North Carolina's constitution is under attack -- 2008 edition

(UPDATE: As California celebrates its marriage equality victory, freeper and fundie heads are exploding. If only Tar Heels could celebrate equality here. Makes me think about packing my bags sometimes.)

Here we go again.

Will gubernatorial candidates Pat McCrory and Beverly Perdue weigh in on Sen. Jim Forrester's (R) latest attempt to enshrine discrimination into my state's constitution? Senate Bill 1608 was introduced by the Gaston lawmaker one day into the legislative session. Clearly he has different priorities than most of NC's residents. Equality NC:

Just one day into the 2008 legislative session, Sen. Jim Forrester (R-Gaston) once again filed an anti-LGBT, anti-marriage state constitutional amendment. A similar bill is expected in the state House. Equality North Carolina is working to defeat these attempts to write discrimination into our state constitution.

The proposed bill mirrors those introduced in the last four sessions, which Equality North Carolina and our allies have successfully blocked.

"We can't let our guard down this year," said Ian Palmquist, Executive Director. "The far right would like nothing better than to put this amendment on the ballot and turn out radical conservative voters for the 2008 elections. We can't let Sen. Forrester and his cronies play politics with our lives, our rights, and our families."

The amendment would not only prohibit same-sex marriage-which is already not recognized in the state under current law-but would also ban any other form of relationship recognition for same-sex couples. In fact, the language is so broad it could prevent private companies from offering partner health benefits.

Equality North Carolina is actively lobbying against the amendment and is calling on supporters to contact their legislators.

You can send a message to legislators through Equality North Carolina's web site:
http://eqfed.org/campaign/amendment08

The sponsors:

Forrester (R) (Primary)
Allran (R)
Apodoca (R)
Berger, P. (R)
Bingham (R)
Blake (R)
Brock (R)
Brown (R)
Brunsetter (R)
Goodall (R)
Hartsell (R)
Hoyle (D)
Hunt (R)
Jacumin (R)
Pittenger (R)
Preston (R)
Smith (R)
Tillman (R)


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

Related:
* Not too much to ask: respect taxpaying LGBT citizens in NC
* Misanthropy on the Mall
* NC: homophobic fact-free rant of conservative state senator's activist wife exposed
* North Carolina's constitution is under attack -- 2007 edition

Comments

It does make one wonder

why some people think heterosexual marriages will be threatened by giving same gender couples equal rights. I can't make that leap in my head - if one's marriage is so threatened by someone else's, then I daresay there are bigger problems in the first marriage than the mere fact of the second.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

be aware of today's marriage ruling in CA

At 1PM ET, California's Supreme Court will rule on marriage equality. There will be extensive coverage at my blog.

The Governator opposes the current constitutional amendment ballot initiative, and has said that he will abide by the court's decision. An impact of this ruling, if it is in favor of equality, is how the presidential candidates will respond, since both Clinton and Obama have clung to a life raft of "marriage is between a man and a woman" for religious reasons and/or letting the states decide the civil matter, which naturally brings up the precedent of Loving v. Virginia. One can only hope that we don't see the kind of punt we witnessed in New York in 2006, though the legislature in California has already shown its ability to pass marriage equality legislation.

More at the San Jose Mercury News.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

California Supremes overturn gay marriage ban

The California Supreme Court has overturned a ban on gay marriage, paving the way for California to become the second state where gay and lesbian residents can marry.
The justices released the 4-3 decision Thursday, saying that domestic partnerships are not a good enough substitute for marriage in an opinion written by Chief Justice Ron George.

The cases were brought by the city of San Francisco, two dozen gay and lesbian couples, Equality California and another gay rights group in March 2004 after the court halted San Francisco's monthlong same-sex wedding march that took place at Mayor Gavin Newsom's direction.

SF Chronicle

Well, at least we now have two States that believe in equal rights for all! Keep the pressure on.

Only 48 to go.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

I still firmly believe that this is not an issue that should be

left to the states. I know the California victory is something we can all celebrate. But now all married couples should be given the same rights in every state, no matter where they are in the country. How ridiculous it seems to think otherwise. Imagine every marriage in the country being subject to a different set of laws depending on which state they were in.

Are we married now dear? I'm not sure, we just crossed from California to Arizona.

Ludicrous, eh?

This should be a federal matter.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Agreed

On many issues, I tend to be more of a "leave it up to the states" person, but not on this one. If the government has any recognition of marriage contracts between consenting adults, it has to be all or nothing in allowing any combination of genders to pick their partners.

