Main | Tuesday, October 29, 2013

VIRGINIA: Richmond City Council Approves Benefits For Gay Spouses

Last night's vote in Virginia's capital comes with a major proviso.
The impassioned debate over gay marriage burst into Richmond City Hall on Monday night as the City Council voted to approve an ordinance granting spousal benefits to gay employees — if Virginia law eventually allows it. After several speakers warned of the wrath of God if the council approved the ordinance, five council members voted in favor of it, three opposed it and one abstained. Councilman Chris A. Hilbert, 3rd District, noted the mention of final judgment in defending his vote in support of the ordinance. “I’m very assured that when I’m standing there that my vote tonight won’t be something that I am ashamed of,” Hilbert said. “It will be something where we are expanding compassion to our fellow human beings.”
The ordinance is merely symbolic until Virginia's constitutional ban on marriage is repealed. More from last night's testimonies:
During a public comment period that featured dozens of speakers, the first speaker referenced the Bible while calling gay sexual relationships an “abomination” and saying that God decreed that homosexuals “shall be put to death.” “The day will come that you will answer for what you done here tonight by condoning something that’s contrary to what God said to do,” said South Richmond resident Charles Evans Hughes. “The devil has got to be in you. Y’all can laugh at that all you want, but the devil is in you.” “I should take a moment, I guess, to thank you for not putting me to death,” said Jim Hill, who identified himself as a gay city employee. “I thank you very much."
(Tipped by JMG reader Ryan)

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