NC braces for introduction of a marriage amendment bill...AGAIN

Equality NC has learned that Sen. Jim Forrester, Rep. Paul Stam and others plan to file a marriage amendment bill AGAIN. These are the same good old boy fossils who do this every year, and for the last five years we've successfully killed the bill. They have failed to get this bill out of committee, and this year, the right wing and professional "Christian" set are stepping up their efforts. Stam and Forrester have until mid-day tomorrow to get other legislators to sign on as co-sponsors. Forrester was bleating about the all powerful Homosexual Agenda in this article in the Gaston Gazette:

"I think it has a better chance (of passing) this year than it ever has," he said of his bill, which he planned to introduce again Monday night.

...In prior years, the state's Democratic leadership has refused to hear the bill, leaving it to die in committee, Forrester said. That's proof of the strong influence that gay and lesbian groups and their "lavender lobbyists" have on many Democrats, he said. "We're supposed to be a conservative state, but it doesn't look like it," he said.

Forrester doesn't see his bill as promoting injustice. Churches and other groups are gearing up to promote the legislation in the coming weeks, including during a rally Tuesday afternoon at the Legislative Building in Raleigh.

"It's not discrimination against gay and lesbian people," he said. "I just think marriage should be between one man and one woman, as it has always been stated in the Bible."

A reader who lives in Brevard, NC sent me an email today. County commissions are passing resolutions in support of an amendment; just last week the Rowan County Board approved such a resolution. Of course these are non-binding, but the point is to activate anti-gay constituents to contact their state reps and senators to get on the record. This terrifies plenty of Dems in the lege, because they have had the luxury of this bill dying without any floor debate, so they haven't had to take a stand. It's highly likely that many, worried about getting re-elected in conservative districts, would choose if cornered to support a hate amendment. Here's what Mary R. said:

Can I cry on someone's shoulder? I am so upset I can hardly contain myself.

Monday night (February 23), I and about 75 other gay or gay-supportive people attended a meeting of the North Carolina Transylvania County Commissioners because ENC (Equality North Carolina) had notified us that approval of a resolution to support putting a discriminatory Marriage Amendment to the North Carolina Constitution to a statewide vote (a la Prop 8) was on the agenda. Evidently the word didn't get out to the other side because only 3-4 anti-gay people showed up. North Carolina is the only state in the southeast not to have an anti-gay marriage amendment added to the state constitution and apparently, many counties are being asked to support this (never mind that marriage rights are not county business at all).

The letter continues below the fold.

About 18-20 people spoke up enthusiastically and emotionally against the proposed amendment, including a number of college students, two college professors, two members of the clergy, a legally married lesbian couple, straight parents (like me), and others who had no family relationship with LGBT people, except for a wish for equality. Only one person who claimed to be a minister railed against it.

Of the five county commissioners, a wonderful moderate Republican voted against the ugly amendment, and took considerable time to explain why, but the four others, including one Democrat, automatically voted for it (a pre-ordained vote, I'm sure, irregardless of who in the audience spoke against it). I was later told that the purpose of this vote for the amendment was the hope that it would get on the ballot and therefore, many people would turn out to vote for it, and subsequently aid the Republicans in redistricting in 2010.

One commissioner with whom I spoke later kept referring to his non-acceptance of someone who "chose the gay lifestyle." Three or four times I stopped him and said, "No, you don't 'choose' a 'gay lifestyle'" but he was unable to not repeat those words which seemed ingrained in his head, no matter what I said. It was scary. He said he would love his child if the child came out as gay, but couldn't approve the "gay lifestyle," and the child couldn't bring a partner home with him. What kind of double talk is this? What kind of parental love is this? I was going mad with this incomprehensible conversation and I came home thoroughly disillusioned. ....but at the same time, so pleased with the considerable turnout of college students and Unitarian Universalist congregation members whom I hadn't expected.

I think it gets down to the younger generation. We are not going to see significant progress until more of them get activated to vote. And I bet the religious right is damned scared of them; they must see the handwriting on the wall.

