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.