Geography of taxes

Washington Blade
March 28, 2008
Regardless of your political affiliation, one debate that usually inflames passions in the Washington Metro Area is whether it’s best to live in D.C, Virginia or Maryland. The question becomes more important if you are a same-sex couple. For example, let’s say you’ve saved $1 million in your retirement account, which you planned to leave to your partner at death. In which jurisdiction would the taxes be the lowest on your estate: D.C., Virginia or Maryland? If you said D.C., you’d be wrong. Maryland? No, guess again. The answer is Virginia. Yep, that’s right, the anti-gay Commonwealth. [link]

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GOP senator in VA, foe seeking gay vote

Washington Post
October 3, 2007
Republican incumbent Jeannemarie Devolites Davis and Democratic challenger J. Chapman Petersen practically fell over each other to win votes at a debate Thursday sponsored by Equality Fairfax, a nonpartisan group that seeks to end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. "Everybody is equal," Davis told the small gathering in the sanctuary of the Metropolitan Community Church of Northern Virginia. "Everybody should be treated with respect." When asked about a state constitutional ban on gay and lesbian couples' marriages approved by referendum last year, Petersen said, "The amendment was gratuitous." [link]

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Disabled man fights for deceased partner’s workers comp. benefits in VA

365Gay.com
July 10, 2007
A 48-year old Virginia man is battling the state Workers Compensation Commission for death benefits stemming from an accident that ultimately led to the death of his partner in 2005. "This case is about making sure that the rules are applied fairly to everyone," said Greg Nevins, a senior attorney with Lambda Legal which is representing Dunnavant. "Virginia law broadly gives anyone dependent on a deceased worker the right to claim benefits; there is no 'same-sex partner exception' to the rule." [link]

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EDITORIAL: VA Court of Appeals does the right thing for common sense and custody laws

Washington Post
November 30, 2006
For more than two years, Janet Miller-Jenkins has been blocked from seeing her 4-year-old daughter because of a nasty custody dispute with her ex-spouse, who has been defying a court order to allow regular visits. This week, the Virginia Court of Appeals issued an opinion that should be utterly unremarkable: It held that under federal law, Virginia courts must honor the custody orders of their sister courts in Vermont, where Ms. Miller-Jenkins and her ex were joined and where they asked a court to dissolve their union. [link]

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Marriage amendment stirs apolitical folks into activists

The Virginian-Pilot
November 13, 2006
Leaders claim the recent election only strengthened their movement: Statewide, the anti-amendment campaign identified more than 3,000 volunteers and gay-friendly voters to call upon in future legislative battles, said Dyana Mason, executive director of Equality Virginia. [link]

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In VA, discriminatory marriage amendment passes, but may have cost Allen the election

Falls Church News-Press
November 9, 2006

An analysis of the voting pattern Tuesday in Virginia suggests that the so-called "marriage amendment" on the ballot as Question 1 might have cost U.S. Senator George Allen the election. If true, it would mark an ironic twist, the backfiring of an effort Republicans hoped would spur a stronger turnout for their incumbent. [link]

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Historic post-election results

Freedom to Marry Press Release
November 8, 2006
"Win or lose, we are involved in a steady campaign of engagement, based not on election cycles, but on patient and persistent conversations that give people the information they need, and the time required to absorb that information," said Evan Wolfson. "We are committed to engaging this conversation until we achieve an end to discrimination in all 50 states." [link]

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Panelists blast VA anti-gay marriage referendum

Washington Jewish Week
October 18, 2006
"There is a minority in our society who are being singled out and targeted because they happen to be different," Virginia Sen. Englin said, "and our job as a Jewish community and my job as a Jewish legislator is to try to do something about that." [link]

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EDITORIAL: The anti-family amendment

The Roanoke Times
September 19, 2006
When a state's attorney general interprets the marriage amendment one way and a hundred-plus attorneys view it another, Virginians can be sure of one thing: Much time, money and brainpower will clog the state's courts for years to come if that amendment passes in November. [link]

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Feeling unwelcome, some gays vacate VA

The Washington Post
August 7, 2006
Art director Beth Lower and her partner, Kati Towle, owned a home in Arlington but didn't know about the Virginia laws until they went to a lawyer to draw up a will and adoption paperwork for Lower after Towle became pregnant. "The lawyer said, 'Don't have that baby in Virginia,' " recalled Lower, who works for a trade association. "We weren't really into Virginia politics, so we didn't really know about any laws that might be working against us." [Link]

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