Wednesday, a federal judge in Louisiana got it right and upheld Louisiana’s constitutional amendment defining marriage. This comes close on the heels of a state judge in Tennessee making a similar ruling, holding that such a definition of marriage does not violate the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection clause, and that states DO have a legitimate, rational interest in upholding traditional marriage.
Because this Court concludes that Louisiana's laws are rationally related to its legitimate state interests, as defendants plausibly focus, they do not offend plaintiffs' rights to Equal Protection...Public attitude might be becoming more diverse, but any right to same-sex marriage is not yet so entrenched as to be fundamental - Judge Martin L. C. Feldman
This case, and the dozens like it, are about more than defining marriage.
They are a battle over the right of states and their citizens to enact laws through the democratic process. As Judge Feldman noted, this right has come under attack from those who resent legal diversity and intend to impose their own values on everyone in our nation. The correct response to this is simple - federal judges need to respect the rights of citizens to determine the laws of their states.
I wrote about this issue late last month, and only last week the United States Supreme Court decided that Virginia’s marriage amendment should remain in effect until that court has an opportunity to offer its own opinion on the constitutionality of this and similar laws. As we wait for their decision, I’m weighing the available options for strengthening Virginia’s religious freedom protections so that, if SCOTUS gets it wrong, Virginian citizens and businesses won’t be forced to give lip service to a concept of marriage that violates their religious convictions. Read my full OpEd here.
Back to School Days - Hit the Ground Learning!
Schools all over the 33rd District are gearing up for the new school year with Back to School Nights. I got to meet and shake hands with dozens of folks at Millbrook High School, Ball's Bluff Elementary and Hamilton Elementary in the last two weeks of August, and I plan to make it out to as many of these as I can!
Teaching is hard work (I know because my wife taught our kids through high school, and she told me!). That’s why I take it seriously when I hear that spending on teacher salaries is being eroded by burgeoning administrative costs. I’m excited at the real possibility that in the near future we may free up vast amounts of public funding for education with innovative tax credits that can dramatically cut existing costs on the state and local level for school systems. As the next session gets closer, I’m going to look for ways we can better fund our schools, and as always, I hope you’ll get in touch if you have suggestions.
And whether your kids attend a public school, private school, or homeschool - let your teachers know that you appreciate the hard work that goes into your children’s education!
Dopilka For Leesburg Town Council - Sept. 6
You are cordially invited to meet Dwight and family Saturday, September 6, 2014, 9:30 am
Thomas Birkby House Tent
109 Loudoun Street SW, Leesburg, VA 20175
Suggested minimum donation $15
Comstock for Congress in Winchester - Sept. 8