In just over twenty-four hours, shortly after President Bush delivers the State of the Union address, Timothy M. Kaine, the new Democratic Governor of Virginia will delivered “his party’s response.” Although this Democrat signed a bill calling for a referendum on a constitutional amendment to ban state recognition of gay marriage in the Old Dominion, gay leaders have largely been silent about the Democrats’ choice of Kaine. They have not faulted Democrats for tapping such a man nor have they even faulted him for supporting this measure.
And unlike Connecticut’s Republican Governor Jodi Rell, who signed a bill into law recognizing same-sex civil unions in the Nutmeg State, the Virginia Democrat opposes civil unions. Indeed, while the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) faulted California’s Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenengger in multiple press releases for his veto of a bill which would have recognized same-sex marriage in the Golden State, the only reference on HRC’s web-site to Kaine’s support of his state’s amendment resolution was a Washington Post article on the Virginia referendum that they posted here.
HRC accused California’s Republican Governor, more open to state recognition of same-sex unions than his Virginia Democratic counterpart, of putting “politics over people.” (Schwarzenegger has publicly endorsed the state’s domestic partnership program. Not only that, last year, he signed five gay-friendly bills.) Yet, their silence on Kaine suggests that they believe Democrats never put politics over people. No wonder HRC removed the word bipartisan from its Mission Statement.