Still voting on other people's rights
May 8, 2012 12:40 PM   Subscribe

A preacher rebukes North Carolina media over asking the wrong questions about marriage. North Carolina votes today on Amendment 1, which states that, "Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State." Here are some of the people who would be affected.
posted by klangklangston (183 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State."

Which one?
posted by mr_roboto at 12:45 PM on May 8, 2012 [12 favorites]


Denial
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:45 PM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


For the life of me I will never understand why religious people care SO MUCH about what genitals go where.
posted by Aquaman at 12:46 PM on May 8, 2012 [21 favorites]


Missing the "bigotry" tag.
posted by spitbull at 12:47 PM on May 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Is there a non-YouTube transcription or summary of what the preacher was saying?
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:48 PM on May 8, 2012


This preacher has the issue nailed - it is not about sex.
It is about control and political power.
posted by Flood at 12:49 PM on May 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Which one?

One of the awful ones.
posted by Artw at 12:49 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


> For the life of me I will never understand why religious people care SO MUCH about what genitals go where.

You've got it flipped. Not all religious care about that. But people who do care about other folks' genitals do use religion as their justification.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:49 PM on May 8, 2012 [17 favorites]


"Which one?"

Uh, North Carolina?
posted by klangklangston at 12:50 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


For the life of me I will never understand why religious people care SO MUCH about what genitals go where.

Because it's easier to preach against a sin that most of your congregation is unlikely to commit than one that almost all people struggle with from time to time (gluttony, greed, jealousy, etc.). It's about keeping people in the pews (and money in the coffers).
posted by desjardins at 12:50 PM on May 8, 2012 [13 favorites]


Rev. Dr. William J. Barber is also the head of North Carolina's chapter of the NAACP.
posted by NoMich at 12:50 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of the main reasons for it passing may not be bigotry, but ignorance:
Lack of voter understanding about how far reaching the amendment is continues to be the biggest obstacle for those hoping to defeat it. 55% of voters in the state support some form of legal recognition for gay couples in the form of either marriage or civil unions to only 41% completely opposed. But at the same time 55% of voters plan to support the amendment that would prohibit any legal recognition for same sex couples while only 41% are opposed.

The problem for opponents is that only 40% of voters actually know that the amendment bans both gay marriage and civil unions. With those voters the amendment is failing by a 60-38 margin. But with voters who think all the amendment does is ban gay marriage, 27% of the electorate, it's passing by a 72-27 margin. And with voters who admit they don't actually know what the amendment does, 26% of the electorate, it leads by a 64-28 margin. The more voters understand the full implications of the amendment the less likely they are to support it, but the clock is ticking.

When we informed poll respondents the amendment banned both gay marriage and civil unions and then asked how they would vote, only 38% continued to support it with 46% opposed.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:51 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


For the life of me I will never understand why religious people care SO MUCH about what genitals go where.

Because it's easier to preach against a sin that most of your congregation is unlikely to commit than one that almost all people struggle with from time to time (gluttony, greed, jealousy, etc.). It's about keeping people in the pews (and money in the coffers).


Did you even watch the video? He's speaking against Amendment 1, and in support of LGBT couples.

BTW, there's a really nasty component to the amendment: the wife of the guy who wrote it claimed he did it to preserve the "Caucasian race," and then tried to claim she had heatstroke when confronted about it.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:52 PM on May 8, 2012 [21 favorites]


For the life of me I will never understand why religious people care SO MUCH about what genitals go where.

Some religious people do. But the phenomenon of gay existence being turned into a political instrument, a weapon, in the US in the last few decades is all about getting conservative people to vote for agendas that involve their social issues only tangentially, and whose main purpose is to dismantle the government, deregulate industry, and privatize all service provision. It's merely a mechanistic tactic, and it's working pretty well.
posted by clockzero at 12:53 PM on May 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


My wife and I just got back from voting no on this. There are so many people here saying stuff like "marriage comes from god" and "we don't make the rules; god makes the rules". What they don't seem to realize is there are two pieces to marriage:

1) the state-sanctioned portion which is tied to tax status and other practical items, and
2) whatever religious portion your particular faith adds to that when you get married in your church/synagogue/mosque/courthouse/whatever.

If people want to limit marriage to what their faith says it is, why stop at gay marriage? Why not say, "I'm Catholic, your Baptist marriage shouldn't count" or "I'm Muslim, your atheist courthouse marriage shouldn't count", or "you can't marry someone of another ethnicity because I feel funny about it".

I suspect the real answer is that a good chunk of the pro-amendment people would love to say exactly those things, but they are no longer socially acceptable. Gays are one of the last groups they can get away with being bigoted towards.

I really worry this will pass. How embarrassing for our state, and how insulting to all the gay folks I know who are chugging along trying to run businesses, have relationships, and so on. I asked my wife if her gay friends were agitated over this, and they sort of are, but a lot of them are old enough that they've grown to expect this stuff and have worked around it by settling in liberal towns like Carrboro. Then she said something like "You don't have to tell the horse about the race."
posted by freecellwizard at 12:53 PM on May 8, 2012 [38 favorites]


Sorry, Mr. Roboto, I got your joke too late. (Which man, which woman, right?)
posted by klangklangston at 12:53 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


this guy for president
posted by SharkParty at 12:54 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I mean, we've got Official State Rocks, we've got Official State Flowers, why not an Official State Heterosexual?
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:55 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


You know... to put this in perspective, this is nearly the equivalent of citizens voting as to whether or not "whites" should get their own water fountains, or who has to sit in the back of the bus.

Certain things are just "inalienable" and don't belong on the ballot.

The sad part is that I'm pretty sure there's more than a few people around here who need a claw hammer to the face in order to understand that, or at least stop preaching their brand of xenophobia as if it were a god-given right.

Also: violence is not the answer. Except when it is.
posted by Blue_Villain at 12:55 PM on May 8, 2012


"we don't make the rules; god makes the rules"
Hah! One wonders why they're making so many damn rules, then.
posted by kavasa at 12:55 PM on May 8, 2012 [20 favorites]


I'd love for one goddamn conservative to answer me this question:

What business is it of the government what gender a person is?
posted by odinsdream at 12:56 PM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


"we don't make the rules; god makes the rules"

...and we didn't like the rule about how everyone dies, so we invented a different god who can bring people back to life.

*fingers crossed*
posted by R. Schlock at 12:57 PM on May 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


"we don't make the rules; god makes the rules"

Presumably God made the gays, too.
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:58 PM on May 8, 2012 [15 favorites]


I'm still waiting for this whole fight to become a First Amendment (US) issue.

You don't get to write laws based on religion. There has yet to be an argument against gay marriage that does not originate from religion (or sheer bigotry dressed up as religion, but whatever). Therefore, there is no sustainable argument.

Why the anti-gay marriage people aren't forced to confront this reality before their propositions are given any sort of hearing at all just doesn't make sense to me.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:59 PM on May 8, 2012 [8 favorites]


Our neighbor recounted a story from early-voting. He was there to vote No, of course, and was engaging some people in line who were there to vote Yes.

He brought up the fact that, as written, this amendment affects opposite-sex couples in domestic partnerships with respect to adoption, domestic violence protections, insurance, etc.,

All that, and this lady says "I know. That's why I'm voting for it." Essentially she was there to ensure that, yes, really, the only type of relationship permitted, period, would be an opposite-sex one. Just outright hatred of civil society.
posted by odinsdream at 1:00 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Celsius1414: Is there a non-YouTube transcription or summary of what the preacher was saying?

"However you feel about same sex marriage ... for or against, you should always be against division and hatred being written into our constitutions. And so you say to the media, when they go to the polls, when they ask how they feel about same sex marriage. That is not the question on the ballot... You can't vote on religion....

The question that should have been raised is do you want to go against constitutional history. That is, since the 13th and 14th and 15th amendments, we have always expanded rights, we have never decreased rights.

The only time we did it was in the beginning when we wrote blacks in as 3/5ths of a person, and we wrote women out, and we wrote poor white people out.... The only time we limited, was in 1875, the last time we tried this marriage thing in North Carolina, when we amended the constitution to disallow interracial marriage. The question should have been, do you want to go backwards. "

Rough and incomplete, but that's about the first 3rd.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:00 PM on May 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


A friend of mine outside Raleigh reports that there's some local news of people being given the wrong ballots (with the amendment vote missing); it has apparently trickled up to the national level at the (*shudder*) Huffington Post. I haven't seen hard verification of this yet, but it's something to keep an eye on.
posted by introp at 1:00 PM on May 8, 2012


Why the anti-gay marriage people aren't forced to confront this reality before their propositions are given any sort of hearing at all just doesn't make sense to me.

Also research a bit about how this particular amendment got on the ballot in the first place. I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that it was underhanded, secretive and anti-democratic.
posted by odinsdream at 1:01 PM on May 8, 2012


Why the anti-gay marriage people aren't forced to confront this reality

Well, if the courts can say that liking something on facebook isn't protected under the first amendment, what chance does placing your genitalia in the vicinity of others have of being covered?

This is also feeding the frenzy, because a large number of them can cite court cases like they cite the old testament and say "see, we're right".
posted by Blue_Villain at 1:01 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hate to see the state I love go down this path. Disgusting.
posted by Vhanudux at 1:02 PM on May 8, 2012


I sure hope if this passes that Research Triangle gives NC the finger, packs up and leaves. There's a whole lot of folks at companies like IBM who've got very broad liberty with domestic partner arrangements who won't and shouldn't have to put up with shit like this.
posted by kjs3 at 1:02 PM on May 8, 2012 [13 favorites]


Blue_Villain: I believe scaryblackdeath was referring to the "separation of church and state" part of the 1st amendment, not the "freedom of expression" part.

Also, I'd argue that sex and one's choice of partner is a far more expressive act than hitting the like button on Facebook. It's kind of like the difference between a William Carlos Williams poem and a crude penis drawn on the wall of a public restroom.
posted by Scientist at 1:05 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I sure hope if this passes that Research Triangle gives NC the finger, packs up and leaves.

If this passes I know this heterosexual will be packing up and leaving for a state with more rational people. Like South Carolina. And I'll be taking my heterosexual girlfriend and our tbd three year old daughter with us.
posted by Blue_Villain at 1:06 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


If this passes I know this heterosexual will be packing up and leaving for a state with more rational people. Like South Carolina.

Wait, what?
posted by zombieflanders at 1:08 PM on May 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


I said "more rational"... cause you know, -5 is greater than -10.
posted by Blue_Villain at 1:09 PM on May 8, 2012


One of the main reasons for it passing may not be bigotry, but ignorance: ...

