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February 22, 2011

Game on in NC: marriage amendment bill filed in state Senate; would put it on 2012 ballot

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Damn them. With our state General Assembly now under GOP control for the first time since Reconstruction, the bigots in our state Senate, led again by good old boy Gaston County’s James Forrester, has thrown down the gauntlet once again. And he knows that this time, the bill will be heard. (QNotes):

The text of the proposed amendment, which has not yet been filed in the House, would ban any recognition of any “domestic legal union” other than a marriage between an opposite-sex couple. If approved by the legislature, the amendment would appear on the November 2012 ballot. Three-fifths of both the House and Senate must approve the amendment before it can appear on the ballot; the governor has no veto authority on amendments.

Forrester is lobbing this bomb into the NCGA for the seventh eighth time. Do you think he has a problem with gay folks? Just a little 411 — he’s an equal opportunity bigot. From last February:

In his latest bigot eruption, Forrester adds overt racism to his dance card, blaming the states increasingly progressive tilt to blacks that dare to vote, as well as the Homosexual Lobby in the state capital of Raleigh.

I kid you not.

“The (state) Senate is as liberal as I’ve ever seen it,” Forrester said at the monthly meeting of the Iredell County Young Republicans on Tuesday night in Mooresville.

Slick city lawyers and homosexual lobbies and African American lobbies are running Raleigh,” Forrester added.

…So it may be viewed with some irony that Forrester said the GOP would likely have taken back control of at least one chamber of the General Assembly in 2008 had it not been for what he called the “Obama Tsunami.”

It brought a lot of blacks out who don’t normally vote,” he said.

Yes, this is what we have to deal with in NC’s GOP and these are the people in charge. As Matt Comer noted in his QNotes piece, all of the co-sponsors of the bill so far are all Republicans. Jerry W. Tillman (R-Montgomery, Randolph) and Dan Soucek (R-Alexander, Ashe, Watauga, Wilkes) are primary sponsors, along with 23 other GOP co-sponsors. Interestingly, Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Guilford, Rockingham) did not sign on as sponsor. Wonder what’s on his mind right now as the fringe bigotry in his party calls for its day in the sun.

It will also be interesting to see how many Dems sign on this time (especially now that it has elected a state party chair that is pro-equality; more on that below the fold).

What I do know is that if the GOP wants to play hardball on this issue when we already have a state DOMA (and they need to be working on fixing the economic mess the state is in), I say go for it.

Game on. We will explore every co-sponsor over the next year. The taxpayers have a right to know:

  • How many times have these lawmakers been married?
  • Who’s breaking the sanctity of their marriage vows?
  • Are there closet doors to be kicked open?
  • Who’s carousing for same-sex encounters at rest stops?
  • Who has their hand in the till?

The voters of NC have a right to know, since these elected officials have decided that they have the right to enshrine bigotry into the state constitution on the basis of two consenting adults having any legal relationship approximating marriage, let alone civil marriage.

Since Charlotte will be the host city for the Democratic National Convention, won’t this be a gem of an albatross hanging over the party’s neck in the “New South“?

More below the fold.The amendment text:

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION TO PROVIDE MARRIAGE BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN IS THE ONLY DOMESTIC LEGAL UNION THAT SHALL BE VALID OR RECOGNIZED IN THIS STATE.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1. Article 14 of the North Carolina Constitution is amended by adding the following new section:

“Sec. 6. Marriage.

Marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.”

SECTION 2. The amendment set out in Section 1 of this act shall be submitted to the qualified voters of the State at the statewide general election on November 6, 2012, which election shall be conducted under the laws then governing elections in the State. Ballots, voting systems, or both may be used in accordance with Chapter 163 of the General Statutes. The question to be used in the voting systems and ballots shall be:

“[ ] FOR [ ] AGAINST

Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.”

SECTION 3. If a majority of votes cast on the question are in favor of the amendment set out in Section 1 of this act, the State Board of Elections shall certify the amendment to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall enroll the amendment so certified among the permanent records of that office.

SECTION 4. The amendment set out in Section 1 of this act becomes effective January 1, 2013.

SECTION 5. This act is effective when it becomes law.

Our Fierce Advocate surely doesn’t want to deal with this mess, nor does the party when they come to celebrate the President’s re-election bid. The chair of the NC Dem Party, David Parker, is strongly opposed to such an amendment, and prior to his election he discussed it here on the Blend during a liveblog.

David Parker: The Marriage Amendment is coming to a voting place near you all too soon. This Radical Right ploy is designed to activate their base, agitate their contributors and GOTV….

I would want to get folks to care enough about these issues to be on a blog such as this to help formulate specfics — which is why I am calling for an LGBT Caucus in NC (we need to parallel every DNC Caucus here in NC)

Part of why the Democratic Party lost touch with the electorate is that it failed to communicate its core values – including personal dignity. Elected officials have to talk about values to get voters out to vote — that is why, I think, turnout was down this last election — especially among young voters…

If you live in NC, it’s time to write your Senator and politely ask that they not co-sponsor this potential stain on our state constitution.

And if you’re inside or outside of NC, it’s time to dig up the dirt since the NC bigots (and enablers, since Dems who aren’t willing to speak out against it are just as bad) apparently want to go there. I know we have a lots of little birdies willing to sing sweet information into my ears.


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