WANTED: Your thoughts on NC’s proposed “Amendment One”

Posted by: ST on May 6, 2012 at 11:09 am

Been soliciting for opinions on Twitter this morning regarding the proposed “Amendment One” here in NC, which would effectively ban gay marriage and polygamy as being able to be “legally recognized” by the state. Here’s the text.

Our primary is Tuesday. This proposed amendment will be voted on at that time.

I’m conflicted on the issue, which is why I haven’t written much about it. It’s my understanding that the amendment wording is already pretty much state law but that the amendment would “solidify” it more and make it “harder to challenge” in court (feel free to correct any of that if I’m in error).

As long time readers of this blog know, I am a staunch proponent of traditional one man/one woman marriage over any other type of “alternative forms of marriage” including gay marriage and polygamy, but I have to confess that the vagueness of Amendment One concerns me – not to mention that I worry it would hurt existing domestic partnerships in this state as it relates to health benefits, child support, domestic abuse reporting, etc. This will, after all – if passed, be written into the state constitution. That’s a pretty big deal, and one that I know many of my conservative friends in this state are concerned about as well.

I have resisted buying into the “talking points” given by activists on this issue, but there doesn’t seem to be any clear place to go to get the straight up skinny/non-spin information on what this bill will and won’t do.

Anyone in the same boat I am? If not, please state the reasons you are for or against the amendment.

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18 Responses to “WANTED: Your thoughts on NC’s proposed “Amendment One””

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  1. The argument about the violation of civil rights as espoused by the left is a false premise. If one carefully reads the amendment and compares it to cases like Pace v Alabama, and more specifically Loving v Virginia, it becomes readily understandable that there is no justifiable comparison. The court cases of Loving v. Virginia speak to the right of every American to marry. Indeed Chief Justice Earl Warren stated:

    “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men…”

    The foregoing cases did not however decide whether or not the state, such as NC, must legally recognize such marriages, merely that the right to marry exists. So with that understanding we may deduce that so long as doors are not being kicked in, people are not being hauled off to jail, and basic rights such as life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness are not being denied as had happened in Loving v. Virginia, than the premise of the Anti-Amendment 1 (NC) Left is false, thereby rendering their entire argument null.

    Furthermore it should be noted that the states retain the right via the 10th amendment to decide what type of marriage they will legally recognize, while citizens retain the right to move to a state that will recognize their view on this issue. That is the beauty of state rights and is one that should not be piddled away in the name of political correctness.

    ADDENDUM:

    People living in states who do not recognize marriage as anything else other than between a man and a woman should note that things such as end of life arrangements can be handled via wills. Visiting ones partner in the hospital can be handled via power of attorney and so on. Although frustrating, there are work arounds available should a person affected by Amendment 1 in NC (already a NC law, so nothing new) chose to utilize them.

    AUTHOR NOTE: I live in NC and have written about Amendment 1 via my own blog. If you have questions you can contact me via Twitter: my tag is @1776freedwriter. Opinions expressed here are my own. I have not passed the Bar, therefore any commentary on cases disclosed in this comment are from an amateur point of view and should not be construed as legal advice. Also I would like to thank Sistertoldjah for bringing this issue to the fore as the vote in NC happens on Tuesday.

  2. Carlos says:

    The gblt (or whatever) is really p.o.’d right now because of all the “gay-haters” that refuse to have the word “marriage” redefined, which is how libs and leftists get what they want all the time because our side is too slow to pick up on the changes they make to the language.

    I personally don’t give a rat’s patootie what their lifestyle is, that’s between them and their creator. Matter of fact, I have a son transitioning right now and, while I’m not happy with it, it has been his/her decision.

    But the theft of the language to achieve goals society as a whole traditionally views as outside the mainstream of that society is bastardizing the language, and I applaud the people of NC for trying to stop it, at least in this instance.

  3. Xrlq says:

    Robert, there is no 10th Amendment issue here, and if there were, we couldn’t vote on it anyway. All we have are two, substantially identical equal protection clauses, one in Amendment 14 of the federal Constitution, the other at Article I, Section 17 of our state one. Common sense should dictate that whatever those two clauses mean is the same. If neither clause is interpreted to entail a right to gay marriage, then we don’t need Amendment One. If both are, Amendment One won’t help. The only way Amendment One can protect traditional marriage from anything is you believe NC courts will rule that “No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws” entails a right to gay marriage while “No State shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” does not.

    Carlos, there’s a lot more than definitions at stake here. A number of states have successfully preserved the traditional definition of marriage while extending similar (or even identical) protections to gays in the form of domestic partnerships or civil unions. Amendment One would prohibit those as well.