Rhaomi, your quoted statistics do nothing to dissuade me from believing those opposed are bigots, even if 55% would allow gays to "ride the back of the marriage bus", so to speak.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:10 PM on May 8, 2012


For the life of me I will never understand why religious people care SO MUCH about what genitals go where.

Because it's easier to preach against a sin that most of your congregation is unlikely to commit than one that almost all people struggle with from time to time (gluttony, greed, jealousy, etc.). It's about keeping people in the pews (and money in the coffers).

Did you even watch the video? He's speaking against Amendment 1, and in support of LGBT couples.

zombieflanders, I don't think the two people you quoted necessarily misunderstood that, or were referring to the reverend in the link. ALL the anti-LGBT-rights people I know use religious arguments to back up their hatred.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:11 PM on May 8, 2012


Vhanudux: "I hate to see the state I love go down this path. Disgusting."

We moved down here from the People's Republic of Massachusetts a few years ago, and I girded up my loins to live as a lone voice of reason in a sea of conservatism, but I've been pleasantly surprised by how many liberals there are here (in the Raleigh area, at least). Maybe it's the colleges, or maybe it's all the transplants from more liberal parts of the country, but I am almost never the only liberal in any gathering of people I find myself in. That said, the fact that this amendment looks like it is going to pass is really disheartening, and makes me really angry. Even more so because of stuff like Rhaomi's link -- it's not that people are for this amendment, they just don't understand it, and saying "yes" seems somehow safer than saying "no."
posted by Rock Steady at 1:11 PM on May 8, 2012


I sure hope if this passes that Research Triangle gives NC the finger, packs up and leaves. There's a whole lot of folks at companies like IBM who've got very broad liberty with domestic partner arrangements who won't and shouldn't have to put up with shit like this.

Good point. Most of these amendments and laws have had nothing to do with forbidding actual domestic partnerships or same-sex marriage. Instead, they've been about providing constitutional grounds on the state level against private and local benefits and non-discrimination policies. When these started to hit the books back in the early 90s, we saw a wave of action against universities, hospitals, and municipalities that had optional piecemeal benefits on the books.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 1:13 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm still waiting for this whole fight to become a First Amendment (US) issue.

I'm still waiting for the Drug War to become a First Amendment issue. Keep dreaming (with me!)
posted by mrgrimm at 1:13 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I mean, we've got Official State Rocks, we've got Official State Flowers, why not an Official State Heterosexual?

Clay Aiken?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:14 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I said "more rational"... cause you know, -5 is greater than -10.

I know what you're saying about "more rational," but South Carolina passed its own version Amendment One in 2006 and would probably pass it all over again just for spite if the most recent polling is any indication.
posted by blucevalo at 1:14 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love the (Baptist?) culture where you stand behind the guy speaking and agree with him. I need more of that in my life.

"Can I take your order?"
"Yes, I'd like to have..."
"Got to have!"
"...the Rooty-Tooty-Fresh-and-Fruity..."
"Rooty-Tooty!"
"...with scrambled eggs..."
"Hmm-mmm!"
"...and orange juice."
"Yessir!"

It's easy to make fun of it (and I just did), but I think it actually makes it more engaging to listen to and take part in.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:14 PM on May 8, 2012 [12 favorites]


It says something about how low my expectations of religious people have sunk, especially clergy, that seeing this guy doing the decent thing and stand up for the rights of all people not to be discriminated against, who does the least that's asked of any Christian, to not be a false witness, to not judge, could move me so.

That is the sort of church within which I grew up.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:16 PM on May 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Blue_Villain: I believe scaryblackdeath was referring to the "separation of church and state" part of the 1st amendment, not the "freedom of expression" part.

Ah, good point. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" etc. That's maybe even less likely to happen, though, no? Our fucking money says "In God We Trust"; our fucking pledge of allegiance says "One Nation Under God."

Good luck, y'all.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:17 PM on May 8, 2012


I live in NC, though I'm not eligible to vote as a Canadian citizen. So instead, I turned my idle anger about my adoptive home into a blog post about why what the Bible says about marriage is really secondary to this issue.

And also gratuitous ranting.
posted by Phire at 1:20 PM on May 8, 2012


this guy for president
posted by SharkParty


Oh god, that'd be great. Just the idea of all the commentators on local news websites exploding makes me want to fund that campaign. Barber is in the news a lot around here, just pled guilty to a misdemeanor trespassing charge for interrupting a legislative session with chants of "Fund education, not incarceration." He got arrested awhile back for some kind of protest when the local school board was trying to re-segregate the schools.

This amendment was pushed through by a Republican majority elected in 2010 on the promise of jobs, jobs, jobs. The Republican Speaker of the House even admitted it would eventually be repealed. Thanks for wasting the state's time and money doofus.

And...here's North Carolina's previous marriage amendment from 1875.

Just got back to work a little while ago after voting against this abomination. It is disheartening to think this thing will probably pass. I think NC is the only state in the south that hasn't done this yet.
posted by marxchivist at 1:21 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's the problem... it says "Congress shall make no law"... it doesn't say anything about state rights.

This one has a better chance of falling under the Interstate Commerce clause than the first amendment. It'd be even better if it were a federal amendment akin to the 12th, 13th, 15th or 19th... in that they basically say "humans have X rights regardless of anything the states have to say about it."
posted by Blue_Villain at 1:21 PM on May 8, 2012


I spent the first 18 years of my life in North Carolina and while I doubt I'll ever spend an entire month there ever again, I love the state dearly. It's nice to see someone there making sense, instead of calling on people to beat their effeminate children.

Seriously, North Carolina, you've got good weather, great beaches, the amazing barbeque, and the fucking Carolina Tar Heels. You've got a lot to be proud of, don't fuck it up.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:22 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been telling folks for the last week that if the amendment passes with 55% or less, I'm counting it as a victory. California's similar amendment passed with 52%, right? I think it's extremely unrealistic to think that North Carolina would do any better than that. But if 45% of voters actually vote no in 2012 in NC against this anti-gay garbage, I'll take that as a positive sign, thanks. If it passes with more than 60%, though, I'll be sad for a while.

Oh, and here's an antidote to what will almost certainly be some variety of disappointing news tonight:

On a wide variety of issues related to gays, polling over the years has shown a consistent trend: although there are short-term ups and downs, over longer periods the public has become steadily more supportive of gay equality at the rate of about 1-2% per year. And the same is true here [on same-sex marriage]. Public opinion has shifted 23 points in 12 years.

We're winning, we're gonna win, full equality under the law will happen in the USA for lgbtq folks in most of our lifetimes. A decade at the most.

This is certain.
posted by mediareport at 1:23 PM on May 8, 2012 [10 favorites]


I'm of the opinion that banning gay marriage are inherently first amendment violations. Because marriage is unique in that it is the only religious ceremony that carries with it the force of law: in this case, the 1100 or so special rights and privileges granted by our government to married heterosexuals.

What laws against equal marriage do is to say that every marriage ceremony performed by state-sanctioned religions carry the full weight of law, but only *some* of those performed by non-state-sanctioned religions do. Those laws place a a government bureaucrat in the position of having to decide the legitimacy of one religion over another.

My personal feeling on this is that the solution here is to have the two witnessed signatures on the marriage license be sufficient for the granting of those 1100 special rights and privileges, and then the churches can be free to marry or not marry whomever they want, regardless of gender without even the tiniest bit of government interference or promotion.
posted by deadmessenger at 1:25 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Something something doofus something spreading something something hate hate hate.
posted by Slackermagee at 1:27 PM on May 8, 2012


We're winning, we're gonna win, full equality under the law will happen in the USA for lgbtq folks in most of our lifetimes. A decade at the most.

I don't know. I see what you're saying, and it's the right direction. But at the same time, there's some serious losing going on for everybody when whole classes of people have to fight for equal protection under the law.
posted by atbash at 1:27 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's the problem... it says "Congress shall make no law"... it doesn't say anything about state rights.

The 14th Amendment and the Incorporation Doctrine clarifies that the Bill of Rights also applies to acts by state and local governments.
posted by deadmessenger at 1:29 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I spent the first 18 years of my life in North Carolina and while I doubt I'll ever spend an entire month there ever again, I love the state dearly. It's nice to see someone there making sense, instead of calling on people to beat their effeminate children.

Seriously, North Carolina, you've got good weather, great beaches, the amazing barbeque, and the fucking Carolina Tar Heels. You've got a lot to be proud of, don't fuck it up.


FWIW, North Carolina seems to be doing a lot better politically-speaking than it used to. A lot of carpetbaggers nice liberal Northerners have moved down there because it's a new tech hub (for example, it's where Apple's new cloud services are quartered) and cheap to buy or rent. That means that a lot more people on the left side of the political spectrum have turned the state a little more blue, thus Obama winning in 2008. On the downside, the state GOP took over in 2010 and got to redistrict the hell out of what was already a pretty gerrymandered state, so in terms of representation it will likely still be essentially Republican for most of the next decade despite the demographic shift.

On a wide variety of issues related to gays, polling over the years has shown a consistent trend: although there are short-term ups and downs, over longer periods the public has become steadily more supportive of gay equality at the rate of about 1-2% per year. And the same is true here [on same-sex marriage]. Public opinion has shifted 23 points in 12 years.

That 3% drop in support over the last year is worrisome, though.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:32 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I saw this video on The Last Word last night, and this part near the end was just chilling.
Do you believe—especially in The South with all of our ugly history—in The South, where if we had had to vote on the laws that protect us today—in The South—and some of them if we probably put them up for a popular vote today. If we put the Voting Rights Act up for a vote today in The South. If we put the Civil Rights Act of '64 up for a vote today in The South. If we put the Fair Housing law up for a vote today in The South—it would probably be defeated. And you believe in The South we ought to be putting people's rights up for a popular vote?

Just as a point of anecdata, a friend posted a photo of their polling place in North Carolina a couple of hours ago. The poling place is a church, and the church's sign says "Vote Yes, Marriage, Man and Woman, On 5-8." The county board of elections wouldn't take their complaint because this wasn't against the rules in that it wasn't a partisan issue. The state board of elections won't hear a complaint until it has been filed with the county. God Bless America
posted by ob1quixote at 1:34 PM on May 8, 2012 [13 favorites]


Actually, forgot that there was a concurrent rise in opposition, which makes it an even worse 6% net loss.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:34 PM on May 8, 2012


atbash: "I see what you're saying, and it's the right direction. But at the same time, there's some serious losing going on for everybody when whole classes of people have to fight for equal protection under the law."

Yes and no. Yes, because we theoretically should be at a point where we recognize that legally discriminating against people for any number of reasons is wrong.

