Allen, a "family values" conservative, is no stranger to discussing (and condemning) the marriages of others, especially gay people. In reaction to New Jersey's ruling which stated that discrimination against gays in marriage law is unconstitutional, Allen was downright outspoken:
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I support the marriage amendment, because it will protect the values and views of the people of Virginia from judges who would want to impose their elitist views on us. This is a clear difference between my opponent and me – I support protecting marriage from judges who do not understand their role: to interpret the law, not invent the law.Despite Allen's outspoken views on others' marriages (it runs in excess of two paragraphs), he's surprisingly tight-lipped about the sanctity of his own marriage. In fact, he refused to address the public question asked of him and had to instead turn to his ex-wife:
This amendment does exactly what it says it does; it defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, and I’m for marriage between a man and a woman while my opponent is against it.
Allen's former wife, Anne Waddell, issued a statement after Tuesday's incident calling Stark's question "a baseless, cheap shot." She said she and Allen divorced more than 22 years ago and, because it was a personal matter, they had the divorce records sealed.So a divorced heterosexual Senator can seal his divorce records, demand absolute privacy about his personal life and personal matters, dispatch his ex-spouse to decry public inquiries into his marriage life as a "baseless, cheap shot," while ordering his campaign orderlies to "restrain" people who ask "inappropriate questions" in public.
According to a news release from Allen's campaign, Tuesday's incident began when Stark pushed an Allen staffer. "Later, volunteers restrained him and asked to leave the building when he approached the senator a second time, asking inappropriate questions," the release said.
But Allen's public condemnation of hundreds of thousands of committed same-sex couples who, unlike Allen, have remained committed to their relationship vows, is "an important public policy debate."
We would contend that attacks on gay families by someone who skipped town on his own marriage vows -- with an embarrassing divorce apparently so messy he had to have the records sealed -- is perhaps the ultimate in "baseless, cheap shots."
If Senator Allen believes that it's open season on the marriages of people he doesn't like, then he also must by default open up his own private life to public investigation and debate. "Family values Republicans" have no problems with double standards, but we're Libertarians. We believe in common sense, common decency, and common standards that apply to all people.