The fundies plan to bus in supporters to Raleigh to demonstrate in support of a marriage amendment on March 3.

North Carolinians, ask your legislators to oppose the amendment. You can do it through the Equality NC web site, and help us stop these well-funded bible beaters who no doubt, will outgun us. If you're not in NC, please donate to EqualityNC.

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Side note: I managed to make it onto the front page of the WaPo's Style section today.

Comments

I'm so sick about this

My daughter at Brevard College attended the hatefest at the Transylvania County Commission last night. She went back to her dorm crying, then called me.

"How the heck can those stupid people stand there and say the Pledge of Allegiance about liberty and justice for ALL and then vote to keep gay people from having the same rights as straight people?"

Good question. I suppose hypocrisy knows no bounds when it's in service of god.

Good thing there's not even close to three-fifths

support for this monstrosity in either house ... at least not by my math.

I thought you only got this kind of booby-trapping when Repubs were in the majority.

I'm a North Carolinian who is getting married next week

and most of my friends and family can't attend because they can't afford to travel to Boston for the ceremony because I can't have it in my home state in which I was born and raised and where I pay my taxes. We REALLY don't need our government wasting any time or resources writing discrimination into our state constitution.

I think it was already posted, but here is the ENC link for sending a message opposing marriage discrimination where you can send the pre-typed message, or modify it, or write one completely in your own words:
http://eqfed.org/campaign/amendment09_2/

North Carolina is not a conservative state

Mr. Forrester needs to pull his head out of his ample hind end and wake up to the dawning of a new day here in the Old North State.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Dear Mr. Forrester

What gives you the right to declare something this absurd?

"We're supposed to be a conservative state, but it doesn't look like it," he said.

We are supposed to be a conservative state? Says who? You need to get out your reading glasses, bub. We are SUPPOSED to be a state where every single citizen enjoys the exact same freedoms to pursue happiness as every other citizen. We are NOT supposed to be a conservative state or a liberal state or a religious state or a confederate state or a southern state.

May god forgive you for the horrific example of prejudice and discrimination you are setting for our young people.

Um, what bible is that?

"I just think marriage should be between one man and one woman, as it has always been stated in the Bible."

I believe Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Not to mention a serious rash...

"Lavender lobbyists"?

Now that's offensive. My favorite color is Carolina blue, thank you very much.

Dan Besse

what bothers me

I am an old married lady(24 years to my first and only husband, thank you) and heard something about legislators meeting with religious leaders on this issues.
Okay, which religion's view of marriage do we want enforced by LAW here?
Catholic - no divorce. That will be popular.

Traditional Bible? The Piedmont economy will boom when we start selling stones for throwing at adulterers.

The church of Bubba, etc. - bring back those anti-miscegenation laws.

You know, this is 2009, and most people in this state agree that we do not incarcerate, fire, discriminate or throw rocks at gay people. They are our neighbors, our relatives, our teachers, our clergy, our businesspeople, our fellow taxpayers and citizens. They serve with us on the PTA, they adopt their kids from the same pool of orphans-in-need-of-loving-homes. They have rights the same as my lawfully wedded husband and myself.

No, you don't have to like it, any more than I have to like your idea of "wives submit to your husband" marriage. Again, this is 2009, and it is past time to segregate out and discriminate against any law-abiding, minding-their-own-business citizens.

And, if you quote the Bible, please tell me where one man and one woman is written as the only form of marriage.

Jake, congratulations! Wish we had all those wedding dollars here in North Carolina, for our economy and for the love of families being together!

Stuff like this is why legislatures

need to get out of the redistricting business. The only reason he'd be able to get away with peddling this nonsense in a time when our economy's in the tank is because he represents a safer-than-safe district.

Definition of Marriage

This idea of using a "definition" to discriminate is really interesting. It's a sinister way of avoiding taking ownership of pure discrimination. "We're not discriminating -- you just don't meet the definition. Ooops! Sorry! Better luck next time!"