But on the other hand, this is how wrongs are corrected: we fight against them. I think popular opinion shifting to be less bigoted is a net win, regardless of how hard the battle to do so is. This is some seriously entrenched grade-A bullshit fear we're fighting against.
posted by Phire at 1:34 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


That preacher was fantastic. My favorite quote - and one that holds for lots of civil rights issues - was this one: "The question should have been not how you feel about same sex marriage, but do you believe that a majority, by popular vote, should get to decide the rights of a minority. That's a dangerous precedent."
posted by AgentRocket at 1:36 PM on May 8, 2012 [10 favorites]


FWIW, North Carolina seems to be doing a lot better politically-speaking than it used to. A lot of carpetbaggers nice liberal Northerners have moved down there

That doesn't really make it better, mostly because I grew up hating all those carpetbaggers for reasons totally unrelated to politics. I'm not a bigot, but I'm not a Yankee.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:37 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Again, just to be clear, the preacher in the first link, William Barber, is one of the good ones in this fight. If you want to fulminate against idiotic religious bigotry steeped in civil rights hypocrisy, the Af-Am preacher you're looking for in North Carolina is Patrick Wooden of the Upper Room Church of God in Christ here in Raleigh. He's a gerbil-monger and everything, loving to talk about gaping male anuses and diapers:

I know of a case where in a hospital a homosexual male had a cellphone lodged in his anus and as they were operating on him the phone went off, the phone started ringing!

Of course, there's no such case. But it makes gripping pulpit material in certain churches, I guess.
posted by mediareport at 1:38 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


To add to ob1quixote's quote from The Last Word, here's a neat photo comparison I found on Facebook.
posted by Phire at 1:39 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


If we put the Voting Rights Act up for a vote today in The South.

The Voting Rights Act (specifically Section 5) is actually going in front of the Supreme Court either this year or next. And after Kennedy's freakout on the health care law, there's a lot of uncertainty about how it will be voted on, too.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:41 PM on May 8, 2012


Because marriage is unique in that it is the only religious ceremony that carries with it the force of law: in this case, the 1100 or so special rights and privileges granted by our government to married heterosexuals.

This is simply not true. If you want to get religious-married and not civil-married, you're free to do so in Church of Whatever.

Most commonly, you then also get the state paperwork to be civil-married, and sometimes that even happens simultaneously in the same physical space.
posted by odinsdream at 1:44 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just as a point of anecdata, a friend posted a photo of their polling place in North Carolina a couple of hours ago. The poling place is a church, and the church's sign says "Vote Yes, Marriage, Man and Woman, On 5-8." The county board of elections wouldn't take their complaint because this wasn't against the rules in that it wasn't a partisan issue. The state board of elections won't hear a complaint until it has been filed with the county.

I was just wondering about this issue the other day. My polling place is also a church, and I hadn't really thought about how that's kind of weird until this vote. I live in Orange County, which in addition to being probably the most liberal county in NC, also had early voting at different locations (don't know if other counties are the same), but I can imagine being visibly queer or wanting to go vote with my same-sex partner and feeling uncomfortable going to a church to vote on this issue when the church is vocally against it.
posted by radiomayonnaise at 1:47 PM on May 8, 2012


For the life of me I will never understand why religious people care SO MUCH about what genitals go where.

I don't care who is fucking who with what (so long as it's consensual), and neither does my church.

I do care about the big, nasty, smelly, tar-covered brush that comes out to smear me and millions of other people every time some idiot speaks out against human rights or science and somebody else comes along and denounces "religious people" in a knee-jerk reaction.

I don't want to be associated with homophobes, busybodies, morons, and selfish hypocrites. I share your low opinion of them. They certainly don't claim to represent me or want anything to do with me either, liberal transgendered idolater that I am.

"Religious people" are not a monolithic entity.
posted by Foosnark at 1:49 PM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Scientist: It's kind of like the difference between a William Carlos Williams poem and a crude penis drawn on the wall of a public restroom.
This is not my first day on Metafilter, son- you totally made that analogy solely to elicit the below reaction, didn't you? Fine, I'll be the one who takes the bait:
I have doodled
the penises
that were on
the stall wall

and which
you were probably
eyeing
while pooping

Forgive me
they were sophomoric
so hairy
and so crude
posted by hincandenza at 1:49 PM on May 8, 2012 [18 favorites]


This is simply not true. If you want to get religious-married and not civil-married, you're free to do so in Church of Whatever.

Not only that, but the default for religious marriage ceremonies is that they never carry the force of law unless the parties get a license from the state first.

The question is not whether same-sex couples can get married (they can), but whether the government can refuse to issue them a license based on their sex. Efforts to stop "same-sex marriage" are not aimed at actually stopping same-sex marriage at all, but at forcing the government to discriminate in its issuance of licenses for a purely civil purpose.

There is no anti-same-sex-marriage ballot initiative I know of that even remotely proposes or purports to have any effect whatsoever on a same-sex couple's ability or right to get married in a purely religious ceremony. In short, the religious groups (and others) that oppose same-sex marriage are working only to stop the aspect of same-sex marriage that is completely separate from religion already.
posted by The World Famous at 1:52 PM on May 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


(I guess I should make clear that I think it's outrageous that political groups and individuals are using religious rhetoric, affiliations, and pressure to advance a policy offensive that affects a purely civil institution. I can understand a few of the real reasons why my own religion, to give just one example, is opposed to same-sex marriage as a civil institution, but I don't think the ground they're trying to protect is nearly as sacred as the rights they're trying to trample.)
posted by The World Famous at 1:58 PM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have lived in North Carolina my entire life, and I love North Carolina. It makes me beyond sick that this will probably pass. Never in my life have I had so many comforting conversations with strangers --who have walked by our house, seen our anti-amendment sign, and stopped to talk about how every last sane person had to go vote against it. Even though we'd probably still lose.

I had a major falling-out with a friend over this amendment. She's started to slip over to the dark side, as far as her political beliefs go, but she still supposedly opposes this amendment. She just wishes the anti-crowd would shut up about it already, GOD, just quit whining. I got into it with her, and it may be that our friendship is over. A little ironic that we parted ways over a marriage amendment, since she performed my wedding.

Also, two of my friends in Robeson Country were subject to deceptive oral descriptions of the amendment from a poll worker, who said, "If you vote for this amendment, you support marriage between a man and a woman. If you vote against, you support marriage between a man and a man". Weird and gross and confusing. They both called 1-866-OUR-VOTE to report this bullshit. The poll workers got a talking-to, but nothing more serious, as far as I know. Unforgivable.
posted by Coatlicue at 2:08 PM on May 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State."

So have they announced the names of the lucky couple yet?
posted by Naberius at 2:08 PM on May 8, 2012 [16 favorites]


Rocksteady: Maybe it's the colleges, or maybe it's all the transplants from more liberal parts of the country, but I am almost never the only liberal in any gathering of people I find myself in

That's pretty true. This amendment's base of support is in eastern NC, where's it's leading by about 66 to 33. It polls ahead in Western NC, slightly ahead in Charlotte, and way behind in the triangle.

Eastern NC is a blasted-out shell of a region. All the jobs are gone, so it's not terribly surprising that this kind of ignorance is there. But it does speak ill of many (not all) of the Anti-1 groups when the bill is passing largely because voters don't know about the amendment's affect on civil unions.

Then again, the fault really lies with the republic General Assembly that's trying to put this amendment in the constitution. My girlfriend's father wants to get a bumper stick that says 'Never vote Republican again' if this passes.
posted by Vhanudux at 2:14 PM on May 8, 2012


On the civil vs. religious debate, I think pro-equality people should frame the issue as one of "religious freedom" that social conservatives should be on the other side of.

For example, my religion explicitly recognizes and advocates for acceptance and equality of LGBT individuals and families. And my congregation performs commitment ceremonies (but can't perform legal weddings) for gay couples. By passing these laws, my religious rights are being compromised by the state. How is that different from the "War on Religious Freedom" that Fox News and social conservatives were so fired up about when the birth control rules were announced?

I would be okay with a law saying that no church will be compelled to perform same-sex marriages (essentially, legislation of "Don't like gay marriage? Don't have one"), but that no government will be permitted to refuse equal recognition of them. Then it becomes an issue of freedom rather than of morality.
posted by AgentRocket at 2:23 PM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm of the opinion that banning gay marriage are inherently first amendment violations. Because marriage is unique in that it is the only religious ceremony that carries with it the force of law: in this case, the 1100 or so special rights and privileges granted by our government to married heterosexuals.

I don't see how this theory that banning gay marriage is a free exercise violation works without it also proving that marriage is an unconstitutional establishment of religion.
posted by ThisIsNotMe at 2:25 PM on May 8, 2012


For what it's worth, I haven't noticed much, if any, pro-Amendment One talk among my high school Facebook friends, who are in their late 20s and live mostly in the few parts of Eastern NC where there are jobs. I don't always buy the idea that these things will pass with time, but it's a good sign.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 2:25 PM on May 8, 2012


On the topic of religion, GLAAD has a pretty great report called, Missing Voices that's exactly about the cherry-picking and under-representation of positions of faith on LGBT rights.
posted by klangklangston at 2:33 PM on May 8, 2012


Yeah, those special rights and privileges have little to do with the religious sacrament, largely because getting married under the wrong congregational roof used to be a big deal, and still is in some cases.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:36 PM on May 8, 2012


I cast my vote against the amendment today.
posted by netbros at 2:41 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I bugged my brother so much today about it, he voted against it twice.
posted by Stynxno at 2:51 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]



Because marriage is unique in that it is the only religious ceremony that carries with it the force of law: in this case, the 1100 or so special rights and privileges granted by our government to married heterosexuals.

This is simply not true. If you want to get religious-married and not civil-married, you're free to do so in Church of Whatever.


That is true, but it's not the point I was making. Let's walk through the process here:

Step 1: Heterosexual couple goes to the courthouse and obtains a marriage license. Status: No rights and privileges.
Step 2: Heterosexual couple has religious ceremony in government-sanctioned church. Status: Couple now enjoys 1100 special rights and privileges, effective immediately upon the completion of the religious ceremony.

In other words, in that extremely common case, the religious ceremony is the trigger for the conveyance of the special rights and privileges. There is, of course, the option of skipping the religious ceremony and having a short ceremony performed by a JP or whatever, but the fact is that the 1100 special rights and privileges *can* be granted after the performance of a religious rite, and I believe that to be not only inappropriate but unconstitutional. It's the only example I can think of where government allows a religious ceremony to determine one's legal rights. (Can you imagine the size of the shitstorm that would occur if a politician decided that he wanted to be sworn into office by his favorite priest (or even better, imam) rather than by a judge or other civil authority?)

