In an interesting editorial that discusses the broad coalition — business and political — that is speaking out against Amendment One along with the reasons why it is losing support, the Raleigh N&O underscores what we’ve noticed all along: this was put on the ballot by the fundamentalists, bible-beaters and politically craven pols who thought this was going to be a cake walk to boost the election of more Republicans. They didn’t plan on the blowback from business leaders or voices of small government, individual liberty-defending conservatives in particular.

And with the President coming out in opposition to the amendment, joining conservatives and Libertarian voices here in the state, the religion-based bigotry behind the ballot initiative looks preposterous, out-of-touch, and out of step with every trend around the country as rights are being extended, not taken away.

It’s interesting that Obama’s position has been shared at least in part by those with far different political persuasions than his own. The state Libertarian Party has announced its opposition.

And conservative Republican U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers of the 2nd District says she will vote against the amendment. While she believes in the traditional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, Ellmers says she thinks the amendment could be used to ban civil unions, and that she does not support.

Hanging the defense of Amendment One on the Bible (or the phantom “activist judges”) in a state where unemployment is high, and we need to attract businesses to the state, the proponents of this amendment are basically putting the screws to the working future of residents of North Carolina because of personal fears and animus, not common sense. As the editorial points out, this was a political maneuver by the GOP leadership in the General Assembly (along with 10 traitorous Dems who lost their back bone and crossed over to vote for it).

Anyone who visited the Legislative Building in the fall of last year when it was being debated could see that there was more unease about this amendment proposal than there appeared to be on the surface.

Indeed, there has been no indication of a broad groundswell of support for the amendment. There are, after all, many levels and degrees of feelings about the topic itself. There are North Carolinians who strongly oppose the idea of same-sex marriage but believe it’s none of the government’s business. There are others who feel that gay marriage is no threat to them.

Still others recognize that this amendment may hurt the state economically. And they did not need a clue from the president to define those feelings. He joined their chorus.

From one of the comments following the editorial:

What any reasonable person can clearly see is the dwindling number of amendment supporters increasingly grasping at straws in an effort to somehow portray their motivation as something other than that deriving from fear-driven, narrow-minded, pseudo-religious bigotry.

As I scan the comments on this thread, I see the same small number of posters making the same vacuous arguments, consisting mostly of a hybrid rant comprised of paranoid conspiracy theories, tired old diatribes against the N&O, painfully ignorant quasi-legal blathering about their ”freedom” to discriminate against minorities being a “right”, equally ignorant pseudo-scientific blathering denying the reality of the existence of homosexuality in nature, along with the typical laughable homophobic fear-mongering about all the terrible things that will happen to marriage and the family if gay people are given the same rights as heterosexuals.

The only thing new I have noticed lately – apparently since President Obama also publicly denounced this proposed amendment as illegal and discriminatory - is the inclusion of the not-so-subtle racist insults that are the stock-in-trade of the right-wing-nut blame-Obama fanatics.

Unfortunately for this shrinking cabal of hard-core wannabe theocrats, the voting public has recognized their charade for what it is … a thinly-veiled attempt to enshrine their own freedom-hating abomination of religion and morality into the Constitution of the State of North Carolina.

Just as in the past, history will not look kindly on the perpetrators and supporters of this kind of self-serving, illegal and unconstitutional fraud.

FREEDOM is the true foundation of our Democratic Republic. FREEDOM is what Americans – gay and straight – have been willing to give their very lives to protect. Our FREEDOM is still what makes America the envy of the rest of the world.

So remember … a vote against this amendment is not only a vote AGAINST fear, ignorance, and hatred … it is also a vote to protect our FREEDOM.