To the Editor:
Amendment One sounds innocent enough. The wording is very precise and is carefully phrased to make approval seem to be a good thing. A lot of good people will vote for it for that reason. It accomplishes nothing, as far as gay marriage is concerned; that is already illegal in North Carolina. However, there are many bad repercussions in passing the amendment, and I’ve got to believe the NC General Assembly was unaware of these problems when they passed it. Because otherwise I would have to believe it was political pandering of the worst kind that brought this to a vote, and that couldn’t happen in Raleigh, right?
In Ohio where a similar measure was passed, there are cases where women seeking shelter from a physically abusive relationship have been turned away, sent straight back home to take more punishment because the amendment says “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State,” which was interpreted by law enforcement and courts as meaning “no domestic union, therefore no restraining order, no emergency funds, no shelter.” In other words, if your daughter were living with her boyfriend, and he beat her, the police would have no recourse to protect her. Is this what you want?
This measure will drive potential businesses away. In a statement made against the amendment, Sen. Kay Hagan said, “North Carolina is one of the most business-friendly states in the nation, and this amendment would harm our state’s ability to recruit the innovators and businesses that are driving our economic recovery.” Is this what you want?
Many old folk live together out-of-wedlock due to the economic reality that marriage would hurt them financially. If the amendment passes, they could be barred from visiting one another in the hospital, making decisions when their partner is incapacitated, picking up prescriptions, and all the other benefits of a stable relationship. Is this what you want?
Amendment One is in conflict with the U.S. Constitution, and this will guarantee a long and expensive court battle in the future. Restricting one group’s rights in favor of another would seem to be the kind of thing conservatives and liberals both would oppose. Millions of your tax dollars will be spent defending this bad law in court. Is that what you want?
The unvarnished truth is that this measure is a blatant ploy by politicians seeking to out-family-values the other party and energize their base for the upcoming elections. The measure will accomplish good for no one and ill for many. Haven’t we had enough of bad politics and bad politicians? Is this what you want?