FREDERICKSBURG, VA. -- Donna Moore did not need to glance at the big-screen television in her Virginia living room to make up her mind about California's great leap forward to the legalization of gay marriages. As one of the prime movers in exurban Spotsylvania County behind a 2006 state ballot amendment that outlawed gay marriages, Moore determined years ago that "same-sex marriage is something that goes against every principle I believe in. Everyone knows that California's a bellwether state, so of course I'm terribly concerned about whether this will spread." For the moment, that possibility seems unlikely. This is Virginia, still staunchly socially conservative despite its growing flirtation in recent years with electing Democratic officeholders. Virginia has a new Democratic senator, Jim Webb, and governor, Tim Kaine, but its legislators passed a bill outlawing gay unions in 2004 -- a move strengthened by the 2006 constitutional ban. The ballot amendment won with a 57% statewide majority, and in Spotsylvania County, Moore's hard work paid off with a 66% vote for the prohibition.
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