Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Caution: NC Amendment Might Even Hurt Straight People!

North Carolina is currently mulling a constitutional amendment to define same-sex couples out of the legal definition of marriage. Governor Beverley Perdue recently issued a statement noting that she still believes "that marriage is between one man and one woman," but that she's going to vote against the amendment anyway.

I do appreciate that.

Yet, I have to admit, I'm not thrilled with her reasoning. I get that she has to play the political game that involves walking that fine line between explicitly stating her belief that marriage is "between one man and one woman" while also somehow still finding the appropriate, cowardly, and not-too-accepting-of-gay-people reason for voting against a constitutional amendment that would accord with her stated belief.

Maybe she's being pragmatic, but I'm just not sure great moral and political heroes are remembered for statements like:

"...I’m going to vote against the amendment because I cannot in good conscience look an unemployed man or woman in the eye and tell them that this amendment is more important than finding them a job. In addition, a number of legal experts have argued that this amendment, if passed, could eliminate legal protections for all unmarried couples in our state, regardless of sexual orientation. Right now, my focus, the General Assembly’s focus, and North Carolina’s focus needs to be on creating jobs."


Because anti-gay marriage amendments are totally fine when we're not in a recession and when they only hurt the people who don't matter (same-sex couples), but when they start hurting the people who matter ("all unmarried couples," even the straight ones!) then it's a serious problem?

Although, it is worth noting Maya Rupert's recent observation that black families comprise a quarter of the unmarried households in North Carolina. Since this amendment would strip legal protections from all unmarried couples, even the heterosexual ones, the amendment's devastating effect on black heterosexual families could rival or surpass its effect on LGB families. I'm sure the Hetero-Marriage-Will-Solve-All-Problems-For-Black-People crowd see no problem with this effect as it would, presmuably, "force" more unmarried couples into marriage.

(How's that united rainbow of bigotry working out for everyone, btw?)

While I find it unfortunate that Purdue only seemed willing to oppose the amendment because heterosexuals might also be harmed by it, it is also appalling that anti-LGBT forces are treating the rights of hundreds of thousands of heterosexual couples as acceptable collateral damage in their effort to harm same-sex couples.

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