Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Meck commish for anti-gay marriage bill?

Good morning. Welcome to Opinion, the editorial board's online place for commentary and discussion. I'm associate editor Fannie Flono, your host for today.

Well, Mitt Romney eked out a win in Tuesday's Michigan primary, and the pundits are abuzz all over the place about why he came so close to losing his "home" state and didn't to fellow Republican Rick Santorum. The Daily Beast attributed Romney's win and thus Santorum's second-place finish to moderate and independent women voters, who weren't so taken with Santorum's 1950s-like view of their place in society. "The former Pennsylvania senator lost the Michigan primary to Mitt Romney by 3 points due in large part to his weakness among Michigan women," the Beast said. "Although Santorum lost among Michigan men by just 1 point, he lost the women's vote by a full 6-point margin, leaving him well behind Romney and unable to close the gap with male voters in any way."

Gail Kerr of the Tennessean says women may not be a factor in Romney's favor come Super Tuesday - at least not in Tennessee. A Vanderbilt poll shows Santorum has strong support among women, and he now leads Romney in the state.

An ABC news story said Santorum has seen the error of his ways in relating to women and his working on reaching out to females. But he stumbled in the effort in a speech last night that “the men and women who signed that declaration wrote the final phrase, ‘We pledge to each other our lives, our fortune, and our sacred honor.” Oops. There were no women who signed the Declaration of Independence.

The other issue pundits focused on in Romney's Michigan win was crossover or stealth voting by Democrats for Romney in an effort to boost Santorum and derail Romney who is viewed as a stronger contender against President Obama in the general election. The Daily Kos dubbed a drive to push this Democratic voting in Michigan's open primary Operation Hilarity. USA Today and Slate wrote about it too. ABC News' The Note said Santorum invited the crossover voting in a blog before the elction. Romney decried it as a dirty trick, though the Kos said he once bragged about doing it himself.

Jay Cost of the Weekly Standard dissects Romney win in Michigan and in Arizona where he walloped Santorum.

Bill James said what?
But enough about far away places and issues. Let's talk a bit about hometown politics. Specifically about Mecklenburg County commissioner Bill James' latest email missive declaring that the county commissioners support the N.C. constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. His headline is certainly an eye-catcher "Mecklenburg County supports Marriage Amendment" - until you read his link which notes that it was the Mecklenburg County commissioners of 2004 - when the board had a Republican majority.

It's no surprise the vote supporting an amendment then being sponsored by N.C. Sen. James Forrester, a Republican from Gaston County was along party lines with James, then commissioner Jim Puckett (also a former CharMeck school board member), former commissioner Dan Ramirez and former commissioner Ruth Samuelson (now a state legislator) - all Republicans - voting for it. The three Democrats who voted against - Valarie Woodard (now deceased), Norman Mitchell and Parks Helms - are no longer on the board. Two people were absent, Tom Cox, a Republican, and Dumont Clarke, a Democrat and the only member still on the board other than James from that the time.

James contends their resolution is still in effect, and thus the commissioners' support for the amendment still stands - even though this is a different amendment sponsored by different people and the board of commissioners has only two members from that time, and only one of them voted - James. Good one, Bill.

James says his comments were prompted by a UNC reporter who asked whether the Mecklenburg commissioners were on record with a position on the marriage amendment in wake of Wake County's board of commissioners recent vote of the Republican majority endorsing the amendment that is on the ballot statewide for the May 8 primary. He says he's asked several Democrats on the Meck board whether they would like to revisit the resolution and three who've responded said no.

James says he doesn't think it should be revisited either: "Ultimately, I don’t think it would be useful to have another vote. The voters will decide this no matter what local boards say."

This editorial board agrees with James on that. But we think N.C. lawmakers are wasting time and money putting this amendment on the ballot. N.C. already has a law that prohibit same-sex marriage. This amendment wrongly writes discrimination into the state Constitution. It also so broadly limits domestic legal unions to only marriage between a man and a woman that the rights of straight couples who cohabit - and they make up 88 percent of unmarried cohabiters in North Carolina - are now jeopardized. We'll be writing more about that later. This amendment deserves to be rejected, and we hope voters do so.

NEW: Updated at 11:55 am with this response from Bill James

Bill James sent us this email in response to the above post about his position on the marriage amendment legislation:

"Note that I didn’t say that the board supported ‘amendment one’ – I said that the Board supports a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as one-man and one-woman.

"On that issue – it is the ‘official’ position of the Board of County Commissioners as much as if it were voted on yesterday and it is 100% correct.

