Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston





Tuesday, May 8, 2012

North Carolina Poised to Pass Anti-Civil Rights Legislation

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)North Carolina voters have approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage solely as a union between a man and a woman, making it the 30th state to adopt such a ban.

With 35 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday, unofficial returns showed the amendment passing with about 58 percent of the vote to 42 percent against.

In the days before the vote, members of President Barack Obama's cabinet expressed support for gay marriage and former President Bill Clinton recorded phone messages urging voters to reject the amendment.

Meanwhile, supporters ran their own ad campaigns and church leaders urged Sunday congregations to vote for the amendment. The Rev. Billy Graham was featured in full-page newspaper ads supporting the amendment.

Shame!  Shame!  Shame!  North Carolina will regret this religiously driven, anti-human, anti-civil rights law.  It is on the wrong side of history, just as the anti-miscegenation laws were.

 "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." --George Santayana


Today, North Carolinians are going to the polls to vote on their fellow citizens' ability to enjoy the civil rights guaranteed in our Constitution.  And it appears, from what I've seen reported on the polling data, that the majority of the citizens of that state will vote to permanently imbed in their state's constitution a discriminatory law against a segment of their population.

It still amazes me that people, who otherwise are rational, would commit such an egregious act.  But this is the result of allowing people to pass Biblical judgement, rather than apply civil law, on other people's private lives.  And make no mistake, the opposition to gay marriage is based on religious texts that people, fired up by blind religious zeal, choose to apply, while ignoring other prohibitions.  I've yet to see any Bible Belt state propose a ban on working on the Sabbath, which not only is prohibited in their texts, but their god even allows the murder of one's neighbor, should one find him or her breaking this particular Biblical law.

Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 - Holiness Codes - "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination" and "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them"

"The LORD then gave these further instructions to Moses: 'Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever. It helps you to remember that I am the LORD, who makes you holy. Yes, keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy. Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community. Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest. I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death."  (Exodus 31:12-15 NLT)

The reason for this encoding of discrimination in North Carolina's state constitution?  To protect the institution of marriage and the family!   This is nonsense, since the way to "protect" marriage is not to limit it, but to allow more of it.  If these monocratic intolerants were serious about the concern for the American family, they'd be passing state laws prohibiting divorce, not marriage between consenting adults.  But that will never happen, since the divorce rate is among the highest in the Bible Belt, and these hypocrites wouldn't want to take away that civil right.  What threatens family life is divorce, not marriages between people who love one another.

This nonsense of forcing people to live by a standard that religious zealots pick and choose from their Bible will, in some distant future, be considered ignorant, barbaric, and wholly anti-American.  But it is what our fellow gay and lesbian Americans, who want only the same rights enjoyed by all citizens, must suffer under--for now. 

For make no mistake, these dehumanizing and descriminatory laws will be overturned.

Shame on the states and the ignorant people in them who propose and pass such tyrannical religious acts.


Infidel753 said...

Back in the 19th century, a provision was added to the law of my home state of Oregon (perhaps even to the state constitution, I'm not sure) prohibiting black people from settling here.

Long ago, of course, it became a dead letter, since it clashed with the federal Constitution. But well into the 20th century it remained on the books, having no legal force but serving as an embarrassing reminder of the bigotry that was once thought to be within the range of acceptable debate.

If North Carolina incorporates this shameful, Biblical hate into its constitution, within a decade it will take on the same character, and the children of those who vote for it today will eventually repeal it in embarrassment at the dead law from the dead past.

Leslie Parsley said...

I hope you're right Infidel, but having lived around these people for much of my life I'm not very optimistic. Religion, ignorance, hate and prejudice are just too deeply ingrained in their "thinking."

Jerry Critter said...

These are people using religion as a means of justifying their bigotry, not using religion to better society and honor god.

Infidel753 said...

It turns out that the factor that best correlates with attitudes toward gays is actually age -- even more so than religion. Even evangelical Christians under 25 are far less hostile to gays than the older ones. That does suggest the situation will improve over time.

Prejudice is harder to transmit when young people grow up in a world where gay people are part of everyday life and most young people know a few personally.

Amir Amza Aslamkhan said...

A person's natural legal right should not be up for vote.

Shaw Kenawe said...

North Carolina, along with the other states that voted to deny Americans their natural rights, will regret this anti-human, anti-civil rights legislation.

This is nothing more than legislated religion. And it legislates Biblical prohibitions selectively. I've never heard of any state in the Union pass legislation that prohibits working on the Sabbath--that is proscribed in the Christian Bible.

But since many Christians work on Sunday, it's easier to go after a minority and make their lives more miserable than to apply their religious zealotry to everyone.

This is upsetting and depressing, but there is good news.

This religiously imposed legislation will be overturned.

I guarantee it.

The last time North Carolina passed an amendment to its constitution, it was to prohibit interracial marriage.

skudrunner said...

No one said the Southern states were very open to change, after all they do cling to the guns and bibles.

Seems a little hypocritical for the party who wants less government to support the government determining who someone can marry and if a women can determine to have an abortion or not.

This is nothing but government controlling our lives.

Shaw Kenawe said...

It's not just the southern states passing these anti-gay marriage laws.

These are temporary setbacks. The younger generations don't hold the religious prejudices that the older generations do.

Look at how far civil rights for our gay and lesbian citizens has advanced.

Jerry Critter said...

We agree, for once!