Monday, State Senator Jim Forrester, along with 21 co-sponsers (including mine from Mecklenburg County), introduced The Defense of Marriage - Senate 272, a bill to add this sentence to the state constitution: "Marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State."
I urge everyone who opposes this, to contact their NC State Senator and Representative. (Instructions for identifying your representatives are at the bottom of this post).
With the budget shortfalls that the state is facing, the talk of increasing class sizes in the schools, and everything else going on, the fact that Sen. Forrester is pushing to have this on the Nov. 2009 ballot is simply unfathomable to me!
In a statement on Monday, Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of NC4Marriage (an organization started simply to fight for the passage of this ammendment) made this statement:
“Today is an exciting day for the citizens of North Carolina. Legislators are taking a stand for marriage and for the right of North Carolina citizens to be afforded the same opportunity as voters in 30 other states to vote on whether to include the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one union in our State Constitution.”
First of all, how is this a stand for marriage? Is this going to do anything to improve North Carolina's divorce rate of 3.8 per 1,000 persons (source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008)? Does this do anything to protect the thousands of women and children abused in heterosexual marriages across our state (total of 44,086 females and 6,640 male victims in 2004 according to the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence)? Will this do anything to protect the thousands of children who are abused every year by their heterosexual parents (24,597 in 2006 according to NC DSS)?
The bottom line is it does nothing to truly defend marriage! What it does do though, is deny US Citizens their constitutional right to the persuit of happiness! This country is founded on a separation of church and state and the 14th Amendment strickly prohibits the making of any laws "respecting an establishment of religion" which, in my not so humble opinion, this is. This bill would hold all NC residents to a law estabilished by the Bible, thereby holding all NC residents to a biblical standard regardless of their religious beliefs. I by no means believe that the Federal or State government should require churches to perform or sanction same-sex marriage. But a resident of NC and a citizen of the US should be able to go to their local Registrar of Deeds and be issued a CIVIL MARRIAGE LISENCE regardless of their sexual orientation.
Secondly, if school integration or inter-racial marriage had been put on a ballot to be voted on by the general electorate, then I'm sure they would have been banned as well. Sometimes the majority is not the best group of people to decide what the rights of the minority should be. One of my favorite quotes says:
The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority. Ralph W. Sockman
So, please contact your legistators!
First identify your NINE digit zip code via:
Then put that into this website:
Then let your legislators know how you feel about this issue! Trust me, my Senator who co-signed the bill, got an ear full from me this mornig! Let's show California how it's done!!!! ;-)