Soap Box:  Vote NO on changing the NC Constitution to ban same sex marriage!

September 14, 2011

Update: April 26, 2012

Update: May 14, 2012

Well, the vote was taken and North Carolinian voters voted overwhelmingly to change the Constitution to ban same sex marriage.  I wasn't surprised with the outcome at all.  But I'm still disappointed.  Not because I support same sex marriage, but rather I think people just don't realize that you shouldn't be voting on civil rights, or muddying up our Constitution with marriage laws.  I think people voted on how they feel about the issue, and what their religion tells them instead of considering what the United States Constitution says or the American values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  President Obama has also waded into the waters saying he supports same sex marriage.  While I think that is a correct position a president should take, given they should represent all Americans, regardless of party or sexual orientation, I also think it will cause more division between the political ideologies.  Eventually the issue will make it's way to the Supreme Court and I hope they make the right decision that guarantees marriage equality for all American citizens.

Vote NO on changing the NC Constitution to ban same sex marriage

I need to say this up front.  Voting NO does NOT mean you support gay marriage.  You can still think it's wrong, or sinful.  Voting NO sends a message that we shouldn't use our state constitution to deny basic human natural civil rights to American citizens, and we don't want bigger and more intrusive government.

Come May of 2012, North Carolina voters will decide whether or not to alter the Constitution of North Carolina in such a way as to ban gay people from getting married.  From what Iíve seen of protests and comments, I think the measure will pass.  But no matter how you personally feel about gay marriage, itís very wrong to be voting on this issue and to have it included in our stateís constitution (and laws).  Same sex marriage is already illegal in North Carolina.  This is nothing but hate based legislature, created for discrimination, and takes us further down the path of having bigger and more intrusive government (something all Conservatives should be against).

Iíve already written a previous article on the subject, but this one will be a slightly different tact.

First of all, this is mostly a Republican lead effort.  The Republican Party in general is very much against gay marriage.  Bolstered by their recent election wins and becoming the majority in the North Carolina congress, they decided now was the time to act to keep gays from getting married.  Even though we face pressing issues with poverty, recession, job losses, taxes, low education marks, home foreclosures, and a struggling economy in general, some top Republicans claim stopping gays from getting married is one of the most important issues facing North Carolina at this time.  While North Carolina law already bans same sex marriage, Republicans and religious organizations want it also added to the constitution so it will be more difficult to overrule at a later date.

Iím not here to debate whether homosexual activity or gay marriage is wrong on a moral point.  If you follow the Christian bible, there's no denying that it condemns homosexual acts.  But what the bible says, or any other religious text, is irrelevant to the law, the rights of citizens, and United States Constitution.  Mixing religion and government is very dangerous.  Look at the middle east countries to see how that works.

The first claim is that the Republicans and religious organizations are somehow protecting marriage by banning gays from getting married.  I argue if that was really the case, their efforts would be better directed at the soaring divorce rates.  If they want to get biblical on it, remember that Jesus said nothing about homosexuals but specifically mentioned that divorce was not allowed except only in cases of adultery: Matthew {5:32} But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.  Mark {10:11-12} And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.  And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

The second claim is that allowing gays to marry would change the definition of marriage, one they claim has always been defined as one man and one woman.  But we know thatís not true.  Marriage is simply a union.  Itís never been strictly defined as a single man and a single woman.  The religious groups only need to read the bible they thump to find numerous examples of godly men having more than one wife.  Even into the later 1800s, the state of Utah still legally practiced polygamy.  The definition of marriage will not change.  It still means a union.  Same sex couples being able to wed will have no bearing what so ever on any other marriages.  Theyíve already been allowed to marry in other states and weíve seen no change in the traditional man-woman marriages, before or after.

I donít have a problem with people thinking gay marriage is wrong.  I donít have a problem if they want to speak out against it.  I donít care if they want to give speeches against it, or write books against it, or preach against it from their pulpits.  Thatís their free speech right to do so.  I personally donít care if gays get married because it doesnít affect me or my marriage.  But I do care when people petition my government to change its laws and constitutions so that it will discriminate against others based on their own personal views on morality.

Here are the problems with the amendment, and why I think you should vote no against it.  First of all, we should never even be called upon to vote on such matters, which are basic civil and human rights.  While we do live in a democracy, some issues shouldnít be decided by a vote because it lets the majority trample on the rights of the minority.  We shouldnít be allowed to vote on the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of others.  These are inherent rights that we all have, regardless of what a majority of voters might say.  Should we also vote on whether to allow mixed race marriages?  Should we also be allowed to vote on which race of people, or which ethnic group, or even which social group of people we would want to enslave?  No!

Secondly, having this measure on the ballot and trying to add it to our stateís Constitution is a mixing of state and religion.  Because of our diverse religions and beliefs, and our rights to practice them, and the very subjective nature of how each is constructed, they should never be mixed within the laws and rules that govern us.  For an example of that, look to some of the middle eastern countries, that mix religion with politics and government.  The Taliban was a shining example of what happens when you do that.

Third, such an amendment would discriminate against a segment of our population based on sexuality, which is just plain wrong.  Remember that women were once denied the right to vote based on their gender.

Fourthly, this amendment would open a slippery slope, and put us on a path were we might consider other moral and religious based ideas that some want to put into legislation.  Again, the Taliban is an example of what happens when this is allowed to go forward.  It might not stop at the gay population and it might not stop with just marriage.  The next target might be religious practices of minority religions.  Weíve seen other countries that have populations fighting and dying in the streets because of a difference of religion, such as Protestant versus Catholic, or Christian versus Muslim.  How long will it be before your particular beliefs and religion come under government scrutiny?

Fifthly, this amendment is a prime example of government intrusion into our personal lives.  Government should be about maintaining the country, and keeping the economy going, and making sure there is a rule of law.  It should have no part in our personal and private decisions of who we love and who we marry, as consenting adults.  This type of governmental intrusion is something that true conservatives and constitutional patriots should be against.

Sixthly, the government and state shouldnít even be involved in the marriage business.  And if it is, it shouldnít discriminate based on sexuality or gender.  By government being involved in and regulating marriages, it sets upon a path of discrimination when it doesnít apply those regulations fairly or evenly.  If my government is going to behave that way, it should withdraw completely and leave marriages to the churches and societal groups.

Seventhly, and lastly for my article, voting no against the gay marriage ban does not mean you approve of gay marriage.  You can vote no against this amendment and still be a Christian, a servant of god, or still morally against gay marriage if thatís your choice.  A vote of no doesnít negate or affirm your views on gay marriage, rather itís a message to your government that it shouldnít be intruding upon our personal lives and making such decisions in the first place.  You can still believe that gay marriage is morality wrong if thatís your personal belief.  Iím not asking you to change your opinion or give the practice your nod of approval.  Iím simply asking you to let our government know that there are limits as to what it can do in regards to our private lives and natural rights.  Voting no isnít a moral choice.  Itís a statement that you wonít let the government, or even a majority trample upon the real American way of life, and the freedoms we all share and enjoy.

Vote NO on changing the NC Constitution to ban same sex marriage

Jeff Polston

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