Jeez, you are not allowed to discriminate when you rent a home to someone or lend them money, but you can't enter into a legal partnership/marriage with whomever you want? And Republicans wonder why they are losing people in droves and failing to appeal to younger people...

I'm with you

Civil Rights issues should not be decided on a state-by-state basis.



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

I couldn't agree more, Linda.

Another compelling reason to do anything legal within our aresenal to elect a Democratic President in 2008 to make sure the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (John "Winger" Roberts, Clarence "Neo-Con" Thomas, Vito "Kill 'em all" Scalia, and Samuel "Your-womb-belongs-to-Me" Alito are thwarted in the future from turning this country into the Puritan States of America.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

The problem is....

You can't legislate marriage equality nationally without a Constitutional Amendment. As it stands now, this is an issue that falls under the purview of the states under the 10th Amendment. A 14th Amendment "equal protection" argument could perhaps be made, but it is unclear as to whether or not this would apply to laws that specifically apply to certain groups.

I would like to see equal protection of freedom of association everywhere, and it should be. But I'm not willing to completely violate the Constitution and important an Constitutional precedent in order to do it. The Constitution is written to protect individual liberty, even if it is imperfect in doing so. But to violate the Constitution to protect individual liberty, which is the most honorable of all goals in my opinion, invites for the possibility that the Constitution may be violated to restrict individual liberty, which has occurred far to often in our country's history.

One thing is for sure, though: the DOMA provision stating that Full Faith and Credit doesn't apply to marriage laws is simply ridiculous. Full Faith and Credit must apply to state marriage laws, which would address the fundamental concern in this post.

Yes.

Change the identity of the SCOTUS and you change the crazy and puritan insistance that the Constitution is the Puritan's right to intrepret any way they choose, to the thoughtfulness of a group of concerned judicial professionals looking to do what is right.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

That's it. Hoyle's got to go.

WTF kind of bizarro world allows this guy to masquerade as a Democrat? Grrrr.

How.

The primary was last week and no candidate filed against him. Of course if one did they would have to have money and no one with money wants to challange him. Finally I went to the Gaston County Democratic convention last montn and every Democrat at the convention worshiped Sen Hoyle as if he were some kind of a God. Particurly those others running for office, they could not wait to link there names to Sen Hoyle.
By the way after what the California courts did today, watch many elected Democrats start scrambling for political cover, most I have talked to so far are upset with the decision. That is the bizarro world you refer to.

Mine is a co-sponsor

I live in Goodall's district better known as Republican Hell.

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

pffft,

You don't know from Republican Hell. :) But I kind of like it here. I'm gonna stay for a while, stir some stuff up.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

my representatives

Republican President
2 Republican Senators
Republican Congress woman
Republican State Senator
Republican State House member
Republican District County Commish
Republican District School Board member

The only Dems I have representing me are our at-large County Commishes, at large School Board members and my favorite elected Democrats in Mecklenburg: The Soil and Water Conservation Board (myself, John Autry and Jennifer Krupowicz)

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

I don't have any.

Republican President.
2 Republican Senators
Repubican Congressman
Republican State Senator
Republican State House Member
Republican County Commission - all 5 members

The only elected Dems I have representing me are on the School Board. There are some elected Dems in Moore Co, but none represent me. :)

But I guess we both get to look at our neighbors in bluer areas with a bit of envy.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Well ya know I don't feel blue at all. In fact

I am rather happy about the number of dems representing me as compared to you unfortunate people.

So in Moore Co. the dominate colors are Red and Green (as in greens in golf) eh? I am glad you live there (stirring up stuff :) ), I don't know if I could take it.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Sure you could.

If I can, anyone can. I have never dealt with being in a political minority before. It was weird at first. Now, I kind of enjoy it.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

It ain't always easy

being in dissent. But sometimes it really beats the hell out of being one of the crowd or ensconced in a clique.

I attended parochial schools as a child and was the minority "protestant." Actually I was agnostic, and when I told them that they really freaked. They meant well, of course.

In graduate school I was truly a minority surrounded by far right wingers and fundies. But I learned a lot more being around those with whom I disagreed than I did being one of a crowd of otherwise likeminded folks who were comfortable with unquestioned assumptions.

So I say make the most of being a political minority. It's healthy.

Exactly.

Whether it's religious or political, being in the minority makes you really question and become sure of how and what you believe. Insular communities can be unhealthy. It's good to branch out if you find yourself part of one.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

I would lreally like for a study to be done comparing

divorce rates for hetero vs. same sex marriages. It could be done in Mass., perhaps. Hetero rate is over 50%, iirc.

