Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Romney wins, while North Carolina votes for bigotry and injustice

For what it's worth, which isn't really anything, Mitt Romney won yesterday's North Carolina Republican primary. (He also won Indiana and West Virginia.)

Meanwhile, in bigger and rather more disturbing news, North Carolinians voted overwhelmingly for Amendment One, a proposed constitutional amendment stating that "marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State."

Which is to say, they voted -- by a 61 to 39 margin -- to enshrine bigotry and inequality in their state constitution.

Same-sex marriage is already illegal in the state. So what was the point? Well, this goes much further.

As ABC News notes, there may be "some uncertainty among legal scholars in the state as to the extent of the law, and what types of partnerships might be affected, as the terminology in the amendment -- domestic legal union -- has not appeared in North Carolina statutes previously," but the intention of the amendment, and of its advocates, is clear.

As Joan McCarter of Daily Kos wrote before the vote, "this amendment would be the cherry on top of discrimination and threaten all domestic partnerships. There would be no more legal unions between unmarried people, gay or straight. It could take health care benefits away from families, it could take away domestic violence protections, hospital visitation rights, and all the very basic protections of civil unions." (See video below.)

This isn't so much about gay marriage as it is about anti-gay bigotry -- and more broadly about the imposition of right-wing theocracy on the state. There was no need whatsoever for this amendment, but the bigots, with Billy Graham front and center for their cause, have gotten their way.

As Joe summed it up: "Nobody on our side can say we're surprised, but we're all still saddened. And the march towards theocracy and sharia law continues."

North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue, a Democrat, said that passing the amendment would be "bad for business," hurting the state's "brand," but she rightly identified what this was really about, and that's more than just business: The vote on Amendment One was "about civil rights. It's about taking away rights of North Carolinians." It was "our Rosa Parks moment in North Carolina because it's about taking away civil rights."

And now there is a dark stain on the entire state. North Carolinians voted for not just for inequality but for bigotry and injustice -- plain and simple.
Other states are legalizing same-sex marriage and the country as a whole is coming to embrace it, with a majority supportive and the historical trend abundantly clear, but North Carolinians decided to reject progress altogether.
If this was their "Rosa Parks moment," they failed miserably. History will not be kind to them, and nor should we. They deserve our scorn.

While the struggle for marriage equality, for justice, must continue, stronger than ever.

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  • This article targets the entire state of North Carolina as voting for this Amendment and I think it's unfair to make such a blanket statement. People here, including myself, fought hard and exhausted ourselves over rallying voters AGAINST Amendment One. To say, "there is a dark stain on the entire state. North Carolinians voted for not just for inequality but for bigotry and injustice - plain and simple" overlooks all those who voted against it, so it's actually not plain and simple. To imply that we, as a state, are "rejecting this progress altogether" is bigotry, in and of itself and chooses to quiet the voices of so many strong, passionate people that love and care about their neighbors. I fought hard against this amendment. People in my community fought hard and it wasn't just the Democrats, the non-Christians, and the gays. Churches fought against it, straight people fought against it, Republicans fought against it. It was beautiful to see such a diverse group of people in this state come together in light of protecting all families in North Carolina. In many counties, the voting split was nearly half and half. I think it's a step backward for you to direct such anger over this state, as a whole. Many people in this state fought and will continue to fight against this. Many people didn't even vote at all because they were lazy, confused, or simply didn't know what to think about it because no one took the time to show them all the discrepancies of the Amendment. If more articles like this one continue to surface, our nation will make so many strong people look like idiots and that is not okay.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:18 PM  

  • Fair enough, Anon, you make some very valid points here. Even while writing it, I realized I wasn't giving credit to those who valiantly fought against this amendment, and I should have. Obviously not everyone in NC is a bigot, and I applaud you for fighting strongly against such bigotry and injustice.

    I apologize for the generalization.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 2:29 PM  

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