stickers and position papers for my Virginia neighbors and friends.

Posted by: Gary Colangelo on June 13, 2004 03:38 PM

As soon as I undo the damage done by hackers, you can get that all at www.virginiaisforhaters.org ... until then, bumper stickers and such are up at www.cafeshops.com/vaisforhaters

Thanks for supporting the boycott!

Posted by: jay on June 13, 2004 03:50 PM

I am a gay law enf. officer in northern va - which is as far from Richmond, politically and ethically as you can get. In contrast, local government in noVA has gone on record condemning the actions of the bible-thumping homophobes in the general assembly; local ordinances granting benefits to same-sex couples have repeatedly been been over-ridden by the same assembly. "Virginia for Lovers"? only if you'r white, straight and just like them.

Posted by: G. Scott on June 13, 2004 09:33 PM

I applaud your boycott...the crazies who've taken over the state government are a minority (I wish I could say tiny!). Growing up in Virginia myself, there is a proud tradition of freedom standing for individual rights.

Posted by: Marc Roche on June 14, 2004 07:23 AM

What happeded to www.virginiaisforhaters.org?

Where did it go?

Posted by: T. Luna on June 14, 2004 08:43 AM

I was born in Virginia and have not been back to the place of my birth for 30 years. Everyone in my family (we live in California now) has been back to visit and always urge me to go back but now I KNOW I will NEVER go back. (unless by some act of God everyone turns pro-gay there all of a sudden) I will not support that state one bit by giving them even one penny of my money since they do not recognize or respect me as a Gay citizen (who was born there even. WHO NEEDS or CARES about Virginia anyway? Not me. I hope you get the site back up soon and thanks for your work.

Posted by: R. Vasco on June 14, 2004 10:52 AM
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