Here's another batch of more than 20 letters about the Amendment One vote. Some of these will appear in print on tomorrow's Editorial page.
Those who opposed the recent marriage amendment have labeled the supporters with a number of undeserved accusations. For me, this vote was simply about the definition of marriage. Nothing more. Twenty years ago if the homosexual community had agreed to accept marriage as the traditional legal union of one man and one woman and sought a different legal recognition for same-sex unions, including comparable benefits and rights, I believe the amendment option would not have been on this ballot, but this approach was never acceptable to many of the homosexual community. They have always demanded that the meaning of marriage had to be expanded to be inclusive of same-sex relationships even though the two are not and can never be the same.
Most of us who believe that marriage is one man and one woman are tired of the unrelenting assault on the traditional meaning of "marriage." We voted accordingly. I remind those who discuss this with me that the only reason we can debate the issue face to face is because both of us were the product of the sexual union of one man and one woman, even if artificial means were used for conception. That's a fact that doesn't require Biblical validation.
I read with some sadness the recent letter “Proud and loud.” Not sadness for the letter-writer but for his two children, ages 7 and 9, to whom he was passing on his views. it reminded me instantly of that poignant discourse on bias and discrimination in Rogers and Hammerstein's “South Pacific”. “You've got to be taught before it's too late, Before you are six or seven or eight, To hate all the people your relatives hate, You've got to be carefully taught...”
I used to live in Charlotte and loved the city and the state, but, now, I am truly ashamed to have any connection to North Carolina. How can people hate so much? There is a difference between "Christian" marriage and "civil" marriage. I am an older, church- going American who believes that love is where you find it and we have too little love in the world to start trying to tell anyone who they can love.
I have many gay friends/couples and those who talk about the "procreation” side of marriage must not have gay friends because the majority of mine have 2, 3 and 4 children! Some adopted children no one else would have, some in vitro – all beautiful, loving children with loving families including my daughter and my beautiful grandchildren. If it “hurts” your marriage, it must not be much of a marriage – .and with a 50 percent divorce rate, I am not sure heterosexual couples have anything to brag about. I remember when the same thing happened about interracial marriages and look where we are now . It won't be long til all of you who voted for the ban will be ashamed that you ever were so arrogant, hypocritical and judgmental. So sad.
In light of the current debate over gay marriage I have a few questions that I would like your readers to consider or answer. First, if marriage is nothing more than a recognized union of consenting, non-related adults, then on what basis is it right to legalize gay marriage but not group marriage? Can’t three or more consenting adults decide they love another as equally as two people of the same gender? Do supporters of gay marriage also support polygamy, or are they bigoted towards those who simply love two or more people?
Secondly, if some people are allegedly born gay like some are born black and therefore gays, like blacks, should be treated equally, then how is that some gay people become heterosexual, but no black person ever changes his race? Is it because being gay is not at all like being black and therefore does not deserve the same civil rights protections as something permanent, like one’s race? Is it because being gay is nothing more than sexual attraction, akin to a married man being attracted to many other women? Are we as a society supposed to sanction all sexual attractions, be they homosexual, adulterous, polygamous or bigamous?
Recent passing of this amendment reminds one of economic historian Carlo Maria Cipolla's five fundamental laws of stupidity:
Always and inevitably each of us underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.
The probability that a given person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic possessed by that person.
A person is stupid if they cause damage to another person or group of people without experiencing personal gain, or even worse causing damage to themselves in the process.
Nonstupid people always underestimate the harmful potential of stupid people; they constantly forget that at any time anywhere, and in any circumstance, dealing with or associating themselves with stupid individuals invariably constitutes a costly error.
A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person there is.
R. W. Postlethwait
Let me preface my letter by saying, I am not trying to judge anyone. However, I do have a question for the devout Christians, i.e., Franklin Graham, Dr. Patrick Wooden and many more who had been very outspoken about same sex marriage. Christianity is based on the belief of Jesus being the son of God, so why is it convenient to forget how loving and non-judgmental Jesus was? Jesus loved EVERYONE, the tax collector, the prostitute and many other degenerates. Franklin Graham states he believes "God grieves" over President Obama's decision to support same sex marriage – would Jesus "grieve”? Since Graham seems to know what God thinks maybe he knows what Jesus thinks too. My favorite quote Is from Rev. Murdoch Smith, "I am always suspect when someone says they know the mind of God."