To put my position another way: I don't think that religious marriage, whether it be between a man and woman, two women, two men, a man, a woman, a woman, a woman and a woman, or whatever combination can be dreamed up by the various religions out there should carry the weight of law. Any of them. Ever. The only way to ensure both religious freedom, individual liberty, and equal protection under the law is to stop delegating (even as an option) the role of joining couples to religious groups. And the genders of those couples enjoying the special rights that come with marriage are entirely irrelevant to me.
posted by deadmessenger at 2:53 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah this shit will probably pass. It's just so repugnant, and the Republicans that brought it up put a constitutional amendment in a primary. Just because it's a big Republican presidential primary year (or, it was when they set it) and they hoped there would be less Democratic participation. But the fact that it even has a possibility of passing, let alone a likelihood, says too much about how backwards people still are, even if half of them are walking around with little supercomputer phones all the time.

I'm off to vote!
posted by Red Loop at 2:58 PM on May 8, 2012


Once the polls close, Talking Points Memo will have an interactive map of the results on the amendment. So far, the outlook is grim.

Andrew Sullivan had a bunch of interesting mail on this subject today, but this one especially stood out to me.
Reporting from Black Mountain, NC. It didn't hit home until last night when my wife came back after seeing a vote Amendment One sign stuck on the corner of the street where our two friends and their two children live. I can't imagine how hurtful it is to have one of your direct neighbors advocating publicly that you can't marry the person you love. My first thought was to kick over the sign, or add a sign stating, "I am a prejudice bigot." Instead, my wife and I have been texting and calling our friends to make sure they are voting today. Not sure it will make a difference.

I would like to add one thing to your discussion on gay marriage: I think you are missing some of the framing by people against gay marriage.

Here in rural North Carolina they have managed to convince themselves and their congregations that they are under attack, that they are the victims, that this is not about gay people as much as it is an attack on their culture, their churches, and their god by outsiders. The campaign against Amendment One has been poor in response - as opinion polls show that there is confusion about what people are exactly voting for. There have been some positive signs of religious coalitions speaking out against the amendment. Asheville is known as a progressive center for the Southeast. We have a large and open lesbian population, and for the first time last weekend I saw a male couple on the streets of Asheville being openly affectionate.

These battles against gay marriage will eventually be defeated, but they are very painful now, especially to our friends and neighbors and their children.
posted by ob1quixote at 2:58 PM on May 8, 2012


There is, of course, the option of skipping the religious ceremony and having a short ceremony performed by a JP or whatever, but the fact is that the 1100 special rights and privileges *can* be granted after the performance of a religious rite, and I believe that to be not only inappropriate but unconstitutional.

Yeah, no. The religious ceremony is not what gives you the special rights and privileges. Rather, the religious leader is given the ability to sign the piece of paper that grants you said rights. If someone performs the service and does not have the right to sign that piece of paper, you are not legally married and you do not have those special rights. If the person who is suppose to sign that piece of paper dies and the paper is not turned in, you do not have those special rights. Your argument shouldn't be about the ceremony but rather about giving ministers the ability to be government agents.
posted by Stynxno at 2:59 PM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I know of a case where in a hospital a homosexual male had a cellphone lodged in his anus and as they were operating on him the phone went off, the phone started ringing!

I've heard of a booty call, but this is ridiculous!

I'm here all week. Try the veal.
posted by Trurl at 3:01 PM on May 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Reporting from Black Mountain, NC. It didn't hit home until last night when my wife came back after seeing a vote Amendment One sign stuck on the corner of the street where our two friends and their two children live. I can't imagine how hurtful it is to have one of your direct neighbors advocating publicly that you can't marry the person you love. My first thought was to kick over the sign, or add a sign stating, "I am a prejudice bigot."

'Cause, you know, it's not at all hurtful to say to someone "Your sincerely held religious and/or political beliefs" make you 'a prejudice bigot.'" That wouldn't be painful. Perhaps you can find some black church leaders who were beat up by the Klan back in the day and tell them they're bigots for maximum unpain. Their culture, their churches and their beliefs are most certainly under attack and an honest argument would admit that. In our political system, it's not wrong to attack people's beliefs, not wrong to attack their culture, and not wrong to attack their churches through persuasion. But everyone can feel hurt, it's not that useful.
posted by ThisIsNotMe at 3:06 PM on May 8, 2012


Phire: To add to ob1quixote's quote from The Last Word, here's a neat photo comparison I found on Facebook.

"Race Mixing is Communism"? What the what? Oh, "socialism" is the new "communism."
Of course they are screaming 'socialism'. They've been doing that since the 50s at least. They're not talking about economic redistribution of wealth - they never have been. They've been talking about redistribution of privilege this whole time. They called MLK a communist because he wanted blacks to have the same rights as whites, and to them that was a redistribution of the privilege that whites had 'earned'.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:08 PM on May 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


a neat photo comparison I found on Facebook.

What am I missing? All I can see in common is protestors in front of columns (and that they're about marriages some people think are icky). I wonder if the "ban divorce" sign in the modern one if a counter protestor or intentional.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 3:18 PM on May 8, 2012


Yes, let's finally get done with all this homosexual rights business and if it takes down the godless among us with their civil unions then all the better because then finally, at last we can concentrate our righteous and virtuous efforts on other godly pursuits like pre-marital sex havers, take the lord's name in vain sayers, prayer in schools objecting heathens and so on..

Then when all the world is made right and holy, we can finally be at peace with our god fearing bretheran ha! I really do hope there is a heaven and hell if only so I can greet those who tell me I am going to hell, "Fancy meeting you here."
posted by loquat at 3:43 PM on May 8, 2012


'Cause, you know, it's not at all hurtful to say to someone "Your sincerely held religious and/or political beliefs" make you 'a prejudice bigot.'" That wouldn't be painful.

We have no obligation to avoid the truth because some people find it inconvenient or uncomfortable to be informed that their sincerely held religious and/or political beliefs make them prejudiced bigots. Or, to give them the benefit of the doubt, that their sincerely held beliefs make them parties to prejudiced bigotry.
posted by Tomorrowful at 3:47 PM on May 8, 2012 [10 favorites]


My question is, what election is going on in the NC primary that needs voter turnout rigging?

These things are seldom about the issue itself. Perhaps the religious right element of the GOP is trying to assert itself over the libertarian tea party wing.

If anything comes of this it will be to show that gay marriage can be a wedge issue time and time again even if it already has been spent in a state.
posted by munchingzombie at 3:57 PM on May 8, 2012


ThisIsNotMe: "Their culture, their churches and their beliefs are most certainly under attack and an honest argument would admit that."

To the contrary, I would argue that it's the state constitution that's under attack by their culture, churches, and beliefs. The constitution is the law for everyone, not just those that share those beliefs, no matter how commonly held they may be.


ThisIsNotMe: "In our political system, it's not wrong to attack people's beliefs, not wrong to attack their culture, and not wrong to attack their churches through persuasion. But everyone can feel hurt, it's not that useful."

Except of course that the writer of that letter says in the very next sentence that, instead of being intentionally hurtful to the owner of the sign, they got on the phone to all their friends to persuade them to vote no today.

I do see your point, if your point is that something being hurtful to someone isn't necessarily a logical argument for or against it. Still, knowing a policy or action would be hurtful must serve as persuasion not to pursue it, just as it did in the letter writer's case.

On the other hand, if your point is that the sincerity of ones political or religious belief is somehow proof against being labeled a bigot, I must respectfully disagree.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:03 PM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


'Cause, you know, it's not at all hurtful to say to someone "Your sincerely held religious and/or political beliefs" make you 'a prejudice bigot.'"

This whole "Don't call people bigots cuz it's ouchy!" makes me so fucking tired. They don't care about hurting my goddamn rights as a citizen, and I should be worried about their feelings?

If I were canvassing door-to-door or doing some other form of in-person outreach, I would be so diplomatic and soft-voiced it'd make you barf. But here I will use my Internet Voice and call people bigots if what they're doing is bigoted. Who fucking cares if they're bigoted "sincerely" or for political gain? In the end, it literally makes no difference to me: the result is the same.
posted by rtha at 4:08 PM on May 8, 2012 [30 favorites]


I personally know a number of Mormons who went out door-to-door in support of Prop 8, knocked on the door of a same-sex married family who politely and respectfully engaged with them to discuss the issue, and immediately changed their mind about Prop 8 and went home. I guess what I'm saying is that, although I totally understand and don't really disagree with the whole "I will use my Internet Voice" thing, there is really a lot to be said for people getting to know and respect their neighbors and coming around on issues because they step away from the pulpit and step into actually loving one another.
posted by The World Famous at 4:14 PM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


freecellwizard: "I really worry this will pass. How embarrassing for our state, and how insulting to all the gay folks I know who are chugging along trying to run businesses, have relationships, and so on. "

This gay folk trying to run a business very much appreciates this comment, and is happy to know there are rational people still voting in NC. Here's hoping for more rationals than sheeple turnout at the polls today.

For the first time in my life I'm actually considering relocating myself, my partner & my business to Durham or Chapel Hill from Raleigh. Or NY. Or MA. Or Canada. There's a palpable difference in acceptance 30 miles down the road.

We married each other in our own living room with vows we wrote and our dogs and cats. No one else was present. The way we see it, it's between us, & we don't need anyone telling us we can or can't. It's ours, & no one can say we're legal one day but not the next. There is at least some peace in that. 12 years on we're as happy as ever, if not more so.
posted by yoga at 4:17 PM on May 8, 2012 [16 favorites]


There is a huge difference between "I don't think gays should be allowed to marry at all" and "I don't think gays should be allowed to marry in my church".

One comes from the mouth of a bigot.
posted by munchingzombie at 4:20 PM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


"The question should have been not how you feel about same sex marriage, but do you believe that a majority, by popular vote, should get to decide the rights of a minority."

Based on my own experience, I believe most Southern conservatives think exactly that: A majority, by popular vote, should get to decide the rights of a minority. A common rebuttal to advocacy of pretty much any minority rights issue is, "But we live in a democracy -- majority rules!" Dead serious.

Pure coincidence they're in the majority, I'm sure.
posted by LordSludge at 4:51 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]



Once the polls close, Talking Points Memo will have an interactive map of the results on the amendment. So far, the outlook is grim.

Andrew Sullivan had a bunch of interesting mail on this subject today, but this one especially stood out to me.


Reporting from Black Mountain, NC. It didn't hit home until last night when my wife came back after seeing a vote Amendment One sign stuck on the corner of the street where our two friends and their two children live. I can't imagine how hurtful it is to have one of your direct neighbors advocating publicly that you can't marry the person you love. My first thought was to kick over the sign, or add a sign stating, "I am a prejudice bigot." Instead, my wife and I have been texting and calling our friends to make sure they are voting today. Not sure it will make a difference.

