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I voted AGAINST Amendment One because it’s meddlesome. I don’t need control over who cuddles with whom, nor do I feel anyone else has need for this capability.
None of the so-called moral arguments matter to me, because they’re all mean. They are all about taking AWAY rights, privileges, demoting others in standing and status before both society and the law.

The economic arguments aren’t worth a hoot, either. So what if two other people get to file joint tax returns – this is a “privilege” you want to hold back from people you don’t like Really?

No, it’s all about status – because some, to feel tall, must stand on the necks of others, the more necks, the merrier.

(More below the shockingly accurate representation of the true shape of the Multiverse)

What’s what telling about NC Amendment One – it’s not just a “first they came for the homosexuals…” segue. Oh, no. Today’s fascist/Taliban wannabes are an impatient lot. You see, the righties have figured out a sly way to slide their trash through the courts: Don’t disadvantage a discrete group under color of law: disadvantage lots of them at once!

I went to a community town hall meeting in Charlotte last week with Harry Taylor (who is running for Mecklenburg County Commissioner-at-large by the way). There was this one Republican fellow on the stage, offering up his explanation for why the NC amendment would not be struck down in the courts. For you see, the problems with language on similar bills in the past had been corrected to resist legal challenges. Yep, that’s right. The man was outright proud that the Amendment One was an upgrade in civil rights devolution.

Then up stepped the history professor, down for the night from Appalachian State University in Boone. His thesis on Amendment One, based  on past plebiscite votes of this kind in the Tar Heel States, was that… the traditionalists usually win these rounds.

Ok, before the tears start, he went on to say that it ultimately doesn’t matter because last he’d checked it was now legal to marry interracially, for women to vote, to (once again) drink cold beer, to learn about evolution in schools and, oh yes, while we are on the subject it is now okay to attend integrated schools, too.

Such a historical comfort is small comfort (if not outright insulting) to someone who is in love right now dammit. I know that. It’s a slap in the face to someone whose civil rights are being spat on in real time. Get that, too.

Which brings me to the bell lap of this diary: A few months ago, Amendment One was all but a done deal for several reasons. One, until recently it looked like there was to be a competitive Republican primary here in North Carolina. That would have brought out the RepubliVotes in droves. Two, until activists such as the most excellent Pam Spaulding raised awareness, and then even more experts and respected voices began to speak out. Three, the Amendment One story went national as it became clear it was not yet another in a long thirtysomething-state-long refrain of gay-bashing… it was equal-opportunity bashing of everyone not exactly in one perfectly narrow and for many real families perfectly useless definition of family… to the point of stripping away domestic abuse protections for women and children alike.

Domestic abuse impacts. Let’s revisit our Republican presenter again. He up and said, quite proudly, that none of the existing statute would change because family relationships were already defined clearly as being between men and women. Yep, that’s right. Per this fellow, since the fine print on domestic abuse already excludes gays… it’s all good to bash ‘em more with Amendment One.

And this was the best the right wing had on tap to advocate for accepting the change in North Carolina’s constitution: It won’t affect most of you, so don’t worry about it.
Once more, with feeling: the right’s best argument for Amendment One is it won’t inconvenience most North Carolinians at all.

I think that’s all sorts of special. Most North Carolinians aren’t raped or murdered in a given year. Most North Carolinian children aren’t buggered by their uncles. Most wives aren’t slapped around.

By that (cough, choke, gag) logic… sorry that was a hard word to type just then… we could do away with all sorts of laws.

Because removing those protections “won’t inconvenience most people”.

And that just sets the stage for why Amendment One is unacceptable.

It’s  meddling with malicious purpose in the lives of a few, on the open-faced grounds everyone else should just look away, turn away and walk away. Nothing to see here, folk. Move along and get along with your nice white picket fence lives, thanky.
And I don’t hold to that. I think it’s vile, sick and wrong.

Worse, meddlesome malicious people don’t stop. They like the rush of standing tall on the necks of others, the more the merrier. Again – they’ll never stop. They’ll have to be stopped.

