Hello. Welcome to O-Pinion. I'm associate editor Fannie Flono, your host today.
No need to wonder what folks are talking about today. The buzz is all about North Carolina's vote approving a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage - a ban that wasn't even necessary since N.C. law has banned same-sex marriage for 16 years. The amendment of course goes further than the state ban of course. It outlaws civil unions and domestic partnerships as well which several legal experts say affects straight and gay couples who are unmarried.
Here's what some other pundits had to say about North Carolina's vote:
From the conservative Weekly Standard, Jeffrey Bell takes note of the vote's impact on the issue platform of Democratic National Convention: "Yesterday’s overwhelming approval of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions by the voters of North Carolina underlines the growing likelihood that the issue will be a major factor in the 2012 presidential election," he wrote.
"The gulf between the American people and what the Democratic party is likely to write into its platform this September in Charlotte is rendering the issue of gay marriage unavoidable this November. The unanimity of Democratic elites has made a gay marriage platform plank unstoppable. The Republican platform will continue to oppose gay marriage, and by election day more voters than ever before will be aware that, for better or worse, reelection of the Obama-Biden ticket could well mean federal imposition of gay marriage in the president’s second term."
Bill Kristol, the Standard's editor, takes note of the "cultural divide" in Tuesday's vote. "Take a look at the county results. Orange (which includes the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and Durham (Duke) voted 5 to 1 and 5 to 2, respectively, against the amendment. Neighboring counties like Alamance, Person, and Granville were 2 to 1, or more, in favor. So there's a pretty considerable culture gap between adjacent counties in North Carolina."
Alex Roarty of the National Journal joins Bell in taking the long view - of how North Carolina's marriage amendment vote will affect the presidential elections
"The overwhelming North Carolina vote to define marriage as legal only between a man and woman is an unequivocal reminder that gay marriage remains unappealing in many parts of the country, even as its support grows overall nationally," he writes.
"That’s a warning for President Obama, who is currently positioned somewhere between supporters of gay marriage – who include campaign backers and members of his own administration -- and resistant voters like those who helped pass the gay marriage ban this week in the Tar Heel State... Obama’s description of himself as 'evolving' on the issue amounts to a public flirtation, and has prompted speculation that he’ll become a gay-marriage supporter in time for the Democratic National Convention this summer in Charlotte. But the president is counting on North Carolina and demographically similar states, like Virginia, to lift him to a second term. Assuming an unpopular position on such a high-profile issue is politically perilous in those states and others where he may need every last vote to beat back Republican foe Mitt Romney."
Shane L. Windmeyer, a national LBGT leader in higher education, wrote in the liberal Huffington Post that "this constitutional amendment vote brought out the worst in the people of our state. The divisive nature of the political atmosphere was disheartening along with the disappointment of the final vote." But he concluded that "all this vote proves is that education takes more time. As individuals became educated about the amendment, their support for passing the measure declined. And with more time, more conversations, we will undoubtedly win. History is on the side of equality in North Carolina and for all LGBT Americans."
This editorial board thinks history is on that side too. It's a shame voters in the state - but not here in Mecklenburg County, thankfully - decided to look to the past, and repeat civil rights mistakes that many lived to regret, rather than to the future.
Remember Tim?I couldn't resist including this tidbit from the Daily Kos' election round-up about North Carolina's primary: "(David Jarman): Is the name Tim D'Annunzio sounding vaguely familiar? He's on track to be the GOP's nominee in NC-04. (A path to sheer irrelevance, of course, seeing as how that already-blue district got transformed into a 70%+ Obama vote sink.) If you don't remember him, he made it as far as the runoff in 2010 in old NC-08, despite the fact that he's crazy. And not just "crazy" in the Allen West/Joe Walsh sense of being unable to rein in his mouth, but in the clinically insane sense, as in (for starters) believing that he found the Ark of the Covenant in the Arizona desert."
It's great to get mentioned in the national news. Isn't it?
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Posted by Fannie Flono at 10:54 AM