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« Lore | Main | Mayberry cloak-and-dagger »

Feb 10, 2012


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very well-said

Ed Cone

Thanks. This seems so obvious to me -- the clear wording of the amendment itself, and the logic of the political strategy -- that I keep wondering what I'm missing.


You haven't missed anything, Ed. All polling from before the amendment even passed the legislature indicated that civil unions were the weak spot.

The overly-clever folks running the anti-amendment campaign botched it from the start.

"Coalition to Protect NC Families" -- What does that make you think of?

Voting for the amendment or against it?

Thank goodness they finally added "Vote Against Amendment One" as a tag line.


Why is the amendment worded that way? Were the authors unaware of the wording's consequences? That wouldn't be surprising. Or, did they know what they were saying? Or, did the notion of civil unions never enter their thinking?

Ignoring the civil rights aspects of all this, I continue to think that attempts to impose this kind of control is going to alienate more people from the institution of marriage. People will just route around annoying constraints imposed by other people trying to tell them who they can or cannot be with. Political pressure to eliminate the particular treatment given to married couples -- different tax procedures, hospital visitation rights, etc. -- will increase.


The amendment was worded that way on purpose to ban civil unions. Rep. Stam knew exactly what he was doing regarding civil unions.

The horde of other unintended consequences (domestic violence law, VA & SS benefits for straight people, etc) are things I doubt he thought about.

Check out an opinion column in today's News & Observer for another example of non-marriage, non-civil union impacts of Amendment One.


What you're missing on the political strategy side, although well-intentioned, is the condescension of asking one group of citizens to swallow their pride and beg their fellow citizens who don't see themselves as hateful for half a loaf of civil rights, so as to not offend the tender feelings of the non-haters. Somebody else will have to carry that water. I would have been content to have been left alone, but I'm still not ready to grovel.


So who gets to determine who among "their fellow citizens who don't see themselves as hateful" actually are? Whoever so chooses? I see a lot of that around here among the pure propagandists. If you like that strategy, go with it. But as Ed points out, there are better ones for reaching the non-zealots who usually decide these polarizing issues.

Bill Yaner

Do civil unions in the 13 states where they are legal include all the same rights as opposite sex marriages? Or does it vary by state?

An aside here is that lack of jobs that allow under educated males to support their family is the real enemy of marriage in NC - not gays - though I doubt the "Coalition" directs much of their attention to that.

Ed Cone

Patrick, my idea is to identify a workable plan to defeat this bad amendment.

I don't see how it's groveling or accepting half-loaves to point out the disconnect between the proposed amendment and the sentiments of many voters.


Pointing to legislative and legal context has been effective, so far. Education on the issue will help by continuing to make the case this is less about gay marriage and more about civil unions and protections for the families involved.


I know that's your idea, and I sincerely appreciate you for it. I hope your strategy prevails, because the amendment will almost surely be adopted otherwise. I was only trying to point out why that strategy is hard to swallow for some.

Ed Cone

And I'm listening to you Patrick, just so far not quite getting the point you are making.

What I think you're saying is that it's galling to have to search for common ground in a political process when there are clear moral issues at stake. Is that a reasonable summary?


The other day, when Washington legalized gay marriage, did all of you married people feel an increased threat to your blissful unions? Just checking, you know, 'cause I hear you're supposed to.

On defeating the amendment: People vote for or against things for different reasons. That is why it usually takes a coalition of different interests to defeat or pass a proposal. Building support by convincing people based on the merits of something they care about is not a compromise of principles.


I would prefer to talk about equal protection of the law and leave everyone, and their churches, to their own morality. But yes, it is galling to have to grope for political compromise to hold out the possibility that sometime in the future you might be granted a legal status that is separate but somewhat similar but ought to be good enough because it's more than you ever thought you'd get anyway. It is also galling to have to figure out how much prejudice and discrimination you're willing to accept from people who are your allies because, though vaguely uncomfortable with you, they don't actively want to spray paint "faggot" on your garage door or toss Molotov cocktails through your living room window. I was born a free citizen of the United States and North Carolina. I work every day. I maintain a respectable home. I pay a third of my income in taxes. I put cans of food in the paper bags the kids leave on my porch. I recycle, and I vote every time they open the door. I didn't ask to be allowed to marry my partner of 14 years. I didn't complain last year when I had unexpected minor surgery at Wesley Long Hospital and the holder of my health care power of attorney was cross-examined in the waiting room about his relationship to me and then wasn't given one of the beepers that everyone else got to let them know their loved-one had survived. I didn't go looking for Skip Stam to try to gay-marry him, but he came looking for me anyway. I haven't asked anyone for anything, and I shouldn't have to. Yes, it galls.

Ed Cone

Thanks, Patrick.


I am not sure why people are against this ban. The fact that gays can marry will not affect other marriages. The people should remember that the bible is not an instrument of hate. We also need to look at this ban from a business point of view, big busines is always looking for a friendly place to relocate or open another plant. We need to be a progrssive state and stop all the hating and move forward.

Doug Clark

The answers to your questions are found in this week's U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in California. I addressed its connection to the North Carolina proposed amendment on my blog: http://www.news-record.com/blog/54431/entry/137286


Sal, you're gonna have a hard time getting out of the Republican primary taking that position. Here's how you win over the conservative voters. From Dr. Joe Guarino himself @ his blog this morning:

"Actually, I think the pro-gay marriage forces are the bigots, because they are the ones hardened in an unreasonable position. They are the ones seeking to impose an unacceptable vision on the rest of society. They are the forces of darkness. They are the ones trying to achieve the cultural normalization of homosexuality. They are the ones trying to destroy the traditional concept of marriage and the family."


I echo the opinion that more harm has been done to the traditional American family by the Corporations than by homosexuals.
People used to be able to survive on one paycheck. Now both parents working is the norm and the necessity. Much has been sacrificed for the marketplace we have right now and it hasn't been caused by gay people loving each other.
I eye anyone who preaches about "traditional family values" as someone who has probably never tried to meet or understand anyone outside their cozy little relationship circle. I pity them because they miss much about what is complicated and rich in this world.

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