If these fundies really want to defend hetero marriage, they need to clean up their own house.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Just a thought about LGBT fear factors

Doesn't it seem that those who speak the loudest and most adamently against LGBT rights are often the ones that are caught in bathrooms trying to pick up another person of the same sex?

If you look at it from the marijuana leads to harder drugs theory, then wouldn't it go something like this....Speaking against the LGBT community leads back alley and bathroom rendezvous' ?

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Freedom of Association...

Is a hallmark of a free society. Thus, it should be no surprise that I applaud the California court's decision today.

However, there are a few more issues that need to be dealt with on marriage, including:

1) Marriage licensing. This is an incursion on everyone's inalienable right to freedom of association. There should be no requirement established for legal recognition of an association. I understand the concern about age that may arise, but this is an issue that should be handled within the framework of families and private associations.

2) Legalize polygamy. I'm dead serious. This is another incursion on freedom of association. If a group of people want to form a ranch in West Texas and practice polygamy, that is their right.

Hopefully, this ruling will serve as a benchmark from which the cause of individual liberty- our liberty to do as we wish with our own money, property, bodies, lives and associations without coercion by government as long as we don't coerce others- is advanced. I'm hopeful, but doubtful, mainly because I'm not sure that individual liberty, broadly speaking, or even the concept of individuality is a very high priority for most of the activists who, rightly, pursued this cause. I can't really see these same activists fighting for the abolition of the income tax, the legalization of drugs, the end of corporate welfare, the overturning of Kelo v. New London, the end economic regulations that retard growth and small business development while giving large corporations a competitive advantage, or the protection of private property rights and enforcement of contracts.

As you might expect, I have a couple of issues.

I understand the concern about age that may arise, but this is an issue that should be handled within the framework of families and private associations.

Families and private associations? Private associations like NAMBLA? No - I disagree with you there. Children should be protected from the predatory instincts of sick individuals. Even if they are in the same family as the sick individual.

2) Legalize polygamy. I'm dead serious. This is another incursion on freedom of association. If a group of people want to form a ranch in West Texas and practice polygamy, that is their right.

I agree with this - as long as all those involved in the marriages are adults and are associated in the marriages of their own free will.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Restatement.

"Families and private associations? Private associations like NAMBLA? No - I disagree with you there. Children should be protected from the predatory instincts of sick individuals. Even if they are in the same family as the sick individual."

I'm not calling for the end of predator laws. I should have clarified this. Clearly, children should be protected from predators.

What I mean by my statement is that issues like the marrying of two individuals younger than some arbitrary minimum age (say, 18) need to be handled through the family. In my view, it's the family's responsibility to discourage what may be the youthful indiscretion in this case. It's not the government's responsibility, and it's not Pat Robertson's responsibility or right to enforce his code of values on everyone through the government.

Sorry for the lack of clarity before.

"I agree with this - as long as all those involved in the marriages are adults and are associated in the marriages of their own free will."

Aside from the stipulation that they must be "adults" (which is a term that can be defined quite arbitrarily), I agree. No coercion.

Polygamy is rarely under assault by law enforcement

There have been some interesting discussions about this on multiple programs lately.

According to some legal beagle on NPR, you'll sometimes read about a man or woman being prosecuted for "bigamy," but what is actually being prosecuted is fraud since only one of the partners in the multiple marriages consented to the arrangement.

When you have a raid such as the one most recently in the news (Texas?), what is actually being prosecuted is not polygamy per se, but statutory rape and accessory to the same crime. That's what got the leader of this Fundamentalist branch of the Morman church busted a year or so ago. He was convicted of forcing a girl into having sex with a man against her will and was therefore an accessory to rape.

True about the reason for the raid.

But the biggest uproar about the case came because of its association with polygamy.

Still, whether or not the laws are enforced, the laws shouldn't be on the books at all.

I really hope that some high level Republicans are reading my comments on this blog. I'm sure it would do wonders for my future in the Party. Oh well, just standing up for what I believe. Hopefully one day, these kinds of views will not only be accepted by leadership of the Party, but widely held.

In the internet age

progress doesn't come in small steps. It moves in leaps and bounds.

Two very compelling lessons here. The telling judicial commentary in regard to this historic ruling is that six of the seven justices on the CA bench were appointed by Republican governors. Think about what that says about Baby Boomers-- and then move on to what Gen Y are and will be doing.

