The cost of
If NC state Senator Jim Forrester had his way, North Carolina taxpayers would be over $5 million poorer this November.
As he does every legislative session, Senator Forrester filed a bill this past February to write discrimination into the state constitution -- even though marriage equality is already banned by state statute.
Well, the Fiscal Research Division determined that holding such a referendum in November 2009 -- as Senator Forrester proposed -- would cost the state's taxpayers over $5.7 million.
Here's the link to the bill's fiscal note.
You may recall that I've posted before about how the fiscal estimate for the 2007 amendment would have cost an approx $3 million. You'd think the anti-gay zealots would have learned that their bigotry has a significant pricetag for all of the state's taxpayers - gay or otherwise.
The truth is, they just don't care about the literal cost of their over-the-top amendment.
Isn't it strange many of the cosponsors of the marriage discrimination amendment in both the House and Senate decry profligate spending on other items, but when it comes to this item, they're happy to throw millions out the window to ban something that is already illegal.
For some perspective, just remember that the state's budget is already coming in about $95 million short over the first four months of the fiscal year as we all slog through the Great Recession.
Aren't you glad the legislature didn't dump $5.7 million this November to put us further behind?
The next time an advocate of the marriage discrimination amendment comes calling, ask them how many millions in taxpayer dollars they're willing to pay for such a foolish item.
Better yet, why not designate those millions Senator Forrester wants to spend on divorce counseling instead of statewide referenda? Surely that would protect marriage more than banning an already illegal act.
FYI, Massachusetts still has a lower divorce rate than North Carolina. Hmmm.....
Also, check out this amendment laugh-o-rama from Texas. In their rush to constiutionally ban marriage equality, bad lawyering is now calling into question whether Texas banned ALL marriages --- gay and straight.
Summary: millions of taxpayer dollars, unintended consequences, and a lower divorce rate in a state that allows gay marriage.
Is there anyone who really thinks a constitutional amendment about marriage is a good idea anymore?