Confusing Descriptions

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Confusing Descriptions

One of the reasons why voters don't know all that much about who or what they are voting on is because the media doesn't do a great job of reporting on these matters.

A case in point is Question 1, a proposed constitutional amendment in Virginia. In the opening paragraph of this article on Tuesday, the Washington Post referred to Question 1 as
... a constitutional amendment to ban civil unions.
In the next paragraph, the Post referred to the very same amendment this way:
A Washington Post poll conducted this month showed that a majority of Catholic voters oppose the proposed amendment, which would ban same-sex marriages.
For voters who don't follow political affairs closely, this is pretty confusing.

Does Virginia's Question 1 ban civil unions or does it ban same-sex marriages — or does it do both?

Many people believe it would ban both of them, but nowhere in the article does the Post attempt to clarify what the proposed amendment would do.

Opponents of Question 1 insist that it would ban both same-sex marriage and civil unions because its language forbids the creation or recognition of "a legal status for relationships of unmarried persons ..." Supporters have been less than consistent on exactly what they think the amendment would do.

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