Also noteworthy is that this legislation began when a single individual-- one politician-- San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, issued a ruling. Mayor Newsom acted alone based upon what he believed to be right, not what he thought he could get.

You can't do that!

Mayor Newsom acted alone based upon what he believed to be right, not what he thought he could get.

Amen.

Just imagine how many people told him, "You can't do that."

spot-on, Jim

Mayor Newsom acted alone based upon what he believed to be right, not what he thought he could get.

And without that gutsy move, today would have been delayed for who knows how long, as the Governator was only willing to approve a judicial decision to settle the matter.

And that was more radical that just asking simple, direct questions.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

when a single individual

I doubt Mayor Newson would attribute this victory to his efforts alone.

Organized efforts tend to be more successful than individual self-expression. For example, Rosa Parks didn't just get fed up one day; she trained and organized for a decade, and then worked with hundreds of thousands of people for decades more.

That said, I admire these quotes:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

- - - - -
McCain - The Third Bush Term

Obama, Clinton, and McCain on CA marriage ruling

Here you go...note none of them react to the development in their own words, the flacks handle it. Brave, huh?

Obama was first out of the box with this:

Barack Obama has always believed that same-sex couples should enjoy equal rights under the law, and he will continue to fight for civil unions as President. He respects the decision of the California Supreme Court, and continues to believe that states should make their own decisions when it comes to the issue of marriage.

Clinton's spokesperson:

"Hillary Clinton believes that gay and lesbian couples in committed relationships should have the same rights and responsibilities as all Americans and believes that civil unions are the best way to achieve this goal. As President, Hillary Clinton will work to ensure that same sex couples have access to these rights and responsibilities at the federal level. She has said and continues to believe that the issue of marriage should be left to the states."

And here goes McCain, er, flack Tucker Bounds:

“John McCain supports the right of the people of California to recognize marriage as a unique institution sanctioning the union between a man and a woman, just as he did in his home state of Arizona. John McCain doesn’t believe judges should be making these decisions.”

Good lord, this "leave it to the states" bullsh*t is so tired. Clinton and Obama are lawyers, for god's sake. They know the precedent of Loving v. Virginia on this, but as we've known for some time, marriage equality is the one area of intellectual political dishonesty they have settled on for this election cycle. That puts them mildly ahead of McCain, who, since he supports a marriage amendment in his home state, believes that discrimination should be enshrined in a state's constitution.

There was this comment at my place:

If you were running for President and knew what the polls were saying about the American people's opinion, what would YOU have your spokesperson say?

My answer:

It's ridiculous to hide behind "leave it to the states" when that is an intellectually bankrupt position. It's more worthy of respect to simply say that the matter will be decided at the Supreme Court level because of the matter of full faith and credit, and congratulate a state willing to move toward equality first, rather than wait for SCOTUS.

They could make a statement that these ballot initiatives in California and Florida, for instance, are allowing the majority to determine the civil rights of a subgroup of citizens -- and that is fundamentally wrong.

Those statements are honest and accentuates the reality of what needs to happen without nodding to The Homosexual AgendaTM, as both Clinton and Obama have publicly stated that they approve of civil equality in principle (save Clinton clinging to one part of her husband's DOMA).

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

My Position

One of the earlier commenters asked that Bev Perdue and Pat McCrory state their positions on the proposed amendment.

Since we turned in the signatures today (!), I am now officially on the ballot for Gov also. So, if I may, let me say:

1. I unequivocally oppose the amendment proposed in S1608.
2. Further, I support full equality in access to the marriage contract to all couples, regardless of gender status, orientation, or self-definition.

The details, posted nearly two years ago, can be found here. I am perfectly happy to "leave it to the states," provided the states do the right thing. This is not a gay rights issue; it is a civil rights issue.

Bev and Pat: What say you?

Mike Munger
Libertarian Candidate for Governor, 2008

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

Thanks for your response, Mike.

I really appreciate your willingness to engage here.

I'm a little confused by your stating that you're willing to leave it up to the states "as long as they make the right decision". What is to be done if a state makes what you consider to be the wrong decision? If it the decision is to be left to the states, then, isn't each state's decision, in fact, the right one for that state?

It doesn't seem like a very good argument if you truly support the civil rights of all.

And congratulations on collecting the signatures -- have they all been certified? I know that process is a pain the the posterior.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Opinion of the Gov doesn't matter in amending NC's constitution

While the bully pulpit support is nice, the Governor and Lt Governor don't have an official role in the constitutional amendment process in NC. The requirement of a 3/5 vote in the House and Senate render both offices irrelevant (no signature needed by Gov, no tie-breaking vote needed by Lt Gov in Senate).