I would like to add one thing to your discussion on gay marriage: I think you are missing some of the framing by people against gay marriage.

Here in rural North Carolina they have managed to convince themselves and their congregations that they are under attack, that they are the victims, that this is not about gay people as much as it is an attack on their culture, their churches, and their god by outsiders. The campaign against Amendment One has been poor in response - as opinion polls show that there is confusion about what people are exactly voting for. There have been some positive signs of religious coalitions speaking out against the amendment. Asheville is known as a progressive center for the Southeast. We have a large and open lesbian population, and for the first time last weekend I saw a male couple on the streets of Asheville being openly affectionate.

These battles against gay marriage will eventually be defeated, but they are very painful now, especially to our friends and neighbors and their children.
posted by ob1quixote


Just to tack a little bit on to that: Asheville is rad. It is the one little oasis in Western North Carolina of liberal-ness. Yes, it is stocked to the nauseated gills on pseudoscience, astrology, homeopathy, acupuncture, reiki, and so on, but it is also the most liberal town I have ever lived in within the generally accepted South. And gay dudes gettin' down ain't a thing, whatever that person says. Gay folks are like half of our population and have no fear in the downtown area at least. Shoot, one of my buddies stuck up a photo today of stumbling across some queer mistletoe just dangling majestically from a tree downtown. He and his girlfriend made out and posted that shit up straight away. Asheville might be a hotbed of intellectual vacuousness, but the community here embraces gay folks pretty readily.

I fully expect that this amendment will pass today, though. I voted at my polling station, and it was dead. Not just that, but the few people that were there clustered around the sample ballot station actually flagged me down to have me explain what the ballot meant. They didn't understand if they should vote For or Against the amendment if they don't support it. Obviously I explained they should vote against, and some of the key points.

The big key point is that if this amendment didn't exist, NOTHING WOULD CHANGE. This isn't closing some big gay loophole. Marriage in NC is hetero-only already. It's just a big FUCK YOU to gay people, that can be construed legally to do all SORTS of new, terrible shit to people. But not many people (outside of Asheville at least in WNC) know about this.

Sad that this will pass, but I think I will be proud of Buncombe County's comparative results.
posted by lazaruslong at 4:56 PM on May 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


p.s. I'm watching the results over here too.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:02 PM on May 8, 2012


Oh, and last thing. This wouldn't be the only stain on the NC Constituion. We sort of have a thing about making sure our shitty amendements stay on the books, and keep the state on the wrong side of history, no matter what.

Article 6, section 8 disqualifies from office any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God. This article was carried over verbatim from the 1868 Constitution. However, in 1961, the federal Supreme Court, in Torcaso v. Watkins threw out a similar provision in the Maryland Constitution on the grounds that it violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution. The First Amendment bars Congress from passing any law "respecting an establishment of religion," and this provision has long been considered binding on the states under the liberty clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. As a result, it has never been enforced. The North Carolina Attorney General opined that the provision likely does not comply with the First Amendment. On December 7, 2009, Cecil Bothwell was sworn in as Asheville City Councilman, and was revealed to be an atheist. Former NAACP president H. K. Edgerton threatened to file a lawsuit against the city.


Article 6, section 4 requires that a person be literate in the English language before registering to vote. This provision was widely used to effectively disenfranchise African-American voters in the Jim Crow era. As such, it is widely held that this section violates the Voting Rights Act. However, several attempts to remove this provision have failed.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:07 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Asheville is rad.

QFT. Hard to believe it even exists in the deep south.
posted by LordSludge at 5:19 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm in Asheville and did a little volunteering for Cecil Bothwell, who looks like he's also in trouble tonight. Along with Amendment 1, it's a pretty depressing reminder that this little oasis of liberalism/hotbed of intellectual vacuousness is surrounded by and has been redistricted into the deep red south

If you need any more evidence of how much Republicans care about local control, just look at how they slice progressive cities in half to deny them progressive representation
posted by crayz at 5:27 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


That is true, but it's not the point I was making. Let's walk through the process here:

Step 1: Heterosexual couple goes to the courthouse and obtains a marriage license. Status: No rights and privileges.
Step 2: Heterosexual couple has religious ceremony in government-sanctioned church. Status: Couple now enjoys 1100 special rights and privileges, effective immediately upon the completion of the religious ceremony.

In other words, in that extremely common case, the religious ceremony is the trigger for the conveyance of the special rights and privileges. There is, of course, the option of skipping the religious ceremony and having a short ceremony performed by a JP or whatever, but the fact is that the 1100 special rights and privileges *can* be granted after the performance of a religious rite, and I believe that to be not only inappropriate but unconstitutional. It's the only example I can think of where government allows a religious ceremony to determine one's legal rights. (Can you imagine the size of the shitstorm that would occur if a politician decided that he wanted to be sworn into office by his favorite priest (or even better, imam) rather than by a judge or other civil authority?)


I may be entirely wrong, but I'd love for you to provide some documentation for your claim in Step 1. Seriously, not trying to argue, just really don't get where that's coming from.
posted by odinsdream at 5:29 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Huh. I missed that. Yeah, with step 1 there, that's exactly where you get your rights and privileges. As soon as the paperwork is filled out and signed by the correct people, BAM, rights and privileges are yours, no religion required.

The World Famous: I hear you on the door-knocking-for-change. I do. But I won't keep myself from being the only person who refrains from ranting on the Internet. And when it's because once again my fellow citizens are telling me I'm shit, I think I have good reason.
posted by rtha at 5:40 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, I agree, rtha. Completely.
posted by The World Famous at 5:52 PM on May 8, 2012


My question is, what election is going on in the NC primary that needs voter turnout rigging?

Interesting story. The conservative Dems who voted with Republicans to help get this thing on the ballot in the first place thought they were being smart by selling their votes in favor of bigotry only if it was scheduled for the May primary, so it wouldn't impact them too much in the fall. Dem Rep. Jim Crawford told the local paper "moving the vote to May was crucial to winning his support."

Of course, he could recently be found falling over himself to swear it went beyond what he wanted and he planned on voting against it, even after co-sponsoring it in the House. To which I said, "thanks a fucking lot, asshole" but what can you do?

Anyway, here's footage of an awesome lesbian, Elaine McNeill, confronting Crawford directly about the effect of the "hateful piece of discriminatory legislation" on her and her partner of 38 years at a candidate debate in tiny little Oxford, North Carolina a few weeks ago. She rocks.
posted by mediareport at 5:54 PM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


We sort of have a thing about making sure our shitty amendements stay on the books, and keep the state on the wrong side of history, no matter what.

At least we can take pride in being the last Southern state to enshrine anti-gay marriage language into its constitution. Go, NC! Last to join the Confederacy, last to slap the queers with the state founding document!

We *can* take pride in that, right?

Right?

*crickets*

posted by mediareport at 5:59 PM on May 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


I feel that the President's support in favor of equal marriage could genuinely effect change in this arena. On this issue, he finds himself to the right of the mainstream within his own already-conservative party. Even for staunch social conservatives who are in no way malleable, the President coming down on this matter might definitively mark the beginning of the end of normalizing equal marriage, and the victory thereof. This is an(other) example of Democrats using real people's lives as bargaining chips in a "compromise" that doesn't actually win diddly-squat.

Come this fall, I will only be able to vote in good conscience for a presidential candidate who supports basic civil rights for all Americans. If Barack Obama isn't that person, well, it certainly isn't my fault.
posted by threeants at 6:11 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


mediareport: "At least we can take pride in being the last Southern state to enshrine anti-gay marriage language into its constitution."

That's actually the worst part of this whole sorry affair, mediareport: North Carolina law already limited marriage to one man and one woman. They just wanted a constitutional amendment because they were the only state in the southeast not to have one. One presumes the extra, "Fuck you, gays! Move to Taxachusetts!" was just icing on the cake.

I'm actually a little stunned right now. TPM has called it for approval with 36% of the returns in. At this hour, 146,123 more people have voted for the amendment than voted for a candidate in the Republican primary. The mind boggles.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:15 PM on May 8, 2012


.... I will only be able to vote in good conscience for a presidential candidate ....

Good conscience? I've been voting for presidential candidates out of fear and lesser-of-two-evilness for a few decades now.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:19 PM on May 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


The art of awkward timing: Today’s political calendar illustrates the conflicting impulses that are making Obama’s “evolution” interminable
posted by homunculus at 6:20 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Heh. Pal on Twitter:

I love #NorthCarolina... but I think we should see other people.

It's clearly passed, and while I don't want to interrupt anyone's pity party, I would like to point out that 40% of North Carolina voters have just said they're fine with queer marriage. I dunno, that seems interesting to me.
posted by mediareport at 6:45 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


To anyone paying attention, it now looks like Obama’s position is being dictated purely by political considerations – not his own conscience. So why not just end the charade?

The sad thing is that if this topic were about the election as a whole, and not a particular issue, you would have no idea what I'm talking about there from the quote alone.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:47 PM on May 8, 2012


146,123 more people have voted for the amendment than voted for a candidate in the Republican primary. The mind boggles.

It shouldn't be. Polls were showing more than 40% support for the Amendment among Democrats last week. Again, it was *very* unrealistic to expect this thing to fail, and folks shouldn't be too put out about it - and should help young queer kids get over it quickly - as they move on. I was hoping for something better than 60/40, but shit, even that was too much to ask.
posted by mediareport at 6:59 PM on May 8, 2012


It's clearly passed, and while I don't want to interrupt anyone's pity party, I would like to point out that 40% of North Carolina voters have just said they're fine with queer marriage. I dunno, that seems interesting to me.

As has already been said several times, this amendment changes nothing with respect to "queer marriage" in NC.
posted by odinsdream at 7:06 PM on May 8, 2012


Thanks for the post, klang. That reasoning couldn't be stated or issued in any better way than Rev. Barber did. Huge applause and kudos to him.

Having spent quite a bit of time there and having many relatives there, I love N.C. and think that it's a beautiful place. Sadly though, aside from some of the more metropolitan areas, it is still a place divided by racism and bigotry. I don't think that I'm totally wrong in asserting that in many rural areas people are still pissed off about the result of the Civil War.

It's odd that I can't find it on google images, but my first memory of N.C. is of a huge sign that read..."Welcome to Fayetteville, N.C. Home of the KKK."

