I've been watching with interest the developing marriage amendment story here in North Carolina:
North Carolina voters will decide in the May 2012 primary whether to add an amendment to the state constitution that bans legal recognition of same-sex marriages, after a 30-16 vote Tuesday in the stateSenate in favor of a referendum.
Supporters and opponents of the marriage amendment say they expect to be busy trying to persuade people between now and next spring.
I'm personally against the amendment, and in fact I have some pretty strong feelings about the appropriate role for government in defining relationships at all, so you can safely assume that I'll vote against the amendment. You can also safely assume that a great number of people, including the amendment's supporters, assume that I'm in the minority here in North Carolina and so they feel confident that they'll get the amendment passed. It's also probably a safe assumption you'll hear at least some of the amendment supporters say something to the effect of "Well, most people here are straight and are good Christians and believe that a real marriage is only between a man and a woman. Since we're the majority we should be able to say that marriage is only rightly between a man and a woman. That's our right in our democratic system – majority rules."
That last statement opens up a lot of arguments (equal rights/protections for minority groups, the proper role of religion in public policy, etc.) that would take about 800 pages to dig into and I'll save that for another day. I will, however, tell you that I'm always made uncomfortable by that argument because it uses the same logic that has been used to oppress people in the minority throughout our history. I will also tell you that I'm far more concerned with the state of our economy than with the fact that Harry might marry Barry.
I'd really rather not have our leaders play the marriage fiddle while tens of thousands of our citizens suffer through high unemployment and soaring rates of hunger and poverty in a burning Rome. (See Nero Fiddling While Rome Burns).
On a more fundamental level I'll also tell you that I will vote against the amendment because I don't happen to think that if someone is gay there's something wrong with them. I don't think being gay is something that a person can, or should, be cured of, and I find any law that singles out our gay fellow citizens and treats them as a second class citizen to be a stain on our society. Just wanted to make that clear.