NC Marriage Amendment On Ballot In May
Dems Worried It Will Pass
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
North Carolina has a republican controlled legislature, the first since the War Between the States. And it is driving the democrats wild.
NC’s current governor, a democrat, is not seeking reelection after having observed the “handwriting on the wall,” and it now seems certain the GOP will take the Governor’s office, as well, in November.
One of the items driving the NC dems mad is the proposed “Marriage Amendment” to the NC state constitution. Basically, it says marriage between one man and one woman is the ONLY kind of marriage to be recognized in North Carolina.
Understand that same-sex marriage is already banned in North Carolina by law or statute. Problem is, an activist judge can overturn a statute (or law). But a judge cannot overturn a constitutional amendment.
It will appear on the NC ballot on May 8th. The text of the measure reads as follows:
“Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.”
Now. If the measure passes it will add an additional section to Article 14 of the North Carolina State Constitution: Section 6 will read thusly:
“Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.”
“Supporters of gay rights and same-sex marriage argue that the amendment should not be added to the state constitution. They also argue that the subject - "rights of a minority" - should not be up for a vote. Others argue that the proposed amendment may lead to more bullying of gay youth and invalidate domestic violence protections for unmarried couples.
Some lawmakers argue that the proposed amendment will hurt employment in the state. Rep. Larry Hall said, "Instead of creating an environment where we can create employment, attract entrepreneurs (and) attract talent, we're going to try to put a sign up to say, 'You are not welcome if you want to contribute to our society.” (SOURCE).
A handful of the mainline Christian denominations in North Carolina are opposing the amendment. And President Obama has voiced his dislike of the bill. No surprise there.
Now, here’s the problem for democrats in North Carolina May 8th. The problem, at first glance, may not register with you, but stay with me.
North Carolina’s black voters are expected to turn out, in droves, to vote for Obama in November. But -- the Democratic Party desperately needs them to turn out for the May primary, as well. If the “get out the vote” drive in the black community is successful, then it could very well result in passage of the Marriage Amendment.
Now, here’s where it gets interesting: Black voters in North Carolina, by and large, do not support same-sex marriage. Blacks attend church in North Carolina, and like many of their white brothers and sisters who also attend church; they believe the teachings of the scriptures from which their pastors preach on Sundays.
As uncomfortable as it may be for some, the scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, speak out loud and long -- and as clear as crystal -- that homosexuality is a sin. Conservative Christians, both black and white, in North Carolina believe that. It is an integral part of their faith, their religion.
Public Policy Polling, which is based in Raleigh, North Carolina, released the results of a survey on Thursday March 29th in which they found there is, indeed, strong support for the proposed amendment to the North Carolina constitution.
P.P.P. surveyed 1,191 North Carolinians who stated they were likely to vote in the May 8th Primary. The Marriage Amendment proposal will be on the primary ballot as a statewide referendum.
P.P.P. found that 58% of those polled said they would vote in favor of the amendment. Only 38% told them they opposed the amendment.
Breaking the survey down a bit wore we find that roughly 76% of Republicans surveyed said they support the amendment while 48% of Democrats (who were surveyed) also support the amendment -- and -- 47% of Democrats, in the same survey, oppose the amendment.
But here is the part of the survey that has NC Democrats concerned: The survey found that among black voters 61% are in favor of the amendment while only 30% oppose it.
You can now see how the heavy black voter turnout in May is more than a little worrisome for those who oppose the Marriage Amendment in North Carolina. It is a something of a conundrum for the folks on the political left.
The supporters of same-sex marriage, in order to convince blacks to vote against the measure, have mounted a campaign to convince NC voters that denying same-sex marriages is “discrimination.” They’re claiming it is a civil rights issue. A portion of NC black folk will have none of it. In fact, they resent it. Frankly, it also riles the white folk in Tar Heel country, too. Also, it deeply irritates white Tar Heel voters when those opposing the Marriage Amendment accuse them of hate.
In my opinion, the measure will be passed and the NC Constitution will be amended – because the people of North Carolina believe it is the right thing to do.
J. D. Longstreet