Wednesday, February 29, 2012

LGBT: Meck should stand against amendment

Local fervor is revving up over the marriage amendment on the May 8 ballot that would ban any domestic union other than marriage between a man and woman.

A coalition of groups including MeckPAC, the Mecklenburg Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Political Action Committee are now calling on the Charlotte City Council and Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners to take a strong stand against amendment.

In an earlier post, we wrote about county commissioner Bill James' comments about the county commissioners vote in 2004 supporting an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment.

In a press release today, this coalition decried the current amendment proposal as discriminatory, anti-family and anti-business.
"Amendment One would require that the state recognize opposite-sex marriage as the 'only domestic legal union' in the state. Legal professionals and scholars have said the vague and overly-broad language of the amendment would ban marriage, civil unions and domestic partnership benefits for both unmarried same-sex couples and unmarried opposite-sex couples.
The amendment would also ban domestic partner benefits currently offered to public employees by local governments like Mecklenburg County.

"It is vitally important for the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners to defend their LGBT employees who depend on county domestic partner benefits in order to provide healthcare and other needs for their families and children. The amendment would also prevent governments like Charlotte, which has been debating domestic partner benefits, from extending such measures to employees in the future.

"Several local elected leaders have spoken out personally against the amendment, including Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx. Speaking at the Human Rights Campaign Carolina Gala on Saturday, Feb. 25, Foxx said: 'When I go into the ballot box in May ... I'm going to be voting against Amendment One.' Last fall, Mecklenburg County Commissioner and then-Chairman Jennifer Roberts signed on to a letter with six other municipal government leaders from across the state urging legislators not to place the amendment on the ballot, noting that the amendment would 'threaten important protections for contributing North Carolina citizens, and will significantly harm the future of our state.'

The statement goes on to call for county commissioners to vote on a resolution to oppose Amendment One, the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage that will be on the ballot in May, noting that similar resolutions and official statements opposing the anti-LGBT Amendment One have already been approved by the elected bodies of Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Durham, Greensboro and Raleigh.

Update at 5:10 p.m.: Mark Wisniewski sent the editorial board a link to his blog, Mark Does Charlotte, for comments Mecklenburg commissioner Bill James made last October about the marriagement amendent. It says in part, "If there was a resolution to support voting YES on NC 1 I would support that though I don t think the County needs to weigh in since the legislature already has. I have already expressed my support for NC1 to the legislature before the start of the session asking them to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot."

A tie in Michigan? Did Reagan Dems really sway primary?
Most eyes are now on Super Tuesday as far as the Republican presidential race is concerned. But Rick Santorum's camp is still in Michigan - and claiming victory over Mitt Romney! Well, at least a tie.

That's what Santorum campaign adviser John Brabender was saying this afternoon, according to the Huffington Post: "I heard that there's a Lansing [Mich.] paper that put out it showed it was a virtual tie," Brabender said in a call with reporters about the primary results. "I have not seen that myself, but someone from our campaign shared that with me. ... These are the reports we're getting and I understand that I'm not giving you hard data." Brabender also insisted that the two men had received the same number of delegates in the state.

That last part could be true. Last we heard the two has split evenly the delegates. The Detroit News was reporting that two congressional districts still had no final counts but were leaning toward Santorum. So he could turn out the winner in Michigan delegates. But as of right now, former Massachusetts Gov. Romney tops the former senator 41 percent to 38 percent in terms of votes.

Still, Brabender contends Michigan was a "disaster" for Romney: "Despite outspending us by a great amount of money, despite the fact that this is Mitt Romney's home turf, as you will, his home state, for this to end up as a tie, I think, can only be seen as a disaster for Mitt Romney," he said.

He also gave a nod to crossover Democratic voting, saying Santorum had targeted and got Reagan Democrats on his side in Michigan. And he said Romney should have done the same outreach. "It may have very well been a failure by the Romney campaign not to figure that out," he said.

He might be right about that. But who among this group would a Reagan Democrat really prefer? Just who is the most Reagan-like enough among Romney, Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul to appeal to a "Reagan Democrat"? Or is there some other Republican like Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie or Mitch Daniels - also mentioned as having presidential timbre - who better fit those Reagan shoes. Who's your pick?

Posted by associate editor Fannie Flono


Anonymous said...

The national economy continues to be in a perilous position on the verge of disaster, unemployment, underemployment, foreclosures, fuel prices, troops in foreign lands, Iran making threats, and we've got people worried about who to vote for depending on how they stand on gay marriage. Wow.

Anonymous said...

The national economy continues to be in a perilous position on the verge of disaster, unemployment, underemployment, foreclosures, fuel prices, troops in foreign lands, Iran making threats, and we've got people worried about who to vote for depending on how they stand on gay marriage. Wow.

Anonymous said...

Why did the county vote on this in the first place, nevermind the second place... This relates to STATE law.

Anonymous said...

Because the County issues Marriage Licenses and in 2004 homosexuals tried to force the County to issue them some. The resolution was to support a constitutional amendment that would eliminate judicial activism as an option (and elimiate the benefit of trying to force Counties to issue marriage licenses). The State does not issue marriage licenses but requires counties to do it.

Anonymous said...

Gays and straights do not have rights; only INDIVIDUALS do. There was no such thing as a "state-issued marriage license" until after the Civil War when the South tried to prevent mixed-race marriages.

A true conservative would demand that government recuse itself entirely from the oxymoron that is the "marriage business". Fortunately there is a true conservative in the presidential race: Ron Paul (who has been married for 53 years).

Anonymous said...

6:25 it's the US and Israel making threats, not Iran.

Julio said...

Here's two petitions: one for Charlotte City Council and one for Mecklenburg County Commission. Each signature sends an email to every council member or county commissioner. Please spread this around as much as possible!