On May 8th, 2012 the state of North Carolina will be voting on a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage. This week the folks who are backing this ban, who call themselves the Vote for Marriage NC Coalition, began their campaign in our area and will be in Cullowee, home of Western Carolina University. This is an important time for the LGBT community here in Western North Carolina. It is a time of high visibility and courage as this is a constitutional amendment that can affect the lives of many LGBT parents tries to come to fruition. Currently same sex marriage is legal in the following states:
Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, plus Washington, D.C. and Oregon’s Coquille and Washington state’s Suquamish Indian tribes.
Why isn’t North Carolina following in these states footsteps? The idea behind creating this law is they want to protect the sanctity of marriage between a man and woman. What they fail to forget is there are two types of marriages allowed in the United States. One is religious based and the other is civil/financial. We know that a lot of couples do get married and follow their own religious traditions. Some religions restrict divorce and say that once a man and woman marry, they cannot divorce. But their focus isn’t on divorce, it’s honing in on same sex marriage. The only problem is by doing this they are forgetting that in the US, it is legal to get married for other reasons. So do they want to protect marriage between a man and a woman or just the ones who choose to get married to follow religious tradition?
With celebrities getting married to up their TV ratings and people getting married to obtain health insurance it’s obvious that marriage means something different to each person who applies for a license. Forgetting or rather ignoring the people who get married for reasons other than religion makes it seem as though the backers of the bill are not living in reality. Of course there are plenty of same sex couples looking to marry for religious reasons but the civil rights are the main reason for most.
There is a group called The Coalition to Protect NC Families that is attempting to rally around getting this bill crushed. This group is represented by a steering committee that consists of the ACLU-NC, Equality NC, Faith in America and The Human Rights Campaign. In addition they are represented by dozens of state and nation religious organizations and groups.
Please visit the Coalition to Protect NC Families link above and vote against banning same sex marriage in North Carolina.