Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bible Belt Bulletin: Please Read

The Tar heels are definitely NOT doing the Cha-Cha in North Carolina!

I have friends in the state, hear beautiful things about Charlotte and Asheville, and it is the only remaining southern state without a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Perhaps because they have bigger things to worry about: Massive unemployment? Hurricane Irene cleanup?

Nope! The Republican dominated Senate this week approved a house bill this week to put an anti marriage-equality constitutional amendment referendum on the ballot in May 2012.

An editorial in the Asheville Citizen-Times reads, in part:

The unemployment rate in North Carolina is at 10%. Against that backdrop, the General Assembly met in a special session this week, at a cost of $50,000 a day, to railroad onto the ballot a measure to amend the state Constitution to ban gay marriage. Well. That should fix everything.

Chris Hughes, the gay co-founder of Facebook and a NC native, wrote to the assembly to say this is bad for business:

The amendment would show the state “does not welcome the diverse workforce that any state needs to compete in the international marketplace. The nest Facebook or Apple or Google could be created by another North Carolinian,” Hughes wrote. “Be mindful of how you treat them and their families.”

With double digit unemployment, legislating discrimination is a priority? Can you imagine all the money they’d make at the Piggly Wiggly if they were to allow it? What’s more – it's redundant as gay marriage is not even truly legal in any state because federal DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) blocks its way. For the unaware, even if you are gay married in a state where it is legal, you still cannot file federal joint tax returns.

If your same-sex partner is a foreign national, as mine is, you cannot provide him or her US citizenship as straight marriages are afforded. In fact, the US government has been using gay marriage as justification to deny visa extensions to married foreign husbands and wives citing said marriages as “probable cause” they will overstay visitor/work visas and thus breaking up state-legal families. Check out the heartbreaking injustices from the stories on my friend Lavi Soloway’s presciently important website Stop the Deportations.

As these bi-national marriage cases, and more, wend their way toward the Supreme Court – the Obama administration has refused to defend (not to enforce, the law is most certainly enforced) DOMA because he believes it is unconstitutional.

Bearing this in mind, what is North Carolina thinking? Last gasp to codify hetero-supremacy in basic “civil” rights? You know big bucks will flow to NC from the usual (out-of-state) suspects like NOM, AFA, church congregations and members of my own family. You can counter bigotry by visiting and donating to Equality North Carolina – to assist the fair-minded, unprejudiced and reasonable people of that state save face.
Meanwhile, the younger set doesn’t give a shit – the culture war they see being perpetrated by grey-headed bible beaters is already over. The young are for equality and on the right side of history. More importantly, they just want a job.

At what point did wisdom and leadership become qualities we must expect of our youth? Because Americans today, quite literally, cannot afford to trust their elders. 


Tony said...

Thanks so much, Jesse, for helping to raise awareness of this insidious, malevolent move by conservatives, cloaked in "religious" rhetoric, to embed discrimination in the NC constitution.
The challenge will be to get fair-minded, tolerant pro-equality folks to come out to vote against this in May.
Rest assured, the "christian" demagogues will have no trouble mobilizing their brainwashed hordes.
Those of us who don't live in NC need to do whatever we can to support the pro-equality campaign. I've already bought a cool "EqualityNC" ball cap, which I intend to wear proudly on my next visit to NC, and I'll do more. Hope others will too.

Anonymous said...

Did you know that the Republican dominated Senate in New Hampshire is about to take up a Bill to rework the gay marriage law and word it so only Civil Unions will be legal?

Also, the proposed law would recognize those gay marriages performed before the passage of the changed law.

The governor said he will veto the law, but what if he is not office at the time of the Bill's proposal?

Looks like Gay Marriage has a long struggle ahead of it!

Anonymous said...

Tony, the supporters of this idiotic amendment are neither Christian nor Conservatives. They seek to limit freedoms and promote a big government nanny state that dictates whom consenting adults cannot marry. Let's boycott North Carolina.

Your Friend Jimmy

Tony said...

Hey Jimmy -

You'll note that I put "christian' in quotes and lower case. Maybe should have done the same with "conservative."
Isn't it ironic (I'd say hypocritical, but I'm not sure a lot of these people are even aware of their idiotic inconsistencies), that one minute they are screaming about "too much government regulation," and the next minute they want control over the most personal and intimate aspects of other people's lives. It's actually creepy and not a little scary.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you completely. I would describe these homophobic bigots as pseudo-conservatives. I wonder how many of them are aware that the late Senator Barry Goldwater, the grandfather of modern American Conservatism, was an advocate of gay rights, abortion rights and opposed school prayer.
Best, Jimmy

Jesse Archer said...

I would have totally voted for Mr. Goldwater. Sadly, his party has been (irrevocably?) hijacked.