Monday, April 30, 2012

Talking Points on Amendment One

In North Carolina on May 8, we will vote on a proposed amendment to our state constitution which reads, "Constitutional Amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state." I will vote against the amendment. Here are some of the reasons why. 1. The main purpose of this amendment is to squelch any possibility of same-sex marriage being legalized in this state. The law already states that marriage is defined only as that union of a man and a woman. To say any more is to be redundant. We don't have to repeat ourselves. If the possibility of approving same-sex marriage ever comes to us for consideration, let's debate it at that time and then make the decision. 2. As in the physicians oath, we should make sure that we "do no harm." In spite of the fact that loud voices are saying that this would never impact the reality of domestic violence, child custody, expulsion of benefits for partners that are honored by some corporations, or older citizens who share lives without marriage for financial and retirement reasons, experience in other states says otherwise. States that have had similar statutes have had to go back and adjust laws in order to protect citizens. This takes a while, but in the case of domestic violence victims, a "while" can be way too long. It can be long enough for tragedy to occur. We don't know how this will all play out, but do we want to run the risk of someone, somehow being harmed? 3. There are leaders, both religious and political, who are trying to lead sincere, well-intentioned people to take the high moral ground and vote for this amendment. The problem is that although they decry arguements against the amendment as being ludicrous, it is evident they have not done their research. They are speaking loudly based on false evidence and that is deceitful. It is also immoral. 4. If the amendment passes, look for someone or some group to file suit which will throw it all into the courts for decision and possible repeal. What a waste of time and money!!! (See point 1). 5. Finally, and I think, most importantly, it will build discrimination into our state constitution. There is no way to dress up that discriminates. And in our region of the country, we know the ugliness of legalized discrimination. Surely, surely, we don't want to start down that road again.

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