"I contend it is a non-issue since voters are going to ultimately make the decision on May 8th but my statement is accurate. I publicized it because members of the ‘liberal’ media (and homosexual activists) wanted Mecklenburg to take a different position than Wake. They are also pressuring LaWana Mayfield (see CL posts where they are taking her to the woodshed for not placing it on the CITY agenda).

"It is also a relevant County issue since we issue marriage licenses. That was the original reason for the 2004 resolution – to publically oppose those homosexuals who attempted to force Mecklenburg County to issue them a marriage license in contravention of the law. That is also one very good reason why the Constitutional Amendment is necessary – to stop those shenanigans.

"It doesn’t matter who was there, who was absent or who has died. It is the Board’s official position and can be used in literature to voters (if any want to)."

Posted by associate editor Fannie Flono


Anonymous said...

Fannie needs attention, so she rolls out a Bill James story.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wiley Coyote said...

...enough about far away places and issues?

I've come to the conclusion that Fannie and Vilma are really the same person.

Fannie, if Romney won by one vote, he still won. If Romney beats Obama by one vote, he will still win.

I wonder if you will think that is "so far away" if it happens in November.

Anonymous said...

Based on numerous polls throughout NC, a majority do support this amendment. Yhough I personally believe govco shouldn't be involved in marriage whatsoever. What is the percentage of folks who consider themselves LGBT in NC, or in Charlotte?

Anonymous said...

"We agree with James on that. But we think N.C. lawmakers are wasting time and money putting this amendment on the ballot."

Who is "we". this appears to be Fannie's comment as an individual. It should read, "I"

Anonymous said...

JUNE 1, 2004
5:00 P.M.


Motion was made by Commissioner James, seconded by Commissioner Puckett and carried 4-3 with
Commissioners James, Puckett, Ramirez, and Samuelson voting yes, and Commissioners Helms, Mitchell and Woodard voting no, to
adopt a resolution expressing support of … "The Defense of Marriage Constitutional Amendment."

The Board addressed and debated the motion.

Anonymous said...

"we" meaning most logical North Carolinians. Regardless of your position on the amendment, you should realize it's costing a lot of time and money to pass an amendment that's already a law. It's distracting our politicians from actual important issues

Anonymous said...

A minority, obviously, so why shouldn't their rights be put to a vote? It's the easiest way to keep them oppressed. Good thing jobs and gas prices are in control so we can continue to focus on that...

SSGPat said...

Wiley, if (or should I put it this way IF, since it's a mighty big if) Romney beats BO by one vote, he might actually lose (electoral college actually elects the president... and didn't Gore get more votes than Bush and still lost?)

And does it matter if we vote on this or not? What good is voting on allowing people to discriminate others? Give all people that want to get married civil unions and let the churches marry.

This will eventually will go to the Supreme Court to be figured out. If you remember, inter-racial marriage was only legalized in 1964. And what do we care what other people do any dad-gum way?

Wiley Coyote said...


I simplified my comment. I didn't get into the Electoral College aspect of the possiility.


Also, I'm glad to see you support polygany marriage, as this group has also been persecuted since the 1800's and their civil rights violated.

Redlight said...

SSGPAT......Gore did not get more votes. The story that he did is simply false.

Wiley Coyote said...


Gore got about 450,000 more popular votes than Bush.

Anonymous said...

Thank God for the electoral college. Al "I took the initiative in creating the internet" Gore is a complete nutcase.

Anonymous said...

someone posted a comment about interacial marriage not being legalized until 1964. it is irrelevant considering the people can reproduce interracially which is the crux of the issue for most people regarding marriage

Anonymous said...

""we" meaning most logical North Carolinians. Regardless of your position on the amendment, you should realize it's costing a lot of time and money to pass an amendment that's already a law. It's distracting our politicians from actual important issues"

Most logical north Carolinian's can see that an individual's position on this amendment is irrelevant to the point that I made. Most logical North Carolinian's were taught not to use "we" in place of "I", or to assume every reader agrees with them. The use of the word "we" by a "journalist" needs to be qualified in this instance, and it hasn't been.

Anonymous said...

When you can't fix your house, talk about another's. If Republicans want to spend all their time in the past, then so be it. The Future is Minority White, Pro- Gay Marriage, Pro-Immigration, Pro-Happiness, Far Less "Religious" and considerably fewer Old White Men Running things.
Don't want to be part of the future? There is an option!

Anonymous said...

1:20 You mention an option but do not express what you want those who are not fully embracing your future, need to do to exercise this option.

How limited your design of the future must be as it only allows those you deem worthy.