Good article in the Roanoke Times about the impending battle for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages and civil unions in Virginia. Equality Virginia is “framing” the debate.

“I think it’s imperative that we frame the debate as one of persecution of liberty,” said Molly McClintock of Christiansburg. She’s on the board of Equality Virginia, a lobbying organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender concerns.

“We have got to educate everyday Virginians that this is an extremist measure pushed by a minority voice. That there’s no legal need for it since we have laws on the books, and plenty of them, to prevent marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships” by gays, she said.

McClintock, a court-appointed special advocate representing abused and neglected children, said opponents also must “make our message more clear than we have about the role of government versus the role of the church in relationships between adults.”

Gays and lesbians, she said, want “government protection and recognition of a legal relationship that two adults choose to form. Those governmental bodies have never wanted or been able to tell individual churches or congregations what they must recognize in a religious way.”

The article has quite a few quotes from clergy on both sides of the issue. It will imperative for clergy who believe government has intruded on its turf to be heard loud and clear. They will need to be as engaged as ministers opposing gay marriages.