What’s it Really About?

“Unlike what has been said recently by the current administration, it is not in any way involved in any form of discrimination. We would never tolerate such behavior. It is for the union of man and woman.” Bishop Micheal Burbidge of the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh

These words were spoken in a interview with the bishop in response to a rally against Amendment One. We keep hearing proponents say that this isn’t about discrimination, that they just want to protect marriage. And, that may well be the intent of some of them. But, remember the old saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. In this case, whether they mean to or not, their good intentions are denying rights to a whole group of North Carolina citizens.

They want to do this with a constitutional amendment, so let’s see what Article I of the North Carolina Constitution has to say about the rights of the people:

” We hold it to be self-evident that all persons are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Now, let’s see what Amendment One says:

 “”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.”

Senate Bill 514 (Amendment One’s official name) specifically sets out to deny the right of marriage to a specific group of citizens. I’d like to say that no other amendments to the constitution have done that, but I’d be wrong; there are others, from the days of slavery and Jim Crow. And, isn’t that the company you want to keep?

I could use every entry on this site between now and May 8th telling you how we don’t know what Amendment One will do because the language involved (domestic legal union)  has never used in court anywhere. I could tell you how this amendment will hurt North Carolina financially because there are quite a few companies will think twice about moving to a state where many of their employees would be second-class citizens. I could tell you that proponents of traditional marriage do not support Amendment One because denying LGBT couples to ever have any legal protection under the law is, in their words, “mighty cold”. I could tell you that this amendment isn’t needed because there’s already a law on the books that prohibits same-sex marriage or that these amendments don’t do anything to protect marriage. I could tell you that about 60% of North Carolinians are in favor of some kind of legal recognition for same-sex couples, even though this amendment would block any and all such recognition. I believe I’ve shown that, intended or not, Amendment One is nothing but discrimination so, instead, I’ll leave you with the words of Rev. Dr. William Barber, speaking at College Park Baptist Church on April 16th,

“We have a moral obligation to be against all discrimination, whether it’s age discrimination, housing discrimination, child discrimination, gender discrimination or same-sex discrimination.”

Regardless of what Bishop Burbidge might say, anytime you start denying rights to people, you are practicing discrimination. And, that has no place in the  laws that govern our land. Vote against Amendment One of May 8th.