Wednesday, May 9, 2012

NC invokes its state's rights

If you follow this blog you know that I hate the states' rights argument. Well, North Carolina provided a glaring reminder of how dumb it is to leave certain things to states by passing an amendment to it's constitution making gay marriage illegal.

As expected, North Carolinians voted in large numbers on Tuesday for an amendment that would ban same-sex marriages, partnerships and civil unions, becoming the 30th state in the country and the last in the South to include a prohibition on gay marriage in the state constitution.
...
“We are not anti-gay — we are pro-marriage,” Tami Fitzgerald, chairwoman of the executive committee for the pro-amendment Vote for Marriage NC, said at a victory rally in Raleigh, where supporters ate pieces of a wedding cake topped by figures of a man and a woman. “And the point, the whole point is simply that you don’t rewrite the nature of God’s design for marriage based on the demands of a group of adults.”

Putting aside the states' rights argument for a second, that's one of the dumber things I've heard. Passing this amendment by definition makes you anti-gay and anti-marriage. And the whole point of our gov't is that you don't write or rewrite laws based on some moron's idea of what the nature of god's design for anything is. That is about as anti-American as you can get. I can't even see how the current conservatives on the supreme court would uphold this amendment. It's so dumb and so such a contradiction of constitutional principles, not to mention the supposedly conservative notion of small gov't, that even they couldn't make up enough bullshit to justify it.

And for once, most of the people in this country recognize how stupid it is. It's just a matter of time before the federal gov't or the supreme court get involved and make gay marriage legal. And that's part of why I find states' rights such a poor argument. As the link says, 30 states have similar laws banning marriage, which means that 20 either don't have a law or have one allowing gay marriage. It makes no sense to have states with different laws on an issue like this. If you shouldn't discriminate against people (as you obviously shouldn't in this case) you shouldn't be subject to that discrimination simply because you happen to live in a state that does so. And if gay marriage really was some horrible thing that went against god's design and was hurting the country the few states that allow it shouldn't be able to allow it because of the notion that states have certain rights.

In the end, we are a union. When it comes to some relatively minor issues it probably is best to let state and local gov'ts have control. But when it comes to extremely important and wide ranging issues it doesn't make any sense to let states do what they want. Some would argue that change has to come slowly, that you have to give those who want to resist it ample time to adjust to it or to come around, or that you need to build a consensus. But that's bullshit. In this case with gay marriage, as it was with the obvious case of Jim Crow laws, the discrimination should be stopped right away. No one should have to live being discriminated against while a consensus is built or in order to lower the risk of a backlash. So let's get rid of NC's amendment and every other law banning gay marriage as quickly as possible.

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