A few months ago, this meddlesome Amendment was a sure pass.

Today… I don’t know. Perhaps North Carolina’s pattern of get a first (shotgun) marriage to craziness, then eventually divorcing and having a second and lasting marriage with good sense will repeat itself.

I’d rather object to the first ever taking place. I’d rather that North Carolina, no, the country at large, go with its first, true love of good sense the first time around.

From all the signs I’ve seen here in Charlotte, I’m definitely not alone.

I think we might have a shot as a state of getting the call right on an important civil rights matter the first time around.

Originally posted to cskendrick on Tue May 08, 2012 at 10:56 AM PDT.

Also republished by LGBT Kos Community, Angry Gays, and Milk Men And Women.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I SO hope you're right (8+ / 0-)

    You and Arizona in 2006, but I think if NC gets it right the people promoting bigotry won't be back for more in two years.  Wonderful rant, cs.  Republishing to the gay groups.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Tue May 08, 2012 at 11:15:30 AM PDT

  •  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that (7+ / 0-)

    the not crazy thinkers in NC will all get out and vote today.

    ~~insertobscurereference,pretentiousquoteORsalientaphorismhere~~

    by shayera on Tue May 08, 2012 at 11:18:53 AM PDT

  •  and one more thing (5+ / 0-)

    It's not often -- in fact it's VERY rare -- that I'm embarrassed for my profession as a historian, but that's what doofus from App State has done to me.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Tue May 08, 2012 at 11:19:01 AM PDT

  •  What if this had been up this fall? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OpherGopher, commonmass, sockpuppet

    What if Amendment One had been up for a vote at the fall election rather than now in the spring?  Would it have made a difference in the GOTV for either side?

    When the vote was scheduled last year, the Democrats bargained to move the vote on A1 from the fall Presidential election (where it might be close) to the spring (where a blowout was expected) so that it wouldn't bring out the hard right in the fall election.  I would find it very ironic if, instead, having it here in the spring means that the left doesn't come out in the fall to vote for POTUS.

    I guess my question is:  How would things have been different if the Dems hadn't sold LGBTs down the river with A1?

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Tue May 08, 2012 at 11:22:41 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the diary. The "It won't bother most (8+ / 0-)

    people" argument is particularly pernicious. I heard that argument in Maine in 2009 with our plebiscite--which in a way was worse than the NC situation because in Maine, our neighbors voted--narrowly--to take away rights for same sex couples that already existed, like in CA (except the law had not yet gone into effect, a decision that was made to avoid a CA type situation, a decision I referred to at the time as "mercy killing"--you know, we wouldn't want to hurt the feelings of gay couples by, like, making it look like anyone was actually taking away their rights*).

    I happen to be in Raleigh today, and accompanied my friend down to his polling place. At least by the yard signs in his neighborhood, lots of people here are against the amendment. I hope the people of NC get a nice surprise and the amendment is killed at the ballot box.

    *While I think civil rights are matters for the courts, not the voters or legislatures, I believe that states should pass laws requiring the bills to actually take effect before they can be recalled. People think differently then. Also, we have a referendum on our ballot in Maine this fall which would restore marriage equality to Maine. If it passes, and passage is looking possible right now, it would destroy the argument that whenever marriage equality has been put to the vote of the people, it always loses.

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Tue May 08, 2012 at 11:28:22 AM PDT

    •  This is the kicker (5+ / 0-)

      The Amendment screws with a wide range of rights for a wide range of people, hoping that gives cover to beating down on teh gayz.

      The Repub attorney was fracking lying and pretty happy to do so.

      •  Yes, it's much broader than just LGBT stuff. (7+ / 0-)

        As I see it, in a state which already has a law banning same-sex marriage, why do you need ANOTHER law in the form of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage? Well, you need that to make sure that it's almost impossible it will ever, ever, happen. Talk about cruel.

        Of course, I assume that if it does pass, it can be repealed, but I don't know NC constitutional law. I assume it can be repealed by another amendment nullifying it down the road?