    ST: as you can guess I’m not a big fan of Amendment One. However, I think the domestic violence and child support stuff is complete nonsense. Those laws don’t depend on any legal domestic unions now, and they won’t if/when Amendment One passes. Loss of domestic partner benefits for government employees, maybe.

    Too many thoughts on the topic to fit in someone’s comment area. Time to exhume my own blog?

  4. ST says:

    X, let me know if you write about this on your blog. I would like to read it.

  5. Xrlq says:

    Sent a ping back but it’s not showing up so here’s a link: http://xrlq.com/2012/05/06/vote-no-one-amendment-one/

  6. Ted says:

    I live in NC, and have already voted through our early voting. I’m conservative first and GOP second, Christian with a strong belief in God. And I voted against the amendment. What it came down to for me was this: their choice/lifestyle/whatever is between them and God. It’s for God to judge, not me. I’m married to a wonderful wife. Whether or not the state tells some other person that they and their same sex partner are “married” doesn’t add to or take away from my marriage. That’s between me, my wife, and God. I think the underlying issue here is that this is just another form of the problem that we put too much importance on the State. Just because the State says something or uses a magic word doesn’t necessarily make it so. Conversely, if the State suddenly decided to call my relationship with my wife a “civil union” I really wouldn’t care, because whether the State sanctions my relationship between my wife and and I, or how they sanction it, is irrelevant to me. That’s between me and God.

    Thanks,
    Ted

  7. Xrlq, I think you misinterpreted what I was saying or I wrote it badly (more likely the latter).

    All I was saying was that NC Amendment 1 has nothing to do with denying anyone rights. The only reason I brought up Amendment 10 of the US constitution was to demonstrate that the states/the People have the right to recognize the legal definition of what marriage means and how it is applied. No one is stopped from being “married”. LG’s can still having wedding ceremonies, wear wedding bands, tell folks that they’re married.

    The question is: Will the state recognize them as “legally married” or will it not?

    What the people of NC are deciding on Tuesday is whether to keep the legal recognition of marriage in NC the same, or to change the legal recognition of marriage by shooting down the amendment. (ergo retaining or expanding the legal definition of marriage and to whom it applies)

    So you are right when you say that we are not voting on Amendment 10 of the US constitution (because like you said, also correct, we couldn’t anyway not that I would want to :-), rather we are utilizing the function of (USC) Amendment 10 to decide what a legal definition will be and how it will affect people.

    If I thought that gays were being denied the same rights that all Americans are entitled to, you would have no fiercer advocate for those rights. I haven’t, however seen anything that shows me their rights are being denied. The police aren’t going into houses to separate them, jail them, or deprive them of property. They are not being discriminated against. I have to agree with Carlos when he talks about the word “marriage” being redefined, because after all of my research, I find, that this is all the hubbub is really about.

    I want to close with this: I have given some thought to the loss of employee benefits however (maybe I’m wrong) couldn’t that be covered under the contract clause of the Amendment, via employment contract?

    Ted: I hold Christian views as well, and I completely agree with you, that it is up to God to render judgement one way or another. We have enough personal problems to keep us occupied without judging other people, lol.

  8. Xrlq says:

    Robert, it is not accurate to say that we’re voting on whether to keep the definition of marriage the same vs. changing it by voting down Amendment One. The definition of marriage will remain the same either way. If the amendment fails, the odds of the same General Assembly that gave us this amendment turning around and enacting a gay marriage law are slim to none. The real question is not whether gay marriage and marriage substitutes are a great idea or even necessarily a good one. Rather, it’s whether they are so positively awful that future General Assemblies should forbidden even to consider them.

    I do not understand your argument that traditional marriage laws do not discriminate. Married people have a plethora of legal rights, privileges, immunities and responsibilities the law does not make available to unmarried people. Of course that discriminates against the unmarried, and most importantly against those who cannot marry. If you happen to think this particular discrimination is appropriate (as most would say of a law discriminating against polygamy, for instance) then by all means, make your case. But it defies reason to deny it is a discrimination at all.

    Lastly, re benefits note that the amendment merely preserves the right of “a private party” to enter into contracts “with another private party.” Government agencies are not private parties, so depending on how the amendment is construed by the courts, we may well end up in a situation where Duke can offer domestic partnership benefits but Carolina cannot.

  9. Aarradin says:

    I’d support it if only to prevent a few State Supreme Court Judges from ever possibly legislating from the bench that the laws preventing same sex marriage are ‘unconstitutional’.

