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Gay Marriage Ban Clears NC House

Gay Marriage Ban Clears NC House
Posted by Dexter Nelson: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 (9:29 AM)

Gay Marriage Ban Clears NC House


Gay Marriage Ban Clears NC HouseThis is definitely one of those hot-button topics that seem to affect everyone. Most everyone I've met or talked to seem to have very strong feelings about it and I'm not exception. All the same, I woke up this morning and there were the headlines, Gay Marriage Ban Clears NC House, as if it were ipso facto a ban on same sex marriage.


I had to do some searching but I found that the media is spinning this as a gay marriage ban and quite frankly... a lot of it is spinning and propaganda.


First of all, nothing cleared the house. What passed was the legislation by the Senate to put it on the measure on the bill. No bill has been passed. Voters will decide in May.


Secondly,it was set to the May primary ballot instead of November because they wanted it to be about the issue and not a political maneuvering tool for either party. The goal was to separate it from political implications.


Democratic Rep. Bill Owens said, "I would not have voted for it if it was in November. It didn’t need to be a political issue," and Winston-Salem Republican Rep. Dale Folwell stated, "At the end of the day it really comes down to this: The way we settle controversial issues is to vote."


On a personal note, you can nitpick all you want, but regardless of how fast or slow the measure was put on the bill, neither side was ready to pass anything. Yet, I have no doubt that politicians will still use it to their advantage in one way or another to try to gain some advantage in November.


Thirdly, this is NOT legislation about a ban on gay marriage. The media fails to mention that same-sex marriage is ALREADY illegal in the the state of North Carolina. So what are they voting on?


This legislation is a preventative measure to block challenges to the existing ban on constitutional grounds.


Again, same-sex marriages are already outlawed in North Carolina. This ammendment is being voted on to prevent overturning the marriage ban as unconstitutional. Indeed, during floor debate, several Republicans said a constitutional amendment was needed to prevent "activist judges" from overturning the marriage ban, as had been done in the past.


I do agree with Rep. Dale Folwell that it needs to come down to a vote and let the people decide and that taking it away from the political arena was a smart move to keep it about the issue.


You can pretty much see the dividing line as both sides are reporting that they have a case that their side has the majority approval, but if it was so clear cut, the bill would have been voted on and passed or rejected instead of being passed to the voters.


 

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