What are your positions on specifically including the LGBT community in employment non-discrimination legislation, hate crimes laws, the anti-bullying bill (House Bill 1366), appointing qualified LGBT North Carolinians to boards/commissions/judicial posts?

 

of course

But the bully pulpit is very relevant from the perspective of the leader of the state endorsing or not endorsing equality for all. After all, Easley was asked whether he would sign off on a marriage amendment during a re-election debate, and he infamously said yes - after receiving the endorsement of ENC. A public statement is meaningful, and I would argue, extremely important in setting the tone for public discourse on legislation.

You're correct on those other questions - they are key ones for the gubernatorial candidates; in the context of this post, however, I was looking for the bully pulpit answer.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

I'll go ahead and basically state the mainstread libertarian...

perspective on these issues.

1. Most libertarians would oppose employment non-discrimination legislation for a number of reasons. Firstly, it interferes with private contracts and what private property owners can do with their property, which is a big no-no (perhaps the BIGGEST no-no) for libertarians.

Secondly, enforcement can be a serious problem. Let's take two cases. The first case is one in which discrimination takes place, but it's either unprovable or not caught/noticed. (This is a case that will surely occur a lot.) The presence of employment non-discrimination laws did nothing to stop this. Libertarians really don't like laws that coerce liberty of one while not doing anything to obtain whatever is the desired consequence.

Now take another case: the case where no discrimination based on sexuality really takes place, but management is nonetheless taken to court and found guilty of it. (This may not happen as often as the first case, but it will still happen a number of times.) How exactly is this fair to the employer? Libertarians also don't like establishing laws like employment non-discrimination for which people can be convicted when there was no violation of the law. (There must be laws against things that are truly coercions of life and liberty, like murder, since it is the role of government to protect against these in a libertarian framework. But the line of reasoning I am using in this particular example would extend to opposition to the death penalty, which is a view held by most libertarians, including me.)

Finally, do we really think that employment non-discrimination laws are even necessary to promote non-discrimination? Personally, I think public uproar over particular cases of discrimination is more effective in punishing companies who are stupid enough to discriminate based on sexuality. Furthermore, employers who are irrational enough to discriminate on these grounds probably aren't rational enough to maintain a strong, profitable enterprise long-term.

2. Most libertarians oppose hate crimes laws. Establishing deep-down motive for a typical crime committed in hate, which is typically a violent crime like murder, is nearly impossible. A violent crime is a violent crime. Individuals who commit them should be convicted and punished for committing a violent crime against another individual. I don't really see how hate crimes laws do any good in combating bigotry, and they certainly shouldn't exist at the federal level since they intrude on power reserved to the states under the 10th Amendment.

3. I've just briefly perused some of the top lines of the bill. I don't have time to read it all right now. Personally, I don't see a problem with it, as long as it's restricted to public schools. The government has every right to regulate what occurs on its own property, and I can see this having a positive impact.

4. If LBGT North Carolinians are the most qualified for these positions, then (provided they are willing to serve) they should be appointed. Period. I would assume Mike would probably say something along these lines.

Congratulations!

I'm really glad you're on the ballot. Not because of my original motivation - but because of your ability to shift the discussion and the agenda to a more thoughtful place.

Congratulations again. You've worked hard for this.

I gots the Hunger for Munger.

But then again, Mike, you already knew that.

Seriously, folks; if I was a gay man, I would be all over that.

Cutting it close on the signatures, Mike

Did I hear correctly that you guys got around 73,000 signatures, with the minimum required being 70,000?

The first thing that I thought was, "That's way too close for comfort."

When will you know for sure that (at least) 70,000 will survive scrutiny?

validated signatures

From what I understand, they have 73,000 valid, confirmed signatures

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

Not cutting it all THAT close....

We got about 107,000 signatures. Of those, more than 72,000 are now validated. So, we are 2,500 VALIDATED
signatures over.

Should be more than enough. Haven't been any challenges that I know of.

Some pix, and some costs to you taxpayers....

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

Cool. :)

This is already interesting, but please try to focus on stealing a higher percentage of Republican votes than Dems, if you don't mind. If you do, I promise I'll vote for you. :)

Nice stand Mike

thank you for stating it here...again. Will you be blogging much on the campaign trail? For that matter, if you are elected, would you continue blogging? How do you think that blogging fits in with governing? How about a live blog?