There are still a couple of places where one can find memorialized "lynchin' trees" and "tradin' squares" where slaves were auctioned off.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm not at all surprised by this amendment and that it will probably pass.
posted by snsranch at 7:10 PM on May 8, 2012


On the plus side, some of the counties/cities this might affect have already said they don't intend to stop offering benefits to the handful of same-sex partners who currently get benefits from their government-employed spouse. I'm sure the bigots will take them to court to force the issue, but it's nice to see they're not immediately caving.

this amendment changes nothing with respect to "queer marriage" in NC.

Yeah, we know that. But seeing the vote as anything other than a chance for voters to express their feelings about queer marriage is absurd. That's what it was; that's what the feelings in the voting booth for almost everyone today were about, and 40% of those voting said, "yeah, given the chance I'll vote the way the queer people are voting, thanks." Let's not be silly.
posted by mediareport at 7:14 PM on May 8, 2012


I live in North Carolina, in Raleigh, and voted today. I almost cried seeing those words printed on my ballot this morning, thinking, What are we doing? How can this even be something we have to vote on, in 2012, when there are so many actual massive problems to deal with in this country right now?

But it has passed, and I am not surprised. I read the Raleigh News & Observer every day and there has been a great deal of obvious support for it, universally based upon "Christian morals" and what Jesus supposedly wants us to do. It is mind-boggling to me that people think nothing of self-righteously defending political positions that strip others of equal rights by referring to the Bible, but I've seen a massive amount of that, even here in the most liberal part of the state.

What is most bizarre to me is that people who are reactionary on this issue seem to know the days of this kind of discrimination will soon be coming to an end, and this is just sort of a last-ditch effort to make the inevitable change more difficult when it comes. Even Thom Tillis, the Republican Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, has said he thinks this will be overturned within 20 years. What an immense waste of time and money just to prove some sort of religious holier-than-thou point.

This map is fascinating - those red counties who voted against the amendment are the big cities (Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, Charlotte) and college towns (Boone, Asheville, Chapel Hill, Wilmington). All the rural counties went for it. Such bald evidence of how very, very polarized this country is on this issue.
posted by something something at 7:14 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry, link to Thom Tillis story.
posted by something something at 7:16 PM on May 8, 2012


snsranch, that KKK sign has not existed in decades. I lived in Fayetteville for the first 2/3 of my life, so I should know. My mother took surreptitious pictures of it before it was torn down, because she didn't want anyone to forget that bullshit had been there. But it has been gone for a long time.

Additionally, 40% of NC voters were against the amendment. This place is not a cesspool. We're just going have to fight harder against the assholes. They won't win forever.
posted by Coatlicue at 7:25 PM on May 8, 2012


1875: “All marriages between a white person and a Negro or between a white person and a person of Negro descent to the third generation inclusive are, hereby, forever prohibited.”

More info.
posted by Evilspork at 7:30 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


"The World Famous: I hear you on the door-knocking-for-change. I do. But I won't keep myself from being the only person who refrains from ranting on the Internet. And when it's because once again my fellow citizens are telling me I'm shit, I think I have good reason."

I kinda door-knock-for-change professionally, and about all I can say is that we're actually getting a pretty amazing turn-around here in LA just based on Prop 8 precinct voting compared to what people say when we talk to them now. It's kinda a shame that without something really directly energizing, it's really hard to find enough people to volunteer with us. But at least one MeFite did, so big ups there.
posted by klangklangston at 7:37 PM on May 8, 2012


There are so many people here saying stuff like "marriage comes from god" and "we don't make the rules; god makes the rules".

I'd bet a significantly high percentage of those people would also get apoplectic at the thought of Sharia.

The question that should have been raised is do you want to go against constitutional history. That is, since the 13th and 14th and 15th amendments, we have always expanded rights, we have never decreased rights.

Well…OK.

If this passes I know this heterosexual will be packing up and leaving for a state with more rational people. Like South Carolina.

"South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum."
posted by kirkaracha at 7:44 PM on May 8, 2012


Yep, called it. Of course it passes, but big ups to Asheville for swinging Buncombe county to 51% against. That's something.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:13 PM on May 8, 2012


After spending some time mousing over here, looks like we're the only district to come out with a majority against the amendment. I'm not sure whether to be proud or ashamed so I'm gonna go with both.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:15 PM on May 8, 2012


It passed. This is embarrassing for all the good people of N.C., and embarrassing for America as a whole. Still, I'm entirely confident this will be overturned, and eventually (five years? ten?) every state will recognize same sex marriage. Yep, even Mississippi. This battle is lost, but the war is already won; the losers just don't know it yet.
posted by zardoz at 8:16 PM on May 8, 2012


As has already been said several times, this amendment changes nothing with respect to "queer marriage" in NC.

Not with respect to "queer marriage" per se, no. But until this passed, a lot of employers and local governments were able to recognize domestic partnerships. To pick one example, the city of Durham provided its employees in same-sex unions with health insurance benefits for their partners. They were allowed to do that. Now, not so much. So yes, it does matter. It doesn't matter as much as Prop 8 mattered, but it will have a very real impact on real people's lives and liberties.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:48 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


"We are not anti-gay, we are pro-marriage"

No. You're a lying piece of shit.

These words might sound harsh, but they're nowhere nearly as hurtful as the message that hundreds of thousands of North Carolinans sent to their brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, parents, teachers, doctors and friends at the ballot box today. You just told them that they're worth less than other humans.

You monsters.
posted by schmod at 9:22 PM on May 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


From schmod's link:
"We've seen political party observers who are not precinct officials. They can ask to be observers. They want to challenge and confront and it's a problem for our precinct officials."

He said the reason for the confrontations varied, from calling up the board of elections to complain that there wasn't a chair for them to sit on to pushing officials to get people to show ID at the polls.

"They have been clogging up the phone lines and getting mad at us," said Sims. "People have to state their names and addresses and we check them. But they are challenging officials to make them show ID. They have an agenda, the ones that we've been getting trouble from."

When asked whether the trouble was coming from the groups for or against Amendment 1, Sims said: "Put it this way: we had zero Democratic party observers." He added: "I've probably said more than I should."
Monsters is selling them short.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:45 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also from schmod's link:

"Supporters celebrated the win with a tiered wedding cake at a party in the North Raleigh Hilton Hotel."

I don't even know how to process how much I hate these people right now.
posted by naoko at 10:12 PM on May 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Anyone else want to burn a giant confederate flag in downtown Asheville this weekend?
posted by crayz at 10:14 PM on May 8, 2012


We need a 14th Amendment II.

"Seriously. Everyone is equal you fucking retards. Quit finding ways to circumvent it."

This shit should have been open and shut a decade ago under equal protection grounds. Like a similar case decided 45 fucking years ago. Unanimously! The Supreme Court has become such a politicized cesspool that people talk about hope in finding a 5-4 decision about equal rights in marriage.

We need another Earl Warren. I can't believe we're still protesting this shit.
posted by Talez at 10:20 PM on May 8, 2012 [10 favorites]


This is a shitty, shitty, thing - goes without saying. But speaking of private reactions - it didn't really bowl me over, because, well, it was so very expected. It's the South - duh... where in the South have they NOT passed one of these shitty amendments. I tell you what affected me, personally, much more - prop 8. Because it happened in CA - and I really wasn't ready for that - it felt like a betrayal. That was a blow. How could California do such a thing? California, which has voted D in so many elections now. California, heavily Democratic. And when the whole country went insane in the hideous teabagger backlash of 2010 mid-term elections, CA was a bulwark of sanity... we didn't elect a single Republican to any state-wide office. This California, the bluest of the blue. How could they vote for prop 8??? I still have not recovered.
posted by VikingSword at 10:53 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Majority rule is a weird thing. You could probably get a majority of my neighbors to agree that I should move, but since I have a right to live here, they can't make me move. Rights are a weird thing too I guess.
posted by squalor at 11:06 PM on May 8, 2012


"No. You're a lying piece of shit.

These words might sound harsh, but they're nowhere nearly as hurtful as the message that hundreds of thousands of North Carolinans sent to their brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, parents, teachers, doctors and friends at the ballot box today. You just told them that they're worth less than other humans.

You monsters.
"

First off, let me say that I totally understand your reaction and what you're expressing. That said, I think that you're really missing how decisions are made and how people actually act. I don't think that people are lying — I think that someone can be entirely sincere when they say they're not anti-gay, but rather pro-marriage. I think it can be really valuable to think about what principles you need to hold in order to make that a consistent position (especially when you think that after an emotion people can either justify or reflect) and to then, assuming you disagree with the position, argue against those principles, especially if you can do that through other mutually held ideals.

So, yeah, it was monstrously inhumane to vote against other people's basic identities and lives, but that's a pretty nakedly emotional response itself, and one that wouldn't connect with anyone that voted for Amendment 1.

The reason why I'm commenting is that you started out the comment with the second person — i.e. "you" language. You're addressing people who aren't here with language that connects emotionally with people who are here — it says what a lot of us think about our neighbors.

That doesn't really matter here — the audience here is 90 percent supportive, at least — but it does make a difference if you sincerely want to persuade anyone who did vote for Amendment 1 to not fuck it up so badly next time. Because just telling people that they're as hurtful as being insulted is just going to make them defensive. And then you can't persuade.
posted by klangklangston at 12:09 AM on May 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Or: On gay rights, there's a huge difference between "We can talk," and "Get fucked," even as "We can talk" is closer to "Get fucked" than it is to "Gay rights are civil rights."

(Which is sad itself.)
posted by klangklangston at 12:10 AM on May 9, 2012


> This is a shitty, shitty, thing - goes without saying. But speaking of private reactions - it didn't really bowl me over, because, well, it was so very expected. It's the South - duh... where in the South have they NOT passed one of these shitty amendments.

I moved to North Carolina from Michigan last year. Which means that as of yesterday I got to vote against two states' constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage. Michigan's Republicans rammed their hate law into the books in 2004.

The north is equally capable of shitty, rabble-rousing hate, and might even be at the vanguard.

If you're going to direct your anger, aim at the national orgs who are actively coordinating these things, not the easy targets based on stereotypes.
posted by ardgedee at 4:01 AM on May 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


I like the bits of these conversations that go into pretend-land to preserve peoples feelings.
posted by Artw at 5:31 AM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Should domestic partnerships between committed homosexuals receive every civil right and privilege that committed heterosexual domestic partnerships enjoy? Sure.

Should I be forced to call a domestic homosexual partnership "marriage" despite what I believe marriage to be? Sorry, but no.

There are two parts to this as I see it. The equal civil and domestic rights and the Official Recognition of Gay Marriage as the same as Christian Marriage. Unfortunately we have the two things conflated and they shouldn't be.

