Pam Spaulding's blog

North Carolina's constitution is under attack -- 2007 edition

My marriage is sowing the seeds of societal destruction in NC once again.

Yes, it's that time of year again. A group of scared, middle-aged white men (and this year, one woman)  is so threatened by my relationship with Kate that they've gone back to the drawing board to write discrimination into our state constitution.

Senate Bill 13 (SB13) was filed yesterday. The pertinent language:

Marriage is the union of one man and one woman at one time. This is the only marriage that shall be recognized as valid in this State. The uniting of two persons of the same sex or the uniting of more than two persons of any sex in a marriage, civil union, domestic partnership, or other similar relationship within or outside of this State shall not be valid or recognized in this State. This Constitution shall not be construed to require that marital status or the rights, privileges, benefits, or other legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon unmarried individuals or groups."

The prior three attempts have died in committee. The Dem controlled General Assembly has kept it bottled up. That, friends, is the only reason that this state hasn't had an amendment on the ballot. If it ever made it to the polls, it would most certainly pass. The larger question to ask all legislators:

In your opinion, is it appropriate for the people of North Carolina to determine the civil rights of their fellow citizens by direct vote at the ballot box?

It's all or nothing folks, because if they truly believe this is the case, then I want the right to vote on the marriages of the rest of me fellow neighbors and a whole host of other rights, including placing some restrictions on religious fundamentalism. But the answer to this question should be "no." The civil rights of a minority of people should never be determined by the majority.

With stronger Dem numbers this year, we're hoping the same will happen again, but we have to deal with the clowns below stirring up trouble and shameless bigotry.

Primary sponsor of this "essential legislation" --

District:  41
Counties Represented: Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln

See the rest of the Tarheel homophobes in favor of discrimination after the flip.

NC's Mitchell Gold one of Advocate's 'People of the Year'

I wanted to give kudos to Mitchell Gold, founder of Faith In America, a national non-profit organization dedicated to educating people about the history of religion-based bigotry and how it is being used today to justify discrimination. Gold, named one of its People of the Year by The Advocate, is also well-known as the co-founder and chair of furniture powerhouse Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, which is based in Hickory, NC. From FIA's release:

"We are all so thankful for Mitchell's vision and tireless energy and efforts that brought us all together over the past year," said the Rev. Jimmy Creech, executive director of Faith In America.  "We built this organization on his vision of engaging people directly in communities across the country in open and frank conversations about how religion is misused to deny lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens the full rights and protections guaranteed by the US Constitution.  As a result, through the activities of our first year, we have seen much success."

I posted about the powerful series of print ads that ran last year as part of Faith in America's attempt to open up a dialogue about the injustice of using religion to justify bigotry against LGBT citizens. See a couple after the break.

John Edwards on marriage equality

[I posted this over at the JE08 blog after someone posted No politician has to take a position on this,, meaning marriage equality.]

Actually, they do.

This is a question every person who cares about civil equality should ask of every candidate -- and expect an answer:

Are gay and lesbian couples entitled to benefits at the local, state, and federal levels that are automatically conveyed with civil marriage? If not, why not? If yes, tell us why?

We're talking about equal rights to civil marriage, not "gay marriage" (which is loaded -- and leaves it open to the conflation of religious and civil marriage, which the right counts on). In the wake of so many state amendments that have passed, placing gay and lesbian families' rights in legal jeopardy, those running for office are obligated to get on the record. Merely stating one believes "marriage is between a man and a woman" or saying "let the states decide" will no longer fly. Edwards' statement and public emotional wrangling over the issue is heartfelt, but his position is not markedly different than in 2004.


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