        Either way, I always thought NC was a little more relaxed than this. I guess I was wrong, and my friends here who are NC natives are very, very embarrassed about this whole thing. You should have seen how proud my buddy (who also happens to be my best friend, a colleague, and straight) was to come out of that voting booth and say "It felt good to vote against hate".

        Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat equalitymaine.org

        by commonmass on Tue May 08, 2012 at 11:44:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My take is this is the wheels are coming off (5+ / 0-)

          the gay-bashing train, though politically speaking it had a long run and worked in GOP circles very well.

          I literally saw my first VOTE FOR bumper sticker on a car this morning.

          If Repubs are showing up in droves they aren't going to own up to it even if they win the vote. People are tired of busybody bigots. They just are.

          Oh - choice line from attorney when tasked with why nine of ten law profs say Amendment One is "deeply flawed".

          He was asked "Why are they wrong and you are right?"

          His answer "Well, today's law schools have become bastions of radical activism.. yeah, I know, I was shocked to find out, too..."

          My jaw just dropped. I caught lots of sideways glances in the large crowd.

          if Republicans are now railing against the commie law schools like Wake Forest and Duke and UNC... whew. They got themselves a problem.

  •  I'm Sorry, But This Pisses Me Off Tremendously (8+ / 0-)

    Amendment One is clearly designed to deny civil rights to LGBTQ citizens of North Carolina, and they added the other groups to try to hide that fact-- I guess in an attempt to shield it from Fourteenth Amendment constitutional arguments (which I think will still strike it down, but who am I to guess?).

    But people only seem to care that it might hurt straight couples in domestic partnerships.

    Subtext: As long as it only told gay and lesbian couples that they are unwanted in the state of North Carolina, that's OK. If all them perverts move away, somehow that will make it pure and perfect for whomever is left. I presume that would be straight Caucasians and those people of color that know their place. "Unlike that uppity Kenyan socialist that don't know his place, harrumph harrumph, y'all."

    Hey, here's a news flash: When any of us isn't free, NONE of us is free.

    I won't forget, North Carolina fundamentalists and right-wingers. Or forgive. When we LGBTQE folk do get our full freedom and equality, I plan to spend the rest of my life making sure that those who fought to deny us those rights go down in history as evil traitors that deserve eternal hatred and scorn. This I swear.

    -8.75,-8.00. "Liberal" ain't a dirty word. "Indifferent" IS. Our enemies want us dead. WE WILL VANQUISH THEM.

    by CajunBoyLgb on Tue May 08, 2012 at 11:54:47 AM PDT

  •  that concept is in utah (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cskendrick, gnbhull

    the majority has no to little respect for the minority.  and it is painful.  

    •  when people say (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jlms qkw

      not to criticize Mitt Romney on the basis of his religion, I say that they have never lived as a "Gentile" in Utah.  There is very little voice for those who are not mainstream LDS and prevailing sentiment is that those who disagree should leave the state.  I used to say that the last time I checked Utah was still part of the United States and still subject to the constitution.

      I used to be disgusted. Now I try to be amused. - Elvis Costello

      by gnbhull on Tue May 08, 2012 at 04:06:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For some reason I'm impelled to post this (4+ / 0-)

    Phil Ochs called it out over fifty years ago.

    I don't suppose that LGBT rights was really on his radar, at least not back then, but the song kind of speaks for itself.

  •  The GOTV efforts have been tremendous... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cskendrick, jan4insight

    ...from my point of view. I'm cautiously optimistic this thing is going down in flames. Which won't 'bother' me much at all.

    California*, Conneticut, Iowa, Maryland*, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington*. (and District of Columbia) *pending

    by cooper888 on Tue May 08, 2012 at 01:08:47 PM PDT

  •  That is the language of the majority saying "screw (0+ / 0-)

    u"; ur not only a second class citizen but ur sub-human. They have been doing this 2 black people since b4 this was a country. Welcome 2 being a black person in America. The majority should not get 2 do this, to take minority rights away. It isn't theirs 2 take, oh yeah right this is America where we hate people who are different.

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Tue May 08, 2012 at 05:12:51 PM PDT

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