Monday, April 30, 2012

New York Times on North Carolina's 'gratuitous bigotry'

North Carolina's marriage amendment earned the wrath of the New York Times editorial board today.
The Times calls Amendment One "gratuitous bigotry" and "obvious discrimination." It urges America to watch North Carolina next week, noting that while polls suggest the amendment will pass, that is not a foregone conclusion.
The Times' editorial:


BIGOTRY ON THE BALLOT
North Carolina already has a law barring same-sex marriage, but the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature is not satisfied. It devised a measure to enshrine this obvious discrimination in the state constitution and placed it on the ballot of the state’s May 8 primary election – a test of tolerance versus bigotry that ought to be watched closely nationwide.

In their zeal, lawmakers got careless with the wording of the measure, known as Amendment One. It would constitutionally prohibit recognition not just of same-sex marriages, but of other legal arrangements like civil unions and domestic partnerships. That could harm all unmarried couples, imperiling some children’s health insurance benefits, along with child custody arrangements and safeguards against domestic violence.

The campaign against the amendment is being spearheaded by a coalition of civic, religious, business and civil rights leaders and groups. One of Amendment One’s most vocal opponents is the Rev. William Barber II, president of the state chapter of the NAACP. Barber draws a strong link between the proposed amendment and struggles against racial unfairness, an appeal with special resonance following the publication in March of memos from the National Organization for Marriage, one the most prominent groups fighting same-sex marriage, about driving “a wedge between gays and blacks.”

Polls suggest that defeating this measure remains an uphill struggle, but at least its approval is no longer an entirely foregone conclusion. Much will depend on turnout, especially by voters on college campuses, who will need to vote in larger-than-usual numbers to defeat this declaration of officially sanctioned discrimination.

The North Carolina vote is one of several statewide ballot fights over same-sex marriage the nation will see this year. But public opinion continues to move steadily toward marriage equality. In 2001, Americans opposed same-sex marriage by a margin of 57 percent to 35 percent. Today, 47 percent are in favor and 43 percent opposed, according to a new Pew Research poll.

Opponents of marriage equality have never been able to show any evidence that any harm is caused to heterosexual marriages by granting all American adults the right to marry as they choose – because there is no such evidence. With little more than a week to go before the May 8 contest, and early voting already under way, North Carolinians need to consider whether they really want to inflict this gratuitous bigotry on their fellow citizens and their children. 

28 comments:

DistrictSix said...

Thanks Observer. I was wondering why the Editorial Board had not started a full court press on getting people to vote no.

Wiley Coyote said...

....they just can't stand it when Democracy works.

DistrictSix said...

Editorial Board, only two stories are on the CharlotteObserver.com site promoting the defeat.

Come on, we need more stories plastered, if you are going to promote your support of killing this amendment.

IamHereTheThird said...

Democracy is at work in North Carolina. After many half-truths provided by the pro Amendment 1 folks, those against the discrimanatory Amendment are gaining ground.

It has been suggested that the pro Amendment 1 group first look within it's own church and deal with the other sinners mentioned in God's book, the adulters, the wife abusers, those living in sin, you know having sex outside of the bonds or marriage.

If you look close enough you can find all kind of reasons to suport your issue on either side. In this case, the bottom line is that the pro Amendment 1 group simply disapprove of a lifestyle not there own; period. Yes you can point out in the good book whatever you want. If you want to support you point out where man should not lay with man; or if you take the other stance, you could point our that God loves all His children. You could then follow up with lust, adultry, living in sin, and on and on and on.

Bottom line is if heterosexuals want to marry, let them. If asexuals want to marry, then let them. If homosexuals want to marry, let them.

Pro-Amendment 1 people can find enough sin currently being condoned within their own churches to keep them busy for years on end.

Jason said...

People should not misconstrue this statement as a position on the amendment...but it's going to be one crappy day when folks in NC start giving a crap what the NY Times has to say. I literally care less about the NY Times and their opinions than I do about the amount of garbage and grafitti on their subway.

Wiley Coyote said...

I Am Here 3..

You left out polygamists

Matt M said...

This is about dollars. This is about whether companies and local govts can be forced to pay same sex benefits.

If the amendment passes they won't have to.

That is all.

CNC1 said...

Gay people getting married??????? Good God-Next thing you know they'll be allowed to vote and pay taxes!

