Thursday, July 20, 2006

Mollohan Votes Against Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Congressman Alan Mollohan, D-FairmontEmbattled Congressman Alan Mollohan, D-Fairmont, yesterday dug his political hole a bit deeper when he became the only member of West Virginia's U.S. House delegation to vote against House Joint Resolution 88, proposing a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage nationwide. Representatives Shelley Moore Capito, R-Charleston, and Nick Rahall, D-Beckley, voted for HJR 88.

HJR 88 would add the following two sentences to the Constitution:

Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.

While HJR 88 received 236 Yea votes, it fell 51 votes short of the 2/3 vote required to pass a constitutional amendment. A similar resolution, SJR 1, failed in the Senate last month. Both resolutions would have done the following two things: (1) limit marriage to between a man and a woman nationwide and (2) prevent courts, but not state legislatures, from mandating the creation or recognition of "civil union"-type relationships that effectively confer all the legal benefits of marriage to same-sex couples without the name "marriage."

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiWith his vote, Congressman Mollohan joined liberals like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to keep the door open for activist judges to miraculously "discover" a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry or receive the legal benefits of marriage under a different name. While most people will recall the 2004 decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court declaring a right to same-sex marriage that existed under their state constitution (written in 1780), we must also remember that four years earlier, the Vermont Supreme Court found that while same-sex couples there did not necessarily have the right to be formally married, they were entitled to some form of legal recognition that conferred to them all the benefits of marriage under Vermont law. Thus, the Vermont civil unions were established.

Mollohan's challenger, Delegate Chris Wakim, R-Wheeling, supports protecting the traditional definition of marriage and supported an amendment to the West Virginia constitution to this end as a member of the House of Delegates. After yesterday's vote, Wakim said:

Alan Mollohan is totally out of touch with what we believe and care about here in West Virginia. A marriage can only be a union between a man and a woman. Congress had a chance yesterday to make sure that was the law of the land. Alan Mollohan voted against traditional marriage. If voters want their representative to make it possible for Larry to marry Harry, they ought to vote for Alan Mollohan. If they want to keep marriage limited to the union between a man and a woman, then I hope they'll consider voting for me. Instead of spending all his time finding ways to funnel tax dollars into his own pockets, Alan Mollohan ought to spend a few hours with the people who live here. He might discover we do not want the law to make gay marriages a possibility. He might even discover representing what his constituents want is a good idea.

Mollohan is currently the subject of a Justice Department probe into hundreds of millions of dollars of federal earmarks he directed to a network of nonprofits controlled by Mollohan friends and associates and the substantial increase in his personal net worth in the last 6 years resulting from lucrative real estate investments in which he partnered with several officers and directors of these nonprofits.