To frame what follows into proper perspective, North Carolina is a state that Obama won in 2008.
As Joe Biden told America that he and basically his boss couldn’t tell the difference between a mother and father and their children and a pair of gay guys holding hands, this is what just happened in North Carolina (as of the most recent count, the amendment passed by a 61-39% vote).
I’m posting the MSNBC version because you can almost hear the whining tone:
North Carolina marriage amendment could impact gay and straight couples
By Miranda Leitsinger, msnbc.com
Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET: North Carolina voters approved a constitutional amendment Tuesday night banning gay marriage and – going a step further than most other states with an anti-gay marriage amendment – scrapping civil unions for gay and straight couples.
The state becomes the last southern state to approve an anti-gay marriage amendment and joins 30 others with similar measures. Incomplete returns Tuesday night showed the amendment passing by 60 percent of the vote.
The amendment, also known as Amendment 1, would make marriage the only legal domestic union that would be valid in the state. But opponents say the measure is unnecessary because a state statute has banned gay marriage in North Carolina since 1996. They say domestic partners – both straight and gay – and their children could lose health benefits.
Making this a constitutional amendment was important, said Rachel Lee, a spokeswoman for Vote For Marriage NC, because “those statutes are vulnerable to the will of an activist judge or future legislature who could overturn the law with a single court ruling or by a single vote of the legislature.”
Lee watched the election results at a party in Raleigh with grassroots coordinators and coalition members. When it became clear the amendment had passed, they cut a vanilla wedding cake topped with a figurine of a bride and groom.
“If you looked at a map of our country, you saw North Carolina as the only one in the southeast without an amendment preserving marriage between a man and a woman,” Lee said after the results had come in. “North Carolina had a target on her back.”
Half of Americans support gay marriage in new Gallup Poll
To overturn the amendment approved Tuesday night, the legislature would have to overrule the amendment by a three-fifths vote and get voter approval. Before the amendment passed, a judge or legislative majority could have overturned the statute.
“This puts up a bigger barrier,” said John Dinan, a political science professor at Wake Forest University.
Dinan said the amendment was introduced after Republicans won a majority in both houses of the state legislature in 2010.
“It’s been a pretty easy win in every southern state,” Dinan said. “It never got to the ballot in North Carolina because Democratic legislatures never let it get there.”
Dinan said the amendment’s impacts would not be immediate.
“The one place it could make a difference is in eight or nine cities in North Carolina that give out insurance benefits to same-sex couples,” Dinan said. “Lawyers might have to start taking a real close look at those insurance benefits that are given out and they might have to change those.”
Melissa and Libby Hodges of Durham could be among those affected by the amendment. They worry their 5-year-old daughter may lose her health benefits, as she is covered by Libby, who cannot legally adopt her. By Tuesday afternoon, the moms had filled out paperwork for private insurance.
Jeremy Kennedy, campaign manager for Protect All NC Families said he worries that the eight or nine cities that currently offer domestic partnership benefits to public employees may drop those benefits if the amendment passes.
“We know the consequences that we’re listing, but there’s a whole bunch of unintended consequences that we probably haven’t even thought of yet that will come up in the courts after this,” Kennedy said.
Thomas Peters, cultural director of the National Organization for Marriage, which supports the amendment, said children of gay parents in other states where similar amendments have passed have not lost their health insurance. He said he doubts that would happen in North Carolina.
Lee said the amendment would “in no way impact domestic violence protections, child custody or end of life desires.”
Voting began early Tuesday on the marriage amendment and candidate races in the 2012 primary, but 512,000 people – or 8 percent of registered voters – already have participated through absentee ballot, according to the State Board of Elections. That record turnout surpassed even the 2008 primary, which included Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the ballot, according to Democracy North Carolina.
Several high-profile figures – from former President Bill Clinton to evangelist Billy Graham – and national advocacy groups have weighed in on the amendment.
“We’re having a great debate about marriage in this country, and it’s not at all settled about which way we’re going to go,” said Thomas Peters, cultural director of the National Organization for Marriage, which supports the amendment.
In only one of the 30 states is the constitutional amendment facing a challenge: In California, where a federal judge’s decision to overturn it was set aside pending appellate review. The last state to approve a constitutional amendment was in 2008. Eight states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage.
But the Human Rights Campaign, which works on equal rights for the LGBT community, said that backing for anti-gay marriage measures was falling over time, citing statistics that showed the percentage of defeat at the ballot box dropping from 2004 to 2008.
Back in Durham, Libby and Melissa Hodges are debating whether to move to another state, where gay marriage would be legal.
They moved to North Carolina from Georgia in part because at the time, North Carolina allowed gay partners to adopt their children. That is no longer legal.
“My brother said, ‘If the amendment passes, North Carolina will be more backward than Georgia, will you move back to Georgia then?’” Melissa Hodges said. “I said, ‘You’re so wonderfully sweet, but no.’”
But leaving North Carolina would be hard. Both are city planners close to being vested in the state’s pension plan. Selling their home would be difficult, Melissa Hodges added, and their daughter was accepted into their first-choice kindergarten. Plus, another move would take her away from her brother, with whom she is close.
On Tuesday night, the Hodges watched the results online after putting their daughter to bed.