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

The States, and Blogging

Thanks, all, for the congrats. It is nice to have it over with. Three quick notes:

1. The judge has promised to publish his ruling on the Green/Lib v. NC law suit in about two weeks.
Stay tuned. We may have made it possible for more parties to get on the ballot. Whether they win
is up to the voters, of course. But it shouldn't be up to the state! Further, having a Green candidate
or two might make the Dem machine look to its left a little. That would please a number of folks on this
blog....

2. Linda, on the "states get it right" question: I am concerned about federalism, and local control. However,
as with any civil rights question, if the state tramples the rights of citizens, it has to be federalized. Brown
v. Board of Ed of Topeka was unfortunate, because it meant federal troops invaded Arkansas. It was also exactly the right thing to do. The states have to respect the rights of all citizens. The California case shows that there
may be a state-level remedy. But the NC amendment movement...not good. I don't know what a federal solution would even look like, though. I do beleve that simply answering "leave it up to the states" is no answer at all, even if you think this is a state issue. A politician has to say what s/he thinks is "the good," regardless of whether s/he can actively cause that outcome.

3. On the questions posed that were "more relevant",employment non-discrimination legislation, hate crimes laws, the anti-bullying bill (House Bill 1366), appointing qualified LGBT North Carolinians to boards/commissions/judicial posts?
I support non-discrimination legislation for government and other public jobs. There is no market pressure there for fair hiring.
Hate crimes laws worry me, except as an additional factor in sentencing. What I mean is that I can see an argument for longer sentences for "hate" crimes, but I don't think hate (or any other thought) is a crime in and of itself. And if you hate ME for saying that, then you must agree.
I don't think that THAT anti-bullying bill (1366) will work, and in fact it would make things worse. The wording is vague, and the statute leaves far too much discretion to the observer-enforcer. I would guess that the law would be used primarily to harrass and suspend black students that teachers don't want to have to deal with.
Of course qualified LGBT folks should be appointed to positions of respect and authority in government.

Paige: You big TEASE, you.
Momoaizon: I will certainly live blog, if James and I can work out a time. And, I do write stuff on my own blogs about humorous or upsetting things that happen when I campaign....

Mike

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795.

Michael C. Munger

I'm ready whenever you are.

It might be nice to think about elevating the live-blog to a higher profile event. Some advance publicity, for example, could create an opportunity for people who don't know you to get online and read more about your platform and positions.

As Betsy has mentioned, traffic has fallen off, probably out of primary fatigue. I'd want to make sure we have a big a conversation as possible.

J

PS I'm with you on hate crimes legislation. I've never understood the concept, except as you say ... in sentencing. It should be a crime to beat someone up regardless of their motivation. I grant I may be missing something, but it seems like squishy ground to me.

I go back and forth on "hate" crimes.

It seems to me that any violent crime could be considered a hate crime, and as an advocate of free thought and expression, I don't want thought police out there.

But I am very concerned about LGBT young people in our schools. We've all seen it - when we were in school, and it still happens. Even teachers think it's ok to use a student's suspected orientation to tease and torment. I want that stopped, and I'm not sure how to go about that. It's a dilemma.

I don't see how 1366 is going to be used against black students in particular, but I suppose I have a different view point. It's been a while since I read the actual bill, too. I'll have to go back and read it again.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Let me vigorously encourage the live blog -

I think it might be one of the more interesting we'd have.

As for federalism, thanks for the answer - it's a hard balance for anyone, but especially for folks who want as much local control as possible. I don't like paternalistic government coming in to tell us what to do - unless I agree with them. Civil rights always has to over-ride states rights.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

re:

2) I agree; no level of government should trample on individual liberty, and if Constitutional, a federal action should be taken to prevent states or local governments who do so. But the operative word there is "Constitutional." As I said, we don't need the federal government violating the document designed to prevent the federal government from coercing liberty, as allowing it once provides a precedent for allowing it more, as I'm sure you're aware. I can't see this happening without a Constitutional Amendment.

3) I will have to re-evaluate the anti-bullying bill. You make some great points I haven't considered, although admittedly I haven't considered this bill much at all.

I have to disagree with you, though, on non-discrimination legislation for private sector jobs. This is regulation of private property/association, which I can't go for. However, non-discrimination legislation for government jobs at ALL levels of government is fine and dandy for me. The biggest impact that the government can have on social relations is by setting an example.

Regarding my "tease," you're the one who's "teasing," what with those Dee Snyder, Nordic godlike locks and your alpha male command of, well, all things.