Wednesday, May 9, 2012

North Carolina Passes Marriage Inequality Amendment

Mayor Corey Booker (D) of Newark, NJ, put it best: "We should not be putting civil rights issues to a popular vote. ...I read the 14th Amendment clearly. It talks about equal protection under the law." It was bad enough that North Carolina did put civil rights to a vote, and even worse that its voters passed, by more than 20 percent, Amendment One banning gay marriage in the state constitution. One anti-gay marriage activist offered two invalid arguments:

“We are not anti-gay — we are pro-marriage,” Tami Fitzgerald, chairwoman of the executive committee for the pro-amendment Vote for Marriage NC, said at a victory rally in Raleigh, where supporters ate pieces of a wedding cake topped by figures of a man and a woman. “And the point, the whole point is simply that you don’t rewrite the nature of God’s design for marriage based on the demands of a group of adults.”

Ms. Fitzgerald, extending rights to straight couples and denying them to gay couples is indeed anti-gay. That "group of adults" is as deserving of rights as you are. Your stance is not pro-marriage but pro-discrimination. As to passing laws based on "God's design," we don't live in a theocracy.

There was a generational divide over the issue, with younger voters opposed to the amendment. That offers hope that it will eventually be seen a last vestige of a dying bigotry.

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