    Judges are forever deciding cases based on ‘evolving standards of decency’ (ie. their own personal opinion). Here is a clear way to establish what the current ‘stnadard’ actually is: pass something by referendum that must meet that high bar of a constitutional amendment.

    Its not like it would be set in stone: this could be reversed in the future if society should somehow, er, ‘evolve’ to believe just the opposite that most people beleive now.

    This allows the actual citizens of the state, rather than a few jurists or the ‘political class’ in the state assembly determine social policy.

    As it should be.

  10. Chris in NC says:

    Quite frankly, if gays are silly enough to want to get married (mine’s almost finished), then let them. Why should straight people suffer all the pain.

    Seriously, A1 is an abomination. Constitutions should define limits to government power and should not be used to determine social trends. I will vote against it.

    Robert:
    “The question is: Will the state recognize them as “legally married” or will it not?”

    That’s the question and the problem. The federal government and the governments of states should not be in the marriage business. The ONLY reason they are is for money through fees. They have no business making those kinds of definitions and the fact that they do shows how far the left has come in getting what they want.

    Ted:
    “What it came down to for me was this: their choice/lifestyle/whatever is between them and God. It’s for God to judge, not me.”

    Which makes you a better definition of Christian than a lot of people I know. Well said.

  11. Marshall Art says:

    Should a state or country decide to encourage a behavior through its tax code or other laws, it is because the behavior is seen as beneficial to the state or country. It is not discrimination if some do not or cannot take advantage of these laws. What is true is that it is ludicrous to insist that one be given recognition for that which the state or country does not agree is worth of recognizing. All that matters is that the laws are applied equally. Marriage laws have always been so since they stopped preventing men and women of different races and/or religions from marrying. Claims of discrimination by homosexuals are therefor deceitful and no more than selfish whining.

    For the record, I do not approve of any state sanctioning “domestic partner” arrangements, as they are simply marriage by another name. All non-governmental restrictions, such as hospital visitation, can be dealt with separately, as I see no need to restrict whomever a patient chooses to admit. No state or country needs to institute fake marital unions to overcome such issues.

  12. Drew the Infidel says:

    The Bible was written about Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.

  13. Ken66 says:

    The Bible says man/woman marriage. Period. That’s good enough for me.

  14. WB says:

    No hype article on Amendment One.

    http://greensboroguardian.com/2012/04/26/the-legalities-of-amendment-one/

    As for voting against because we don’t “want to judge others”–why not permit polygamy, bestiality, pedophiles, or a host of other things? Really. This isn’t about judging, it’s about keeping some modicum of biblical standards and morals–standards our forefathers felt were important. Standards that, as a country, God says are important. I’m tired of Christians excusing away any since of morality because it impinges upon the freedom of others. This is about what God says is right and wrong…and if you aren’t willing to support that–then why bother to have any standards at all. This country was founded upon Christian standards–start removing them or excusing them away and you will replace it with a rise in immorality, lost ethics, an erosion of the family–oh wait–.

    This isn’t about being prejudicial against gay people. It’s about, as a society, saying what is acceptable behavior and what is not. And that should be based upon what God says is acceptable. If not, Sodom needs an apology and we can tear Romans 1 right out of the bible.

  15. Jim McDonald says:

    The ‘Gay Marraige’ debate has nothing to do with homosexuals having legal unions. It is about making people accept this unnatural coupling as normal – which it is not.

  16. JED says:

    I believe that the Lord gave me some clarity about this issue. It seems everyone wants to cloud it with legalities and consequences and problems, but when you look at the amendment itself it comes down to one thing: the definition of marriage. Is this definition acceptable to the people of NC or not? We’ll find out tomorrow. I wrote a post for my blog recently exploring a biblical defense of Amendment 1. I offer a link here in hopes that it may help clarify some things.

  17. Splat! says:

    I am against the Amendment, only because I think it is unnecessary.
    The marriage laws of NC already specify that it is an act between a man and a woman; it must be duly licensed.
    Contrary to ads I have seen running by opposition, passage of the Amendment would have no effect on Domestic Violence laws (as these cover “current or former household members;” regardless of gender or relationship.
    Nor would it effect dependent health insurance coverage, as such coverage is under private contract. Even though the second part of the amendment is not printed on the ballot, it specifically states that the Amendment will not prohibit or effect adjudication of private contracts.
    I am “for” traditional definition of the word “marriage”. I am not against the creation of civil or domestic “partnerships” for alternative lifestyles.
    I am, however, against creating new laws or making constitutional amendments when they are not necessary.

    There you have it. :)