So, I bet there are a lot of things we could "re-define" by constitutional amendment. Why not "marriage is defined as one man and one subservient woman"? Isn't that how some religions interpret the Bible, and isn't there a very long tradition to uphold there? Better yet, we could go on the offensive and redefine "registered voter" as a "voter who is registered Democratic or unaffiliated." We do have a long Democratic tradition in this state, so why should we be forced to abandon it just because some people want to define it differently than it's been defined in the past?

LET THE REPUBLICAN WEDDING BEGAN!

Equality NC has learned that Sen. Jim Forrester, Rep. Paul Stam and others plan to file for a marriage lic AGAIN* [P] paraphasing a wish

Great news! I had no idea that Stam and Forrester had a thing for each other! Have the wedding invitations gone out yet and where will be the loveable couple be wed at?

BREAKING NEWS--------

:FROM THE UNREFORM 6 TH CHURCH OF SATAN COMMUNICATION MEDIA OUTREARCH DEPARTMENT

DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS,

WE ARE HAPPY TO LEARN THAT TWO OUTSTANDING REPUBLICANS WILL BE MARRY AT THE STATE CAPITAL STEPS ON MAY DAY THIS COMING YEAR. REP STAM HAS AGREE TO BE THE WIFE AND WILL BE WEARING A GLOWING PINK DRESS WITH RED SHORT PANTIES. BROTHER FORREST HAS PROMISE TO BE THE HUSBAND IN THIS AMAZING COMPACT BETWEEN MEN AND SISSIES OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

BROTHER FORREST WILL BE WEARING A DARK BLACK SUIT FROM THE FUNERAL HOME OF THOMAS AND SINS BROTHERS. BROTHER FORREST BEST MAN WILL BE ART POPE WHO WILL BE DRESS IN THE LATEST SAN FRANCISCO BATH HOUSE DESIGNER SUIT.

THE BRIDEMAIDS WILL BE JOHN LOCKE IN A COFFIN AND JOHN HOOD DRESS AS A CROSSDRESSING PIMP FROM SOUTH CENTRAL LA.

MORE INFORMATION WILL BE RELEASE AS THE WEDDING PLANS CONTINUE..

YOURS FOR A BETTER EARTH WITH A PARADISE FOR ALL,

BROTHER SATAN

Thank goodness for the Republicans in

North Carolina!

They are SO on top of the issues of the day!

If gay couples are unable to marry in North Carolina, that should easily bring in 150,000 - 200,000 high paying jobs to our State! If they are constitutionally banned from marrying, that should easily up that number by another 50,000!

Puritans Rule!!!!111

I can't wait until 1610 when we take back the State Senate.

Suck on that, witches!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Gay marriage would actually save jobs in this economy

Your sarcasm actually has demonstrates a valid economic point. There are those who would benefit economically from gay marriage even beyond the gay couples themselves.

Why aren't the florists, the hotels, the bed and breakfasts, the resorts, the bakers, the photographers, etc. getting behind a pro-gay marriage bill? You know they need the business.

Denying marriage equality diminishes their potential earnings. At the very least they should oppose the amendment, if not push for gay marriage outright.

 

pssst....

Suck on that, witches!

I just want to point out that most pagans and witches (yes, real ones) support marriage for everyone. ::wink::

;-)

Yeah, but they simply didn't get any respect in 1610...

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

How about we attempt to get a

How about we attempt to get a state Leg to introduce a bill that would amend the State Constitution to say that GLBT people can not be discriminated against for any reason.

If we get it in Black And White in the State Const then the nutjobs will not be able to try to stop gay marriage ever again.

We may not have enough support right now but I know how much grassroots activisim can do. If we as Blue NC members all lobby our representatives, I'm sure we coud get this done. If NC becomes the first to take this action, I'm sure other states and maybe the federal government would follow closely.

And BTW I am going to bring

And BTW I am going to bring up this issue t the Orange County Democratic Breakfast tomorrow morning. I feel it is time all NC Progressives join tegether to shut up the fundies that propose banning gay marriage.