I wish someone would give me a chance to vote to approve equal domestic and civil rights for gay marriages without having to concede that "marriage" now means something a whole lot different than my beliefs have been telling me all these years. I would love to see the homosexual couples I know have the same civil rights my wife and I have. And I'd be happy to see them call themselves married (in whatever definition of the term they hold) and find churches out there that will recognize them as married (in whatever definition they hold as an article of their faith).

But to me and my faith, marriage is a very specific thing and it's central to just about everything. Even the eschatological fulfillment is expressed as a wedding feast. In my faith bodily truth mirrors spiritual truth. So people "fit" together a certain way by design. Yes, my definition seems kind of narrow. Yes, I would love it if my faith had a more kumbaya hand-holding good feeling inclusive definition of marriage. But it doesn't. I don't want to impose my definition of marriage on you. We only impose our definition of marriage on people who come to us looking to get married in our faith (Which, you gotta admit, is fair enough, right?) So, let me have my definition of marriage and you can have yours.

This reminds me a bit of the school prayer issue. I tell my kids that this is a bunch of bunk. They can pray in school at any time. The real issue there is more about control and official recognition of a certain type of prayer as the recognized prayer. So we have a struggle over two conflated things -- civil rights and who is going to control the "official" definition of "marriage." My problem is the struggle for control over a term that is best defined by individuals and communities of faith. "Marriage" is not a term for the government to define, period. I wish this Gay Marriage movement was purely about civil rights. Then I could get totally behind it.

That said, I wish the "Defense of Marriage" crowd was really about defending marriage. Of course if they were really serious they'd have to admit that Gays are nowhere close to the most threatening thing to marriage they need to fight against.
posted by cross_impact at 6:34 AM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wish someone would give me a chance to vote to approve equal domestic and civil rights for gay marriages without having to concede that "marriage" now means something a whole lot different than my beliefs have been telling me all these years.

You don't have to "concede" anything. You just have to allow other people to call marriage what they want to.

But to me and my faith, marriage is a very specific thing and it's central to just about everything

Sure. But other people have another faith. Some faiths think divorce is unacceptable and their definition of marriage excludes divorce as an option. Other faiths think divorce is totally a thing you can do, and it doesn't make the marriage that ended any less real. And plenty of people have no faith but still consider their unions to be marriage.

I suspect that if we were drawing up rules for how marriage works in the US, you and I would probably be in rough agreement about the ideal system, where the government avoids the word "marriage" and leaves that for individuals and/or their faiths to hammer out, and sticks to defining civil unions, which may or may not be accompanied by a religious marriage. But that isn't how things work. Right now, government does marriages, period. So, within the system we have, what's the best way to establish justice? The answer, I think, is "Marriage for everyone, and if your faith doesn't like it, it doesn't have to perform them."
posted by Tomorrowful at 6:44 AM on May 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


cross_impact, my heterosexual marriage is already outside your definition of marriage, given that we didn't get married in a church, do not believe in God, do not plan on having children, or any of the other things that a "Christian" marriage entails. Do you not see it's a contradiction for our government to deny gay marriage on religious grounds, yet still allow my kind of secular heterosexual marriage? That's the problem with basing this whole thing on Christianity, as I see it. I could not be less Christian, yet because I am a lady who loves a man, I can be legally recognized as a wife. It's just not fair.

Marriage shouldn't be about what specific religious doctrines espouse or what individuals believe as a result of their personal faith. This is about equality under the law, and making something up called a "civil union" that only applies to gays is discriminatory simply because there is no legal reason to make such a distinction. You know: Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's.
posted by something something at 7:24 AM on May 9, 2012


the same as Christian Marriage

Are you actually saying that you would not consider someone who was married in a non-Christian (e.g. Jewish, Hindu, etc.) ceremony to be married, and you want this to be public and legal policy?

Because you, personally? I don't care who you think of as married or not married. Don't give a shit. You want to enshrine your religious beliefs into public policy, and make me live according to a god I don't believe in? I give a shit.
posted by rtha at 7:28 AM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


But to me and my faith, marriage is a very specific thing and it's central to just about everything. Even the eschatological fulfillment is expressed as a wedding feast. In my faith bodily truth mirrors spiritual truth. So people "fit" together a certain way by design. Yes, my definition seems kind of narrow. Yes, I would love it if my faith had a more kumbaya hand-holding good feeling inclusive definition of marriage. But it doesn't. I don't want to impose my definition of marriage on you. We only impose our definition of marriage on people who come to us looking to get married in our faith (Which, you gotta admit, is fair enough, right?) So, let me have my definition of marriage and you can have yours.

As mentioned earlier, this is a red herring used by various groups. Nobody anywhere has ever suggested anything that would make Church of Whatever recognize anything they don't want to recognize.
posted by odinsdream at 7:42 AM on May 9, 2012


So we have a struggle over two conflated things -- civil rights and who is going to control the "official" definition of "marriage." My problem is the struggle for control over a term that is best defined by individuals and communities of faith. "Marriage" is not a term for the government to define, period. I wish this Gay Marriage movement was purely about civil rights. Then I could get totally behind it.

I'm not clear what you're saying here. Are you suggesting that there should be a civil form of--let's call it a union--that gay or straight can have, but it shouldn't be called marriage? And all the rights and privileges conferred by the state would be equally granted to straight or gay unions? But the M word would not be defined by the state, and would cease to be anything but a private, religious (or non-religious) concept that was defined freely however people wanted it to be? I don't think that many marriage equality advocates would be against that. But, the state-defined union is currently called "marriage," and it's bigotry to limit access to civil marriage based on one's religious beliefs. Honestly if a person's church doesn't want to marry gay couples, or interracial couples, or interdenominational couples, or whatever, that's completely irrelevant to whether a civil right should be available to people outside that church.
posted by Mavri at 7:46 AM on May 9, 2012


And I'd be happy to see them call themselves married (in whatever definition of the term they hold) and find churches out there that will recognize them as married

It's not relevant whether a church recognizes the marriage. What's relevant is whether the government, and the society, recognizes the marriage.

"Marriage" is not a term for the government to define, period. I wish this Gay Marriage movement was purely about civil rights. Then I could get totally behind it.

When the government grants benefits based on marriage, it is absolutely a term for the government to define.

The real problem is that religious persons are allowed to officiate at weddings and the result is a legal marriage.
posted by ambrosia at 7:51 AM on May 9, 2012


When the government grants benefits based on marriage, it is absolutely a term for the government to define.

The real problem is that religious persons are allowed to officiate at weddings and the result is a legal marriage.


The real problem is that a religious relationship is recognized and regulated by the government in the first place.
posted by mrgrimm at 7:56 AM on May 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


The real problem is that religious persons are allowed to officiate at weddings and the result is a legal marriage.

This is not true. You can get a religious marriage that means nothing to the government. In order to confer the civil rights of marriage you must also obtain a government-issued marriage license.

I really feel like there's a lot of talking over eachother on this important point, and it leads to crazy situations where people think their rights as X churchgoer are under attack, when in fact it's completely the opposite.
posted by odinsdream at 7:57 AM on May 9, 2012


The Onion nails it: Obama Blasts Obama's Evasive Stance On Gay Marriage
posted by schmod at 8:06 AM on May 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


FWIW, there's chatter amongst political reporters that Obama will announce support in an interview with ABC tonight. I have my doubts, but it would be welcome despite the massive amount of actual legislative and judicial support he's already provided.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:10 AM on May 9, 2012


cross_impact: Should I be forced to call a domestic homosexual partnership "marriage" despite what I believe marriage to be? Sorry, but no.

Your beliefs have nothing to do with it. You are free, according to your doctrinal conscience to say that non-virgins, mixed-faith couples, people with a legal divorce, or couples who have not received the proper counseling and signed off on an agreement to raise children in the faith can't receive the sacrament of marriage. And in fact, congregations do discriminate on doctrinal grounds all the time.

But the term "marriage" is the legal term of art involving thousands of individual decisions and laws distinct from the religious sacrament. As the California Supreme Court found, arbitrary linguistic distinctions between two relationships that are equal under the law, results in discrimination due to confusion. If civil unions have the same legal rights, obligations, and precedents as marriage, then failing to call them a marriage in the courtroom or clerk's office inhibits due process through obfuscation. Sectarian doctrinal preferences are not sufficient to justify this distinction.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 8:35 AM on May 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


I don't even know how to process how much I hate these people right now.

Don't hate them. Pity them.

It's unspeakably sad to me that hatred of another group of people is so important to them, so tied up in their ability to make it through the day, that they feel compelled to raucously celebrate the electorate taking steps to create a second-class citizenry.


I'm not saying our pity for them should come from a position of superiority, however. Instead, our sadness for them should compel us to figure out how to help people with so much anger and fear overcome that so that they can derive joy from better things in life than denying rights to groups that differ from them.

Because the truth is that they are going to lose, eventually. They lost on Jim Crow, they lost on gays in the military, they lost on keeping a black man out of the White House. They always lose on these moral and ethical issues as long as progressives keep fighting.
posted by lord_wolf at 8:42 AM on May 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Should I be forced to call a domestic homosexual partnership "marriage" despite what I believe marriage to be? Sorry, but no.

This actually happens all the time in New York now that we've legalized same-sex marriage. A religious conservative tries to call a man who's married to another man a "partner," but before he can finish the word the mind-control robots Cuomo put in our brains make him say "How is your partUSBAND! I LOVE DEMOCRATS AND HATE THE LORD!" Also it makes their arms go up and down like Robot from Lost in Space, so that's funny.

We also used to have religious conservatives outright object to calling SSM marriage, but the Gay Police got them all.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:51 AM on May 9, 2012 [10 favorites]


This is a shitty, shitty, thing - goes without saying. But speaking of private reactions - it didn't really bowl me over, because, well, it was so very expected. It's the South - duh... where in the South have they NOT passed one of these shitty amendments. I tell you what affected me, personally, much more - prop 8. Because it happened in CA - and I really wasn't ready for that - it felt like a betrayal. That was a blow. How could California do such a thing?

Yep. My disillusionment became fairly utter at that point. It's like, "hey, all you research triangle domestic partners can always move to San Francisco ... oh wait."

The Onion link is spot on. I'm always impressed how relevant they remain.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:53 AM on May 9, 2012


They lost on Jim Crow, they lost on gays in the military, they lost on keeping a black man out of the White House. They always lose on these moral and ethical issues as long as progressives keep fighting.

... Serenity Now ...

Much of this hatred is the last expulsion of fecal excrement from a body near death.

The people who want to "take America back" are getting smaller and smaller. That's why they're making such a ruckus.

Keep calm and overwhelm them with reason, compassion, and most importantly, critical mass.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:56 AM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do you not see it's a contradiction for our government to deny gay marriage on religious grounds, yet still allow my kind of secular heterosexual marriage?