CNC1 said...

Oh ,wait you mean Gay People are already getting married in seven US States and the District of Columbia, not to mention countless Countries around the globe and the world hasn't ended?

Archiguy said...

The last paragraph of the editorial says it all, quite clearly.

The opponents of same-sex marriage have not been able to prove any harm will come to anyone if same-sex marriage is legalized. They have not been able to articulate how their own marriages or their own families will be harmed in any way whatsoever. And they don't even try. They just wave their Bibles around and claim the moral high ground by default, conveniently ignoring all the Biblical admonitions about things that would personally inconvenience them.

This is an amendment designed to give Christian fundamentalists a self-satisfied feeling of superiority over those they view as immoral and somehow less human than them. It's just as wrong as laws upholding segregation by color or preventing mixed race marriage, both of which used selective Biblical passages to justify blatant and unlawful discrimination in generations past.

But of course, the amendment's primary goal is to reinforce the loyalty of the Republican's southern conservative base by throwing them some red meat to gorge on. Who cares if a handful of gays are marginalized and prevented from doing what every other law-abiding, tax-paying adult can do? Republican politicians don't bother themselves with such ethical conundrums. They have a more important goal: getting re-elected.

IamHereTheThird said...

Wiley,thanks for your contribution. I forgot them. Anyone else you wish to add. I would be OK with it.

Archiguy said...

Trying to compare polygamy to same-sex marriage is disingenuous and a false analogy. Polygamy is illegal for many reasons that have nothing to do with marriage rights and everything to do with human and civil rights.

It's a practice that abuses and subjugates women and children and has rightly been illegal in the United States for over 200 years. It has absolutely no constituency advocating for it as its few followers spend most of their time trying to keep their heads down and not attract the attention of law enforcement. Many polygamist leaders are in jail for child abuse, sexual assault, or other crimes.

It's a mark of how weak the moral and legal justification for the amendment is that they have to resort to trying to make such an apples-to-oranges analogy. They literally have nothing else. Polygamy harms innocent people. Same sex marriage harms no one.

WashuOtaku said...

Well, I already stated I'm voting for Amendment One simply because I hate the bias O-pinion... Now I'm also striking a blow against the NYT. XD

kantstanzya said...

I really don't have strong feelings on this marraige amendment one way or the other. But the thing that intrigues me about this editorial is that the Observer seems to think the NY Times, or New York, or New Yorkers looking down on North Carolina is importent to us. Of course that is because of the NY Times influence of Taylor Batten.

He continues to live in the past as if we didn't know the Times is reduced to little more than, as George Will says, "the bulletin board of liberalism." A shill of a paper that will resort to making up the news if it must to advance its agenda. And of course who cares what New Yorkers think...they are all moving here anyway so we will find out what they think soon enough....unfortunately.

It all reminds me of when Jesse Helms used to run for re-election. He didn't have to say much more than "I want to go to Washington to continue to give Teddy Kennedy H#ll." He knew his supporters in North Carolina could care less what northern liberals thought about anything. And the more he annoyed them and the more they couldn't understand how he could continue to win re-election the more votes he got.

I think the same is true with editorial. It probably means more votes for the amendment.

modom said...

Piss on what the NY Times thinks. For that matter piss on what the liberals at the Observer think. Every Day I read garbage about how evil this amendment is. Horsehockey and Balderdash. The forces of good will win and the Observer can suck eggs.

Wootnack said...

What's this?

We've upset on the New York Times????

I'll try to sleep tonight.

CNC1 said...

When the State of North Carolina spends millions of dollars of taxpayer money to try and defend this amendment against the many lawsuits that are sure to come, then tell me this was a good thing for the people of this State. Also be sure and thank your Republican "leadership" that forced this silly and divisive issue on the people. Just my opinion, but I think the State has many, many important issues that need to be focused on instead of diverting attention to an issue that we all know, sooner than later, will be decided by the Appeals Courts (See California)and evtually the Supreme Court and these "Constitutional" amendments are declared "UNconstitutional". What a waste of time and energy-It's Disgraceful for the State and I'm glad the National Media is taking notice.

Intolerantone said...

I am voting for the amendment. It is not about bigotry but the insinuation that if I have an opposing view,that does not agree with someone else, than I automatically get attacked. I have been linked to Taliban, KKK, Nazi's. I simply want to consider marriage what it has always been and get attacked. So does my religion. Those attacks strengthen my resolve to vote yes.