To the letter-writer in The People's Forum of "Proud and loud" concerning the Amendment One vote and how it isn't discrimination, the majority has spoken, I offer this quote: “All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.” Thomas Jefferson
Michael L. Monk
I first like to say that I am a happily married man of almost 20 years and I voted against the Amendment that passed in North Carolina. I just wanted to know who all those voters are who have the nerve to worry about who can marry whom. This great country of ours was built on the rights of the people. When you start taking the rights away, then that is not what I call FREEDOM. I have always believed that there is a superior being that has the power and wisdom to be the only judge that I have to go in front of when my time comes. If gay people want to get married and it is not hurting anybody in my family, why try to stop them. Who really cares what goes on behind closed doors of a couple whether they are straight or gay. Why should all those people who voted for the Amendment care. Why didn't they worry about, say, important stuff, like the economy, school for the children, health care for everybody and the big one, JOBS for those that are not working.
I think that voting for the amendment was a mistake and will hurt more that just the gay couples who want to get married and have the same rights as everyone else. Who are we going to go after next, fat people, ugly people or people who don't think like you? This country is all about freedom, but to take rights away from good hard working citizens just because they want to get married to the same sex, that is so wrong. Wake up America, this is the 21st century and not the 17th century.
I have never been so appalled as to see what The N&O had on the very front page on May 10. To think the leader of our country stated on the morning of May 9 that he believes in the marriage of one man and one woman and by the end of the day had changed his mind and stated that he believes in gay marriages. It's amazing that the leader of our country cannot state what he believes and stick to it. Our country is truly headed toward disaster in many ways. Wish The N&O could print something heartwarming for its readers to see the very first thing when they awake in the a.m.
Honest, hard-working Carolinians have gone out and voted from their hearts. Now the whiners are crying the blues. I am tired of the liberals in this state and country whining about what most of the common, honest working Americans want to see for their state and country. It's not the religious right that cries for what's right, even nature herself cries for justice. Homosexuals are not a race, nor a religion, they maybe are mentally disturbed or lack a gene that makes most of us normal humans want to live at peace and harmony within nature’s plan. If we Carolinians bow to this it will not be long and we will bow to allowing our great nation to become apart of the World system.
I am ashamed but sadly not surprised by the passage of the "Hate Gays and Lesbians" amendment. I call it this because it in no way protects marriage from anything. It does make a statement that 60 percent of our state regards gays and lesbians as something less than full citizens. I am ashamed of our religious leaders who spearheaded this effort. Prior to this I had a lot of respect for Franklin Graham and his father, Billy Graham, but that respect is now gone. To invoke the name of God to approve a state amendment violates the sacred separation of church and state that ensures our freedoms.
I know that many of these good people have just tried to follow what they feel is God's word. My God does not hate. Many of these people do not knowingly have gay and lesbian friends. I do, and they are some of the most amazing people I have had the privileged of calling my friends. If the "60 percent" also had gay and lesbian friends perhaps they would not have voted for this monstrosity.
In the aftermath of the elections that saw the approval of an amendment to the N.C. Constitution it is important to note that the total voter turnout was 34.4 percent and the Amendment passed with 61.0 percent. This means that only 20.1 percent(or 1 in 5) of North Carolina voters wanted to amend our constitution enough to go vote. The other 4 out of 5 voters either didn't care or voted No. Should we really be amending the Constitution based of the wants of 1 in 5 North Carolinians? I don't believe this action represents the true desires of a majority of North Carolina residents and the vote totals show that.
William Fenner Jr.
