While President Barack Obama is focused on creating jobs and Gov. Bev Perdue is focused on helping the state recover from Hurricane Irene, the Republicans in the N.C. General Assembly are focused on how private individuals express love. The bait-and-switch tactics used by the Republicans to hide this vote from North Carolina voters reminds us of earlier in the year when one Republican legislator praised the other’s ability to “obfuscate.”
What the Republican caucus is up to is wrong. They’re wasting taxpayer money to keep the legislature open for business while making our state less open to businesses that want to create jobs. Money that could have been spent rebuilding houses in the East or hiring teachers is, instead, being spent to prop up the right-wing soapbox.
However, instead of arguing that the amendment is bad for job creation (it is), or that gay marriage is already illegal (it is), I’ll keep this simple: Anything less than marriage equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people forecloses on the idea that all men are created equal.
In politics, we often eschew didactic arguments in favor of pragmatic ones. However, on the issue of marriage equality, I’m unequivocal: Violating the civil rights of a minority based on nothing other than the preference of a perceived majority is wrong. Lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender people deserve the equal protection of the law. Nothing more, nothing less.
Individuals can be selective in their application of scripture and verse, but the law and our Constitution cannot be. One can focus on homosexuality instead of myriad other sins, but principles like equality and liberty cannot single out a group. If you believe that we are all born equal, that we all have the freedom to pursue happiness, that we all deserve liberty, then you have no choice to fight for the dignity of your fellow women and men.
Gay rights are human rights.
“I implore you to stand against a constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage. If you’re ready, I hope you will go a step further and stand for marriage equality. It is an idea whose time has come, and if the Republicans in Raleigh do write hate into the North Carolina Constitution, you can count on our generation to erase it.
– Sam Spencer, Davidson
President, Young Democrats of North Carolina