The North Carolina Senate voted 30-16 Tuesday to place on the May ballot a constitutional amendment which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. If enacted, the amendment will proscribe same sex marriage, same sex civil unions, and may be construed to proscribe the same sex partner benefits increasingly common amongst Fortune 500 companies.
The backers of this amendment have struggled for years to get it on the ballot, and poll after poll has shown that, though most Tarheels are opposed to same sex marriage, there is little support for actually amending the constitution. For several good reasons, which deserve to prevail, the amendment ought to be defeated.
First, it is morally objectionable. Absent a showing of harm to anybody, neither I, nor you, nor anybody else, has a right to put his hands on his neighbor’s Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness. Yes, I ‘get’ the ICK reaction, and am susceptible of it myself. So what?
Whom do the gentlemen bachelors down the street harm? And why should we go out of our way to constrict their lives and harm them?
Second, the amendment is being advanced in a fundamentally dishonest way.
“It is time for us to let the people of this state decide what they want in their constitution as far as marriage is concerned,” Sen. Phil Berger, a Republican, said during floor debate. “It may pass, it may fail. But it is time for them to make that decision about their constitution.”
Bullshit. If the legislature really wanted the let the people “make that decision,” (and remember, polls have repeatedly shown that few of us are interested in such an amendment) they would have put it on the November, or general election, ballot. In the event, they’ve put it on the May, or primary, ballot. Obama is not expected to face a primary challenger, and so few Democrats will have much of an incentive to go to the polls. Which loony should carry the Republican banner is undecided, though, so there will be a lot more Republicans at the polls on primary day.
In short, they’ve stacked the deck to enable a minority of activists to amend the constitution — in the name of letting the people “make that decision.”
Third, it’s bad for business. The large companies able to fight for market share in a global economy are not going to let a bunch of bourgeois Baptist bozos tell them how to do business. Research Triangle Park will inevitably become a second tier address.
The overt malice of the amendment, and the dishonesty and effrontery of its champions, are downright staggering — and deserve to be decisively smacked down.