What happened to "separation of church and state?" If I remember my history correctly, we came over from Europe for three reasons – to look for gold, to escape the harsh rule of an autocrat and to have religious freedom. So my next question is, "What do these people want with a government that sets the rules on marriage?" Marriage should be a religious issue – period. The churches should decide who is married and who is not. If someone doesn't like the rules of one church, join another! This is not the government's business. I happen to be a Republican because
I believe in small government. The marriage amendment has nothing to do with government, and I am very disappointed in the Republican Party for encouraging the government to stick their noses in yet another aspect of our lives! What a bunch of hypocrites!
Contrary to what opponents of the marriage amendment charge, there is nothing conservative, liberal or even biblical in the decision of the 61 percent North Carolinians who voted YES to the amendment. They certainly do not hate the 39 percent who voted AGAINST. Every YES voter was simply telling the other side, "I didn't come into this world by the kind of union you're advocating; and I'm sure you didn't either. By demanding marriage, you are seeking public endorsement of your purely private conduct. It is precisely that endorsement, not your private rights, that the 61 percent of us deny. Period!"
And you, dear little Jonny's same-sex parents, be sure to be smarter than a fifth grader when explaining to your wonderfully parented, inquisitive little one posing that biology question, how he came into this world by your kind of union; how, by adopting your kind of union, his own insurance-protected children will come into the world; why to his friends, he should introduce you, his parents, as "my dad and dad," or " my mom and mom" when his school buddies, including the one at whose home he had last weekend's slumber party, introduce their own parents as "my mom and dad."
Finally, wherever you, same-sex dad, introduce yourself as a "married man," never consider stupid your interlocutors wanting to know whether your "spouse" is male or female. Simply refer them to the latest edition of the gay-lesbian dictionary!
What a mean-spirited letter from a marriage amendment supporter (“Listen up,” May 10). When did voting become like a football game where we insult the losers? Civilized democracy depends on the willingness to accept results, re-join ranks and move on. But if winners rub losers’ noses in it, they look ungracious and invite retaliation. Why then would losers respect winners’ point of view?
The letter vividly reflected today’s divisive politics. Rather than look for workable solutions to our shared problems, too many now fight ideological battles to prove themselves right and to show how wrong the other side is. Clearly that’s the letter-writer’s motive.
We seem incapable of debating issues fairly, honestly and with an eye toward accepting that we will always have differences. Rather than seeing our differences as reasons to frame our debates thoughtfully, we use them to fuel insults and outrageous claims. And often we waste time, money and good will on nonproblems, such as the presumed gay threat to marriage and voter IDs.
We do this largely because those pulling the political strings can use such issues to raise uncomplicated emotional appeals to incite those who can keep them in power. And civil society be damned.
The N&O illustrated its story about the passage of the so-called marriage amendment with a picture of a triumphal Rev. Patrick Wooden of Raleigh. I hope this does not feed any urban legend that black voters are anti-gay or that they are responsible for the amendment’s passage.
Despite the fierce efforts of Wooden and his parishioners, a review of the Election Day returns in Wake County’s majority-black precincts indicates most black voters here voted against the amendment.
You find variants of this pattern in urban counties across the state. In Durham, the majority-black precincts voted “no” by almost 65 percent. In Mecklenburg, it was almost 53 percent. In those counties, the voters as a whole rejected the amendment by somewhat higher margins. But in Guilford and Forsyth, where voters as a whole approved the amendment, voters in black precincts rejected it by 53 percent and 55 percent.
While it’s true that rural and small-town black voters favored the amendment, they don’t seem to have done so in higher numbers than white voters there.
The Rev. William Barber of the NAACP deserves a Profile in Courage for his stand against writing discrimination into the Constitution. It is heartening to see that black voters agreed.
Now that the marriage amendment has passed, I’d like to ask those who voted for it, as you drift off to sleep at night, snug in your bed, do you feel your marriage is more protected, safer, more secure? You do? Really? REALLY?
Evans E. Harrell, Ph.D.
The citizens of North Carolina should stand in awe of Thom Tillis, Skip Stam and their supporters. On one day and with one sentence they have nullified the Preamble, Sections 1, 13 and 19 of Article 1 of the Constitution of North Carolina; violated the 1st Amendment, 14th Amendment and the full faith and credit provision of the U.S. Constitution; profaned the Bible and faith; and enshrined discrimination.