“She asked us before we put her to bed to make sure to tell her in the morning that we won,” Melissa Hodges said. “She doesn’t get the stuff with health insurance, but we told her that we’ll always take care of her, not to worry about that.”
Msnbc.com’s Isolde Raftery contributed to this report.
It’s rather funny that the people who were dedicated to overturning anything SHORT OF a constitutional amendment are crying about how this measure was unnecessary.
Of course no it’s not; I live in a state – California – which passed a measure defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman TWICE only to be overturned by fascist judges who frankly couldn’t give a rodent’s hindquarters about the will of the people. In 2000 Californian’s overwhelmingly passed Prop 22 with 61.4% of the voters approving the one sentence definition of a valid marriage. Fascist judges said screw you; it is our very essence as fascist judges to impose our will on the people. And then we passed Prop 22 and of course a homosexual judge did the same damn thing and overturned it. And then he resigned so he could enjoy the rest of his life collecting benefits paid for by the people whose will he just pissed all over.
In Iowa, judges who decided that their feelings mattered far more than what the rest of the state believed just got honored for pissing on voters:
(CBS/AP) BOSTON – President John F. Kennedy’s only surviving child is celebrating what would have been his 95th birthday this month by honoring three Iowa judges who were ousted after the court unanimously decided to legalize same-sex marriages.
Caroline Kennedy will also recognize the U.S. ambassador to Syria who risked his life to support opponents of President Basher Assad’s regime.
Kennedy heads the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, which promotes the late president’s memory and legacy. She is set to present the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award on Monday to former Iowa Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and justices David Baker and Michael Streit, all of whom were pushed off the bench in a 2010 retention vote that capped a contentious campaign.
The three judges will receive a sterling silver ship’s lantern symbolizing a beacon of hope. The award, which was designed by Kennedy’s husband, Edwin Schlossberg, and crafted by Tiffany & Co., resembles one belonging to the U.S. Navy’s oldest commissioned warship, the USS Constitution, or “Old Ironsides.”
Ternus, Baker and Streit were among seven justices who unanimously decided in 2009 that an Iowa law restricting marriage to a man and a woman violated the state’s constitution. Conservative groups and other gay marriage foes spent about $1 million on a political campaign to oust the judges, who chose not to raise money or campaign themselves to avoid dragging the judiciary into politics.
“The three judges are interesting and courageous on many levels,” Kennedy told The Associated Press. “… Like many of the people who get this award, they don’t consider that they are doing anything particularly courageous, they just feel they’re doing what’s right, they’re doing their job.”
Kennedy, who is a lawyer, said the three “knew when they were writing this decision that it was gonna be a pioneering decision and a landmark decision and would face a lot of popular opposition. They also were following very carefully the Iowa constitution and the rights that it gives to its citizens.”
Just imagine it being the other way around: the voters of a state overwhelmingly want gay marriage by a nearly 3 to 1 margin – and a conservative judge says to hell with all of you, only MY vote matters, and I vote to say to hell with the will of the people. Is that judge going to be honored for his “courage,” do ya think???
Joe Biden says that the “marriage” of two men or two women is EVERY BIT as “valid” as the holy union under God between a man and a woman, and that married men and women and the families they create are no better or more positive for society than homosexual “matrimonies,” and North Carolina just responded with a great big giant “Up YOURS!”
That may have something to do with what over twenty percent of North Carolina DEMOCRATS said to Obama in the state’s Democrat primary for president:
“No preference” is another way of saying “no confidence” in the ONLY candidate on the ballot.
In West Virginia, it got even worse, with 42% of Democrat voters choosing an INCARCERATED FELON over Obama (who SHOULD be a convicted felon). Obama has been a holocaust for that state, pure and simple.
And in Wisconsin, the hated conservative Governor Scott Walker easily won a larger percentage of the vote than BOTH of his Democrat challengers COMBINED and nearly as many as EVERY DEMOCRAT VOTE COMBINED. With Wisconsin Republicans easily maintaining control of the state Senate. Oh, and it’s also now known that the rabid Democrat recall effort has an unpaid debt of $17 million in back taxes. Because to be a Democrat is to be a fascist who wants OTHERS to work and pay for what THEY then get to “redistribute” to their unions and their special interests.
Stuff like that helps me understand the dismal opening Obama got to the official opening of a re-election campaign that really never ended from 2008.
I see the potential for a major conservative ass-kicking coming. And the ONLY thing standing in the way of that ass-kicking is the fact that Barack Obama – the worst and most cynical political whore who EVER walked the earth – has attended more fundraisers than the previous FIVE presidents COMBINED. It won’t be easy to throw out our Crony Capitalist Fascist Whore in Chief given his enormous money-grubbing advantage. Particularly since he has repeatedly used the American people’s taxpayer money as his own political slush fund.
Meanwhile, the same Obama who is too much of a weasel to tell us what he’s going to do with the ballistic missile shield he essentially turned traitor over, or the same Obama who is punting the Keystone pipeline until after the election so he can kill it once and for all, is the same weasel who doesn’t have the courage to look at the American people and tell them that he is going to “fundamentally transform” the institution of marriage on them.
He is a small, weak, skinny little runt in every way imaginable. That is the essence of a weasel.
Congratulations on standing up for the sacred definition of marriage and for standing against the weasel who wants to undermine this nation’s greatest institutions, North Carolina.