If it passes, call it the grand victory of social fundamentalism in North Carolina. Amendment One (note the number) has passed both houses of the state legislature, and will be put up for a popular vote on May 8. Apparently it is polling well enough that there is a real risk that it will pass.
What does Amendment One do?
If passed, Amendment One would establish marriage between a man and a woman as the only legally recognized union in the state — a sweeping distinction that would preclude legal recognition for all other domestic partnerships. The broad language of the amendment, which was passed by the Republican-controlled general assembly last fall, has opponents fearful that its passage could ultimately deny both benefits and domestic violence protections to thousands of unmarried North Carolina couples.
Wait a minute. I thought that my unalienable rights included “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” But Amendment One appends a qualifier to that: “… if you’re straight, and if you’re legally married.” This amendment is more than a gay-baiting provision: it’s a state constitutional embodiment of the denial of basic human rights to all the people the Christianist religious fundamentalists don’t like.
And it’s the priority of the GOP, at least in North Carolina and probably elsewhere. “Unemployment? meh. Poverty? whatever. Homelessness? yawn. Gay marriage? domestic partnerships? NO WAY WE WILL LET YOU DO THAT !1!!1!11!!” Amendment One = Priority One for the GOP. It’s what they live to do.
Stella lived in NC in her youth, has relatives in NC, and occasionally wistfully contemplates retiring there. Uh-uh. Not with me, she won’t. That would be a deal‑breaker. Texas is bad… but it is nowhere nearly the worst.
AFTERTHOUGHT: we don’t have a Bill of Rights to give us rights: those rights, and many more, are intrinsically ours, from the outset, “unalienable” to all human beings. We have a Bill of Rights to protect our rights from the “tyranny of the majority” … the popular vote. Matters of human and civil rights are quite properly beyond the reach of a popular vote. The right to choose your life partner and the nature of your relationship with him or her is such a right. We should not even be THINKING about voting on that right.