Congratulations on a level of leadership and political accomplishment not seen since Germany in the 1930s.
In his May 10 column “Whose rights will they target next?” Barry Saunders claimed that the people who voted for the marriage amendment were out to steal people’s rights and find people to “impose their morals upon.” These people were all, of course, “the conservative groups.” I find this rather interesting considering that, according to the Board of Elections, there are considerably more registered Democrats than Republicans and also a large amount of independents. There is no way that only hard-core right-wingers voted for this amendment.
Then, later in his column, Saunders quoted Martin Niemoller’s famous words of “first they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist” all the way to the end when “they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.” So we are now comparing the majority of people in the state to Nazis?
Reasonable people voted for and against this amendment. So let’s talk like reasonable people together. Stop the rude comments and hate speech on both sides.
In The N&O, I read the following quote in an article about the passage of the constitutional amendment: “The involvement of the local churches across this state was absolutely the turning point,” said the Rev. Mark Harris, president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.
I spent 13 hours at a polling place in Durham on May 8. I saw up close and personal the “Christian behavior” of several people who identified that they were voting for the marriage amendment due to their religion. Over the course of my time at the polls, I was flipped the bird, had my information sheet balled up while accompanied by remarks that can’t be printed here and was told by one person that she “sure as hell didn’t want to protect my family.”
I feel the need to clarify (due to stereotypes about people of color and LGBTQ communities) that all of these people were white.
There were a number of other incidents, but I have a 200-word limit. I think Jesus would be dismayed to be represented by such people.
As a citizen and full-time resident of the State of North Carolina for 44 years, 36 of those in Eastern North Carolina, I am ashamed of our legislature and the 61% of the voters who voted to codify by constitutional amendment bigotry, intolerance, homophobia, the termination of civil rights and equal protection under the law of specific groups of our citizens. The justification for this amendment is based
in the religious conservatism of its proponents who are willing to impose their religious beliefs on othersin our society. This is frightening. The religious majority now has a precedent that allows them to advocate for the termination of the rights of any group that does not believe as they do.
Amendment 1 is not based on any evidence that the domestic partnership decisions made by people in our society outside of traditional marriage has any effect on the freedoms and standing of any other member of our society. In fact, this amendment removes freedoms and equal protection under the law of gay, lesbian and heterosexual people that choose to live together in domestic partnerships.
Paraphrasing the tongue-in-cheek comment of James Carville years ago who said - he too was against gay and lesbian marriage until he found out that he did not have to have one.
The role of our government in writing or amending the state constitution is not to define which citizens may or may not have rights but to protect and expand the rights of all its citizens and is the responsibility of our legislature. Equal rights under the law and civil rights should not ever be put to referendum of the citizenry. Just imagine what would have occurred in the 1950s and 60s if there was
a referendum on the question of civil rights and equal protection under the law of our black citizens. Our legislature should be ashamed of itself in abdicating its responsibilities to all its citizens.
The amendment states that the State of North Carolina will legally recognize only traditional marriage, defined as the marriage of one women and one man, and not any other domestic partnership whether contractual or not. Under this amendment local governments and governmental organizations that have been providing insurance and other benefits to their employees who are in domestic partnerships, whether gay, lesbian or heterosexual will be illegal. Imagine the thousands of people including children that will become uninsured. Imagine the legal standing of domestic partners in issues of inheritance, rights to make decisions for their partner in health care or business, if necessary not to mention child custody and domestic violence. Under the amendment they do not have the legal rights enjoyed by the “traditionally” married.
In the end this will be a job-killing amendment. Companies will lose the ability to recruit the best qualified workers because of the documented institutionally supported bigotry of the state. I expect that hundreds of workers in corporations, our schools and universities will leave for more accepting states. Companies that are being recruited to our state will give second thought to locating here in fear that some of its best employees will refuse to relocate. The 61% and our Republican-controlled legislature knows not what it has wrought.
Edward M Lieberman