Against North Carolina Amendment One

by Walter Olson on May 8, 2012

Patrick at Popehat, who lives in Durham, N.C., interviewed his neighbors Gale and Elizabeth, who are a same sex couple, “about how Amendment One would affect them. This is what they had to say.” Earlier here (conservatives who oppose Amendment One include John Locke Foundation president John Hood) and here (most North Carolinians don’t realize measure would ban legal recognition of civil unions and domestic partnerships).

P.S. More from Richard Painter. And Gene Nichol (UNC Law) writes about the other time North Carolina amended its constitution to restrict marriage, which was back in 1875 [News & Observer]

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Amendments That Take Away Rights
05.09.12 at 5:50 pm

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1 Fake Drudge 05.08.12 at 9:27 am

I feel real bad for these ladies, but this Durham law is just one of the many stepping stones that led up to this day. In my experience, gay activists just don’t take no for an answer (See Dale vs Boy Scouts) , and if you give em an inch they’ll demand a mile.

Durham gave an inch. North Carolina is voting on the mile, today.

2 Patrick 05.08.12 at 9:47 am

Because historically if there’s one group that’s enforced their will on the people of North Carolina through backroom litigation manuever, it’s the “gay activists”.

3 Malcolm Smith 05.09.12 at 5:14 am

Fake Drudge was correct. Remember what happened in California? First, the people passed an amendment restricting marriage to a man and a woman. Then their so-called representatives passed a law giving same sex unions the same status as marriage, but without the name. Then the court made a specious ruling that this law revealed an evolving situation which made the people’s amendment unconstitutional.
It is obvious that a lot of lawmakers and judges hold the people’s will in contempt, so it is important to head them off at the pass. North Carolinans would be congratulated for making the right decision.

4 David Schwartz 05.09.12 at 5:47 am

Fake Drudge: I sincerely hope that you are some kind of parody because the exact same things were said about the struggles African Americans went through and history did not look very kindly on the people who said them.

5 Anonymous Attorney 05.09.12 at 1:52 pm

“Gale and Elizabeth” confirm what I suspect: the push for gay marriage has far less to do with practical difficulties and far more to do with demanding a government stamp of approval for a deviant lifestyle. It’s a solution in search of a problem. They don’t want to be seen as “second class citizens”, uh huh. Nobody is saying that, of course.

It blows my mind that one after another, conservatives are caving on this issue. Of course, they cave on everything else, so they’re only being consistent. They desperately crave the approval of the left, don’t want to be seen as “uncool” or mean-spirited, and long for positive write-ups in the New York Times. Ted Olson was apparently trying to impress his new girlfriend, for instance. Remember when Bill Clinton opposed gay marriage? It was an easy call then. What’s changed in the meantime, except for cons watching “Will and Grace” and thinking how cute it was?

Every time, when voters are given the choice, they reject gay marriage. And much of the time, when the issue is before courts, they endorse it. So much for reflection of the popular will by our rulers.

6 David Schwartz 05.09.12 at 3:23 pm

Anonymous Attorney: See my response to Fake Drudge. This is the kind of response that civil rights movements have always gotten.

7 Ron Miller 05.09.12 at 4:13 pm

If you are going to plant you feet firmly on the wrong side of history, it is best to do it anonymously. Well played, Anonymous Lawyer.

I can’t understand why anyone would want Gale and Elizabeth to have different rights from anyone else. On whose authority is their behavior deviant? The Old Testament? Well, I have some questions about your diet because you are breaking a lot of rules. Jesus? Didn’t say boo about it.

8 Walter Olson 05.09.12 at 5:06 pm

And note that in the interview the women explain that the new amendment will force the city of Durham to stop covering health insurance for the partners of Elizabeth and other employees; Gale is currently on that policy but doubts she could obtain independent coverage due to a pre-existing condition. All of which, according to Anonymous Attorney, “confirms” that the couple’s anguish has “far less to do with practical difficulties and far more to do with demanding a government stamp of approval.” Sure, tell us about it.

9 kimsch 05.09.12 at 6:13 pm

But shouldn’t Gale be able to get other coverage without the pre-existing condition clause coming into it. She has proof she was covered previously. Wasn’t it mandated that people who were covered by insurance not more than a certain period of time previously (so within the previous six months or so) couldn’t be declined for pre-existing conditions? Wasn’t that put into place as part of HIPPA so that people could change jobs (and insurance coverage) without penalty?

10 LisaMarie 05.09.12 at 9:36 pm

Yeah, yeah, the voters have spoken. The voters are always speaking. Too bad they say so many dumb things. Having your rights up for majority vote is one of the problems with democracy, period.

11 Evan 05.10.12 at 12:42 am

In other news, Duke University says its health coverage for same-sex partners won’t change despite Amendment One. No news on Durham County, but it’s apparently possible.

12 David Schwartz 05.10.12 at 4:51 am

kimsch: It is mandated that you can’t be excluded from a group — but what group would that be in her case? Her company has two employees. Individual coverage can be denied on the basis of pre-existing conditions, regardless of previous coverage.

13 Walter Olson 05.10.12 at 6:23 am

Re: Duke, the amendment is understood to bar partner health coverage for state and local employers such as Durham or public universities, but not for private employers like Duke.

14 DEM 05.10.12 at 9:23 am

I’m all for Gale and Elizabeth being able to get married. I just wish a lot more Gales and Elizabeths had as much respect for my liberty as I do for theirs. Alas, gays and lesbians will once again turn out in droves to vote for Obama this fall to support his vision of an ever-growing and endlessly intrustive state.

15 Walter Olson 05.10.12 at 4:38 pm

AA>”Ted Olson was apparently trying to impress his new girlfriend.” So his detractors have insinuated, but I notice this firsthand account to the contrary, describing him as voicing similar views at a 2001 gathering when Barbara Olson was alive: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/10/ted-olson-gay-marriage.html
[Standard disclaimer: Ted Olson and I are not related.]

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