Disagreeing, yet Defending NC Proposition A1
Gay marriage has been illegal in North Carolina since 1996. Voters have now strengthened that law by banning same sex civil unions. The results were pretty overwhelming with almost 60 percent of voters agreeing with the bill.
Looking at the bill’s language, it’s not hard to see why:
SECTION 1. Article 14 of the North Carolina Constitution is amended by adding the following new section:
“Sec. 6. Marriage.
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.”
As Tabitha Hale put it, the law completely bans unions of any kind. It allows “private contracts,” but the language is far too vague.
I’ve been in a similar situation. In 2005, Texas voted to outlaw gay marriage and civil unions. I, very hesitantly, voted for the decision after talking with several people whose political opinions I trusted.
To be honest, I wish I hadn’t. Hindsight is always 20/20, but I don’t think it is the government’s job to decide who can get married and who can’t. It should be up to the couple and their churches or organizations to decide whether they want to marry or not.
That being said, the states have every legal right to ban gay marriage and civil unions.
The U.S. Constitution allows it in the 10th Amendment:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
If the U.S. ever decides to vote on a gay marriage ban, I will vote against it. I will also vote against a federal amendment allowing gay marriage. I don’t think it’s the federal government’s job to legislate matters like this.
Should Arizona ever decide on a similar bill to the North Carolina one I will vote against it because it’s too broad. But I’d also vote against allowing gay marriage because that would be forcing individual churches to do something they wouldn’t want to do. And that’s against the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
So what should opponents of the gay marriage ban do? Should they do what several people in California have done and federally sue? That isn’t the answer because of the 10th Amendment. I think the state government should propose a constitutional amendment. Then let the voters decide.
That might be making it a bit too simple, but it is only the constitutional way to go.
Again, I wish the government would get out of marriage and leave it up to churches and individuals. Since the government will not, the individual states have every right to pass laws deciding it.
I may not agree with North Carolina’s decision, but they were well within their Constitutional rights to do so. And that should be protected at all costs.
Filed under: Elections, Gay Marriage, North Carolina, Politics | Leave a Comment
Tags: 10th Amendment, California, Churches, gay marriage, North Carolina, North Carolina Proposition A1, Politics, Prop 8, Prop A1, Separation of Church and State, State vs Federal Government, U.S. Constiitution