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Brandon's Big Gay Blog

NC Finally Catches Up With Utah in Rejecting Marriage

by Brandon Burt
Posted // 2012-05-09 -

States have been amending their constitutions to deny marriage rights to LGBT families since 1998, when Alaska and Hawaii, the youngest, hippest and most noncontiguous additions to the U.S. federation, started the trend. Utah -- always six years behind the times -- didn't jump on the anti-marriage bandwagon until 2004. But it wasn't until May 8, 2012, that North Carolina finally joined the club, with something like 61 percent of voters approving its shiny, brand-new anti-gay-marriage amendment, making it the last among Southern states to do so.

What took the Tar Heels such a long time to attach themselves to the anti-gay herd?

Now, at the risk that this could be considered an unforgivable slur in some parts of the South, I say: North Carolina is arguably the least unreasonable state in Dixie.

By this, I mean no insult. North Carolina has always been slow to adopt the most ill-advised, failed policies embraced by the rest of the South. In fact, among Confederates, it earned the nickname "The Reluctant State" because it was the last to introduce, on May 20, 1861, a resolution of secession. (Tennessee had the honor of being the last to secede, but only because Volunteer State lawmakers didn't bother to formally adopt their May 7 measure until June.)

So, perhaps North Carolina should be congratulated for its tradition of holding out so long in the face of peer pressure from its Confederate friends. Of course, they always cave, and -- like the rest of states who adopt untenable, unfair policies -- they always eventually lose to the majestic supremacy of changing societal attitudes.

But, thanks for trying, North Carolina! You have become the 30th state to codify a hateful anti-marriage law in your constitution.

At the very least, for those of us tracking the majority portion of states with doomed anti-marriage amendments, North Carolina has simplified matters: The fraction used to be 29/50 -- an awkward figure to say the least -- but now we can say 3/5, which is easily converted to 60 percent.

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Posted // July 23,2012 at 12:54

I'm betting that it will go to the Supreme Court as a civil-rights issue, which it clearly is.  The misguided rhetoric and ill-directed passion occasioned by this issue stem from religious hatred justified by a fundamental mistake: ignorant people think that “marriage” is “matrimony,” which is for them a divine dispensation. Marriage is not "matrimony. " "Matrimony" is a religious value/concept which is not shared by all persons--not even all Christian churches admit it as a "sacrament"--and as a religious concept it constitutionally cannot be imposed by some citizens on others who do not share their religious views. --Marriage, on the other hand, is a civil status like incorporation--indeed, it is a kind of incorporation. Through marriage, the state recognizes the common rights and obligations of two people. These include the right to shared property and the obligation to honor debts contracted by the couple. And tax concessions and other arrangements with the state are also included. The rights and obligations of marriage are civil rights and therefore they may not constitutionally be denied to any adult citizens capable of functioning as members of the state.   Marriage is a civil right, and American governments at all levels must cease to deny the full exercise of this right to their citizens.




Posted // July 26,2012 at 12:59 - Amen, brother!