The theme that each speaker at Tuesday’s TOHDC Fundraiser spoke to was that this campaign will be about two very different philosophies regarding society and governance. Conservatives come from a mindset of ‘me’. Progressives come from a mindset of ‘we’.
Each reinforced Barack Obama’s commitment to moving forward and fairness. (see below)
President Barack Obama announced that it was important for him to go ahead and affirm that . . . same-sex couples should be able to get married.
What better message could the president have sent than to announce his position on same-sex marriage? And what starker contrast could there be to such a position than North Carolina’s constitutional ban on gay marriage? That makes NC the last southern state to formalize such a position. It is said that for the amendment’s supporters, it was a confirmation of God’s law. For those opposing the ban, the vote writes bigotry into the state’s constitution.
Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.
Mad Libs, North Carolina (Southern) Style
At one time or another we’ve probably all played the word game, Mad Libs. Simple enough. Substitute word or phrase of your choice to change the meaning of the sentence.
Marriage between one (insert noun or adjective-noun pair) ______________and one (insert one noun or adjective-noun pair) _________________ is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.
The added passage has been designed to assure NC’s existing ban on gay marriage. Supporters of the amendment contend the extra step is necessary to protect marriage from activist judges and lawsuits filed by gay couples hoping to marry. It may deny domestic-partner benefits offered by several cities and counties. However, its particulars remain up in the air because each program is different. For example, officials in Greensboro and Durham County don’t think their domestic-partner benefits programs will be affected. Chapel Hill’s attorney said his town has not yet considered the question. Winston-Salem and Forsyth County don’t have such a program; other potential effects also remain murky. Constitutional and legal scholars expect that the courts may strike down the orders while the issue is litigated because they require the state to recognize a relationship other than marriage.
Economics, values, culture, separation all contribute to keeping people apart and creating a gap into which ignorance gravitates. As far as Americans have come on the issues of racial, religious and gender equity, there remains a long way to go. Especially in the south. Look at the legislation.
In response to the amendment, gay couples intend to visit local marriage license offices to request license applications as part of a coordinated effort that will likely end with displays of civil disobedience and arrests. All of this may cost President Obama some votes in NC. I prefer to believe that those who feel strongly in favor of the state’s amendment would not be Obama voters to begin with. More likely I like to think, the NC triangle will be impassioned to vote for him in greater number.
As with all important issues, this should not be a political decision. Rather, it is a moral imperative. It is my take that VP Biden did not state or stumble upon his position on same-sex marriage without having conferred with the president (although the media immediately took the position, There Biden goes again). It is far more likely that President Obama intended to communicate his position on same-sex marriage and sought a way to introduce the topic that would not be viewed as a political maneuver. Biden merely greased the skids, providing an opening paragraph of this particular essay on forward and fairness.
Surveys reflect that our country remains divided over same-sex marriage. About as many Americans are for it as are against it. But our president has decided this is not about political popularity or polling results or THE ELECTION. It’s about human rights and civil rights. And it is the position for him to take.