Shamash said...

If the NY Times AND the NAACP are against this, then I'll have to reconsider being for it...

DistrictSix said...

Folks if this passes we will end up with no competent, honest and hard working folks in North Carolina.

The people who support it will leave and no one will come here.

All we will end up with will be those of us who voted for it.

Unknown said...

This poorly drafted amendment really violates the separation of church and state, as intended in the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution; further, the 14th Amendment also guarantees that everyone has rights not to be discriminated against, and states are prohibited from changing these protections.

If the members of the NCGA want to establish a state church, which spells out one--and only one--interpretation of religious belief and practice, they really need to go back to school and study a few topics, in addition to Constitutional law. It might be informative to study The Crusades, The Inquisition, The Reformation, The Great Awakening, The Age of Enlightenment, The Dark Ages, The Salem Witch Trials, The Quakers, and especially Henry VIII, his divorce and remarriage, and the resulting fall-out...coming full circle back to taking away religious freedoms.

The intended purpose of this amendment is to deny equal rights to some and make hate a permanent part of the NC constitution.

Thanks, NYT for helping the NCGA see their bigotry for what it truly is--bigotry.

VoteForNC said...

Please vote FOR the Amendment as this is a monumental vote for freedom and righteousness in our state and a statement for all that the traditional family stands for.

Wiley Coyote said...

Archie, Archie, Archie....

Look up the definition of polygamy and then look up polyandry.

Your continued retorts about polygamy and children are taken from select headlines of self appointed cult leaders who abuse children.

Your subjugation of women comment is also ridiculous.

It's ok for one woman to be subservient to a man but if two woman want to marry one man it's terrible?...LOL

Again, educate yourself.

E Pluribis Unum said...

Ohhh, simmer down New York. We even have some good old Southern Baptist Ministers who are against this amendment- but never let the truth get in the way of a good story. Couple this with the high percentage of former New Yorkers living in North Carolina and I think we're going to be ok. Being a true Southerner, it wouldn't be polite if I didn't thank you for your contribution and for caring enough to write about us. So, Thank You- and in return for your thoughtfulness, we will release all former New Yorkers on May 9th, so they may return home.

GolfMage said...

Jason said it. Who cares what the NY Times says about YOUR state.

Bobbie Little said...

For those who are crying that Amendment 1 is unconstitutional and discriminatory, why don't we just pull out all stops and quit discriminating against whores and prostitutes and the like. They deserve the same freedoms that we all do don't they? Another thought--if lesbians and gays should be afforded the privilege of marriage so they can reap the benefits of their spouses' benefits, then why can't I "partner up" with my best friend or a stranger on the street so I can get married and get perks and benefits from their employer, IRS, etc.? Shoot, I could marry my grandson and file a joint return, get on his insurance, etc. Just have to wait until he reaches his majority though. Just wondering................

Bobbie Little said...

Let Democracy work! If you don't like what the majority likes, move somewhere else. That's what I plan to do if we keep going down the destructive path we're headed. I have friends who have checked and live on the big briney on their boats, some moved to Costa Rica or other countries and are much happier than they were here. I've always thought that this was the greatest country in the world, but I'm finding out that it isn't. The world is a huge playground--go find your place in the sun.

anziulewicz said...

Ultimately it's not going to matter if NC passes this amendment. The Supreme Court of the United States will have a the final say, since MOST of the legal benefits and protections of marriage come from the FEDERAL government. The churches and conservative organizations that support this amendment know that, but that's beside the point. Their strategy is to stir up as much animosity and hysteria against Gay people as possible, so that when SCOTUS finally rules in favor of marriage equality for law-abiding, taxpaying Gay Americans, they'll be able to scream bloody murder about how the evil government is overturning the "will of the people," and acts of violence against will increase even more.

Personally I avoid spending my money in states where Gay couples are removed from legal protection. I like going to the Outer Banks every summer, and it's sad that I may have to vacation elsewhere. And yeah, I sure the response from supporters of this amendment will be, "Fine. Stay away. We don't need YOUR kind here." I'm accustomed to this kind of prejudice, especially in the Bible Belt. But it isn't doing North Carolina any ECONOMIC favors.