Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Why is Perdue quiet on gays?

Last week, we chided North Carolina's leading business people and organizations for their silence on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. That amendment, passed by the N.C. House and Senate, will go before voters next May.

We're not sure how the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce feels about that, nor the Charlotte Chamber or Raleigh Chamber. Those organizations hid from their opportunity to tell legislators that it's bad for business to discriminate against people they'd like to convince to live and work here.

Today, we can add one more big and very quiet fish: N.C. Gov Bev Perdue.

Perdue doesn't get a chance to veto lawmakers' action on the amendment this week, but she also declined to tell the Raleigh News & Observer's Jane Stancill how she felt about the issue. "Right now, North Carolina needs to focus on growing the economy and finding jobs for our people, not on social issues that are divisive."

We believe North Carolinians have the ability to focus on more than one issue at a time, and so should our governor. Perdue who voted for a 1996 law banning gay marriage in the state, should tell us if her opinion on the issue has changed in the past 15 years. Will she vote for the amendment in May? Why or why not?

Avoiding the question may be politically savvy, but it's cowardly at a time the state needs courageous leaders to speak out against bigotry.

Peter St. Onge

12 comments:

74Doug said...

I agree that it is cowardly for all those who believe in freedom to be silent.

Moses said...

Bigotry is not the issue here. When you deny that God exists then you become a purveyor of unnatural things. So just because one believes in the "sanctity of marriage" does not make one a bigot. Perhaps the ones that say gay marrige is to be the norm then they may be the bigot -is that possible?
When will they get it? Probably not until..... then if God is in fact the Creator the answer will be settled in their minds.
It is not bigotry. It is a fact that two of the same will not produce anything.

burtshabby said...

I've never understood the push for gay marriage. Is there some sort of financial/benefits hitch this would change? Or is it for some sort of societal recognition and validation..bigotry issue? Imo, if you are happy with yourself, you dont need to seek validation through the politicians du jour or a govt. bill.

highlandangel said...

I've got two things - 1. For "Moses" - separation of church and state - so if you bring God into the government's definition of marriage - you have just violated the First Amendment, which is applicable to the States through the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. 2. To "Burtshabby," this is not about the push for gay marriage, it is about a) the fact that the General Assembly - AKA the Republicans - are pushing an amendment to the NC Constitution to BAN it when there is already a law defining marriage as being between a man and a woman - as noted by the article, and b) that the ban is an issue of bigotry when other people are allowed the right, aka an inequality. I know numerous straight people who don't feel the need to get married, but they have the RIGHT to make that decision, and the government hasn't taken it away from them.

highlandangel said...

Actually - one more - the biology argument is old and ridiculous. If the only reason to get married is to have children - then marriage needs to be banned for all post-menopausal women, anyone who is infertile no matter the cause, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. marriages where no more children are intended...In other words, marriage is no longer simply for the procreation of children. The sanctity of marriage is also a joke. More than 50% of all marriages end in divorce. People who say the words, "until death do us part," then turn around and hire lawyers to tear those vows apart in the eyes of the government. Until men and women can get it right, we have no stones to throw at others who want the chance to try.

burtshabby said...

>> b) that the ban is an issue of bigotry when other people are allowed the right, aka an inequality.

A gay couple does have the right to get married; however, the marriage will not be recognized by the state. Say vows, have witnesses, and a ceremony for all concerned. Congrats to the lucky couple. So now, wheres the bigotry? Do gay couples not deem their vows valid unless a govt. passes a bill and everyone else is must agree with them?

highlandangel said...

I'll concede the right to have a ceremony - but s government recognized marriage provides entitlements: decision-making authority for your spouse, intestate succession if no will, tax benefits, Family and Medical Leave Act benefits, dependent benefits from social security, access to military retirement, etc.... Those are GOVERNMENTAL benefits for an institution established by law. Not allowing it for a segment of people is discrimination.

burtshabby said...

Most all are federal agencies so why the focus on NC and Perdue?

highlandangel said...

Because, by virtue of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, the States regulate all power not granted to the federal government - which, since marriage is not included in the US Constitution, that is a state issue - therefore NC, the General Assembly, and the Governor.

burtshabby said...

Well, pops taught me at an early age life aint fair :(. but hey maybe if proponents keep calling others bigots, they can score some extra coin.

Dori said...

If the state allows legal marriage between same sex couples, I think the legal benefits are limited to state benefits. I would not think that gay "spouses" would get Federal tax benefits, social security spousal benefits, etc, since the Federal Govt does not recognize gay marriage.

baahumbug said...

I agree that the Governor and Chambers of Commerce are being cowardly in failing to take a stand on this issue. Not only is this an embarrassment to the state and an absurd waste of money and time, it is morally repugnant. Constitutions should not be used as a way to limit the rights of minority groups. What happened to keeping "big government" out of our lives?