Monday, May 7, 2012

Ignorance and prejudice/And fear walk hand in hand...

People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing.

~William H. Judd

So...normally I'd post something writing related, but in NC, my home state, tomorrow is Voting Day.  I encourage everyone to get out and vote.  And for the most part, I try to keep politics very separate from my writing but tomorrow's Amendment One is something I do not support so strongly that I feel I have to actually say something here.  As someone who firmly believes that we should allow civil unions and domestic partnerships for everyone including LGBT couples, this law goes beyond just gay rights to take away human rights.  And that's wrong.  No law, in this day and age, should take away someone's rights.  It's bad enough that we use a religious text to justify bigotry and hatred, but now we're trying to force the government to make that bigotry legal.
From Ballotopedia: The measure would define marriage in the state constitution as between one man and one woman, and would ban any other type of "domestic legal union" such as civil unions and domestic partnerships.[1][2]
Same-sex marriage is already illegal in the state of North Carolina. The proposed measure, however, would add the ban to the state constitution.[3]

From the NC Democratic Party:
Reasons to vote No:
This amendment could make it impossible for parents in committed, but unmarried relationships, to provide health care benefits to children in their household. In tough times like this we should not make it harder to raise a family and protect children.
Many older people who have previously lost spouses, but find love later in life never remarry, even though they are committed to their new partner. They do this to protect the benefits their previous spouse earned including health care, pensions, and Social Security, and Amendment One puts those benefits at jeopardy.
Domestic violence protections for unmarried women could be declared unconstitutional because Amendment One legally recognizes only married couples as a family. Women deserve protections from domestic violence whether they are married or not.

From the ACLU of NC:
Reasons to Vote No:
Same-sex marriage is already prohibited by North Carolina law, and in reality, this amendment has little to do with “marriage.” Rather, the amendment could ban ALL legal recognition of committed but unmarried couples, both gay and straight.
Voting “for” this proposal would ban ALL civil unions and domestic partnerships throughout the state. It would take away the ability of committed couples to take care of one another when making medical, financial, and other important life decisions.
We are all North Carolinians, and like the majority of North Carolinians polled in February, March, April, and September, we do not support this amendment. This amendment was the work of 105 people in the state legislature. As the only southeastern state currently without such an amendment in our state constitution, we should send a message to the rest of the country that North Carolina supports committed couples and does not want to limit their ability to take care of one another.
Passage of the amendment would send a signal both within and outside the state that North Carolina is an intolerant, unwelcoming place. Our Constitution should be used to protect the rights and interests of all North Carolinians, not just the majority. This amendment turns that principle on its head by prohibiting any recognition of a commitment between two people because of who they love.

They say there are strangers who threaten us/In our immigrants and infidels
They say there is strangeness too dangerous/In our theaters and bookstore shelves
That those who know what's best for us/Must rise and save us from ourselves

Quick to judge/Quick to anger
Slow to understand
Ignorance and prejudice/And fear walk hand in hand...

~Rush, Witch Hunt

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