Yes, that's my point. There should be no official definition of "marriage."

I have a marriage definition that applies within my faith community. Just because I did not mention your particular definition of marriage (secular, hindu, jewish, pagan...) does not imply that I should have any say in your definition of what a marriage is. I prefer my definition of marriage, sure, that's why it's mine. And none of this should have a bearing on whether civil government bestows partnership or household rights on you or me.

It's not our government's job to decide marriage and I am chagrined by the number of "limited government" conservatives who believe that, in this case, the govrenment should intrude where it is not needed.
posted by cross_impact at 8:59 AM on May 9, 2012


The interview's actually going to happen at 1:30EDT (2 hours from now), and was only scheduled late yesterday.

Doesn't look like it will air live, but excerpts should hit the airwaves very shortly afterward, with the whole thing to air on GMA on Thursday morning.

Read into that as you will. You don't schedule an interview like that unless you've got an announcement to make. Unless he's killed Bin Laden again, there's a very strong probability that Obama will be endorsing marriage equality. The NYT thinks that the writing is pretty much on the wall at this point.
posted by schmod at 9:06 AM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Colorado House Republicans pulled out all the stops last night and trashed a civil unions bill by letting the legislative session tick down and playing obstructionist assholes. There would have been enough support from Republicans crossing the floor to pass the house and it had already passed the senate.

Fuck these people. Fuck their hate filled hearts.
posted by Talez at 9:28 AM on May 9, 2012


cross_impact: "There should be no official definition of "marriage." "

I think the problem arises because the sacrament and legal term share the same name. One is obviously the province of the church, the other of the state. Religious objections to the civil definition are unfounded, no matter what Black's Law Dictionary says "Marriage" means. This is one of those cases where Black's is wrong.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:32 AM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Although I now realize that the site I linked uses the 2nd edition published in 1910. I'm curious what the current edition says.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:34 AM on May 9, 2012


I have a marriage definition that applies within my faith community.

Still, though, I'm curious: do you not (in your head) consider people who were married outside your tradition to be married? That is, do you consider the hypothetical Jewish couple next door who were married in a Jewish religious ceremony (and signed the secular paperwork) to not be married because they weren't married in your tradition? If you meet someone at a party and he says "This is my wife, Julia," do you think to yourself "If they weren't married in my tradition, then that's not really his wife"?

I'm not trying to attack you. I'm trying to understand this mindset, because I really don't get it.

And as a data point, I'm right there with you on government getting out of the "you're a real couple, you're not" business. Issue around inheritance, survivor benefits, medical decisions and the like would be a little more complicated to handle, but it's doable.
posted by rtha at 9:36 AM on May 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sure, in an ideal world, we could radically start all over again with defining civil unions. But I see two problems with this approach:

1: Unfortunately, "rule of law" means consistency with the hundreds of years of prior case law that uses the word "marriage." So either you start from scratch or you say that a given relationship is a marriage as it was described in prior case law.

2: "Defense of Marriage" hasn't really ever been about marriage. It's been about creating a legal justification for discrimination WRT piecemeal rights such as powers of attorney, family custody, insurance benefits, anti-discrimination law, and equal-opportunity recruitment.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 9:52 AM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Biden says he's cool with gay marriage? Fuck it. Let's do this."
posted by mrgrimm at 9:57 AM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sure, in an ideal world, we could radically start all over again with defining civil unions. But I see two problems with this approach:

I see a third--all the "defense of marriage" types would absolutely shit themselves if the government stopped calling them "married."
posted by Mavri at 10:00 AM on May 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, and cross_impact, if you want to take this to memail, that's cool. It's just that I've never encountered anyone who thinks the way you do who could explain in a way I could understand what was behind their thinking about this. Maybe there isn't a way to explain it so I can get it, but I want to keep trying.
posted by rtha at 10:07 AM on May 9, 2012


Mavri, I think we have different definitions of "problem."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:11 AM on May 9, 2012


Anyone who's got friends like Cross_Impact might want to take a look at the Movement Advancement Project's Ally's guide to talking about marriage. Lots of good stuff in there.
posted by klangklangston at 11:08 AM on May 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


ABC will begin releasing portions of Obama's interview at 3:00 EDT today.
posted by schmod at 11:33 AM on May 9, 2012


And here the American Spectator is claiming that Republicans are now officially over their opposition to teh gay. In a piece titled "Gay Old Party".
posted by telstar at 11:51 AM on May 9, 2012


State-issued marriage licenses were originally taken up for eugenic purposes in order to prevent the formation of interracial families. But once the bureaucratic mechanism was in place, it was repurposed for things like social security benefits and the like. Cohabiting couples are heavily discriminated against by the government, which refuses to recognize their private rights of contract. In this regard, I think the libertarian position is rather more intellectually and ethically consistent than the progressive one.
posted by anigbrowl at 11:56 AM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama has come out in favor of same sex marriages.

OBAMA: I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 11:59 AM on May 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


[...] it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.

- President Barack Obama


:')
posted by anigbrowl at 12:00 PM on May 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Interesting question: if Obama's evolution had been 24 hours faster, would this have made a difference to the North Carolina vote?
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:05 PM on May 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


I couldn't help laughing at the contradiction between the top two stories in my news feed:

Romney affirms opposition to same-sex marriage
CBS News - ‎28 minutes ago‎
(CBS News) FORT LUPTON, Colo. - Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Wednesday said he unequivocally opposes "marriage between people of the same gender," drawing a contrast to President Obama's "evolving" position on the issue.

Romney: Obama's policies are 'old' and 'outdated'
ABC News - ‎1 hour ago‎
For the second day in a row, Mitt Romney painted President Obama as someone who is leading the country based on "old" and "outdated policies"—arguing that he, not Obama, is the candidate able to get America "growing and thriving again.

posted by anigbrowl at 12:07 PM on May 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Interesting question: if Obama's evolution had been 24 hours faster, would this have made a difference to the North Carolina vote?

I don't think so. Obama's lead over Romney in polls is ~4%, whereas the gay marriage ban passed by 61-39%. So it might have moved the needle a bit, but I think the amendment would still have passed by a large majority.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:12 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Interesting question: if Obama's evolution had been 24 hours faster, would this have made a difference to the North Carolina vote?

I'm beginning to give more credit to a rope-a-dope 3D chess theory of Obama, at least on certain issues. Making a decision to come into office as a centrist and make continuity of governance one of the most overriding goals sets a useful precedent and once the dust settles, gives you an ability to then let external events force your hand in the direction you already wanted it to go - we tried it the other way first, the review board said the policy didn't work, this referendum down south is appalling, etc.

He seems to have a knack for waiting for the right moment and swinging with the right force. I would expect him to start pushing harder on this as a civil rights issue over time as it gains traction with the base. These hateful, over the top laws and amendments are searing into the minds of progressives that the people pushing from the other side are bigots and opportunists writing into our laws and history books a new and worsening national disgrace, and need to pushed back against hard, now
posted by crayz at 12:31 PM on May 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've been plugging Asheville a lot, and for good reason. Last night was no exception. After the results were announced, the local queer advocacy group Just Us for All staged a march. Between 75-100 people showed up, middle of the night, less than an hour after organizational texts / tweets went out. Photos here. The cute blonde in front in a lot of them is my sister. I could not be more proud of her and my town. Go buncombe county!

This is a beginning, not an end.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:41 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Forgot to mention that turnout in Spring primary elections, even in Presidential election years, is typically only half tht in the November elections. So last night's results are not necessarily a good guide to what happens in the general election - and might well be reversed in a few years with the aid of a little electoral strategy.
posted by anigbrowl at 1:47 PM on May 9, 2012


Hey cool, that march I just linked was picked up by the USA Today.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:36 PM on May 9, 2012


Obama has come out in favor of same sex marriages.

Uh, sort of. He's saying the same thing Dick Cheney said about gay marriage in 2004: it should be legal, but should be decided democratically by each state. Which is not a whole lot of comfort in the 31 states that have - democratically - enacted constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. I know, I know, it's brave and courageous politics and yay our President is no longer lying to his supporters about what he really thinks about same-sex marriage, but while it's a huge step it's worth remembering that it's just that - a step. Maybe there are legal reasons Obama can't come right out and say he thinks there's a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, I dunno. But reinforcing the notion that states get to decide by popular vote whether the law should apply equally to everyone?

That's not something I'm totally excited about, and you shouldn't be either.

On nosing around, I see John Cook over at Gawker has taken a somewhat harder line:

Barack Obama’s Bullshit Gay Marriage Announcement

He now believes that gay couples should be able to marry. He doesn't believe they have a right to do so. This is like saying that black children and white children ought to attend the same schools, but if the people of Alabama reject that notion—what are you gonna do?

The key language in the ABC News write-up is this: The president stressed that this is a personal position, and that he still supports the concept of states deciding the issue on their own...

Well, before Roe v. Wade, abortion was a state-by-state issue, too. So was slavery. There are 44 states in which gay men and women are currently barred from marrying one another. Obama's position is that, while he would have voted the other way, those 44 states are perfectly within their rights to arbitrarily restrict the access of certain individuals to marriage rights based solely on their sexual orientation.

That is a half-assed, cowardly cop-out...


The next part where Cook claims Obama's position is in direct opposition to the cause of the two men challenging California's Prop 8 is interesting, too:

But the position he enunciated today is in opposition to Boies and Olson: Obama is saying that if he were a judge, he would have rejected Boies and Olson's constitutional arguments and affirmed the right of Californians to enshrine bigotry in their state constitution.
posted by mediareport at 3:41 PM on May 9, 2012


(Oops, that's what I get for checking Recent Activity before the front page...)
posted by mediareport at 3:55 PM on May 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Myth About Marriage by Garry Wills, The New York Review of Books NYR Blog, May 9, 2012
Those who do not want to let gay partners have the sacredness of sacramental marriage are relying on a Scholastic fiction of the thirteenth century to play with people’s lives, as the church has done ever since the time of Aquinas. The myth of the sacrament should not let people deprive gays of the right to natural marriage, whether blessed by Yahweh or not. They surely do not need—since no one does—the blessing of Saint Thomas.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:29 PM on May 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Pastor proposes 100 mile fence to house homosexuals
posted by homunculus at 5:51 PM on May 22, 2012


Now, now, homunculus... he might be on to something. He & I just differ on which side of the fence the homosexuals should be kept (with him on the other).

Details, really. Also, my plan is more financially viable, which is important in the current economy.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:03 AM on May 23, 2012


In other news: NC Considers Making Sea Level Rise Illegal
posted by homunculus at 10:33 AM on June 2, 2012


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