The Minstrel


Marriage Ban is back in NC General Assembly
May 17, 2007, 3:09 pm
Filed under: LGBTQ, Newsflash

Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly have attempted to bring House Bill 493 to a floor vote next week. It was safely referred to the Rules Committee several months ago–we hoped, to be forever forgotten, or at least forgotten until next year. But for reasons I will never understand, our North Carolina politicians are very uncomfortable with marriage equality. And by “very uncomfortable,” I mean, they want to write discrimination into our State constitution to be sure that marriage equality does not exist in this God-fearing State. Here’s what their Bill of Bigotry looks like:

SECTION 1. Article 14 of the North Carolina Constitution is amended by adding the following new section:

Sec. 6. Marriage.

Marriage is the union of one man and one woman at one time. This is the only marriage that shall be recognized as valid in this State. The uniting of two persons of the same sex or the uniting of more than two persons of any sex in a marriage, civil union, domestic partnership, or other similar relationship within or outside of this State shall not be valid or recognized in this State. This Constitution shall not be construed to require that marital status or the rights, privileges, benefits, or other legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon unmarried individuals or groups.

SECTION 2. The amendment set out in Section 1 of this act shall be submitted to the qualified voters of the State at a statewide election to be held November 6, 2007, which election shall be conducted under the laws then governing elections in the State. Ballots, voting systems, or both may be used in accordance with Chapter 163 of the General Statutes. The question to be used in the voting systems and ballots shall be:

“[ ] FOR [ ] AGAINST

Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage is the union of one man and one woman at one time, and this is the only marriage that shall be recognized as valid in this State. The uniting of two persons of the same sex or the uniting of more than two persons of any sex in a marriage, civil union, domestic partnership, or other similar relationship within or outside of this State shall not be valid or recognized in this State. The Constitution of North Carolina shall not be construed to require that marital status or the rights, privileges, benefits, or other legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon unmarried individuals or groups.”

SECTION 3. If a majority of votes cast on the question are in favor of the amendment set out in Section 1 of this act, the State Board of Elections shall certify the amendment to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall enroll the amendment so certified among the permanent records of that office. The amendment set out in Section 1 of this act becomes effective January 1, 2008.

SECTION 4. This act is effective when it becomes law.

Pam’s House Blend and Equality, NC encourage us–no, urge us–to write our representatives!

Personally, I think North Carolina politicians could learn from Jon Stewart. When he talked with Larry King, this transpired:

STEWART: Same-sex marriage is a very difficult situation and I was freaked out by it too. You know that.

KING: Why?

STEWART: Well, until I found out that it wasn’t mandatory, because I love my wife and I’d hate to have to leave her for a dude. So I didn’t want that.

KING: You thought it was mandatory.

STEWART: You never know. I don’t know what — they said the gay marriage and people got upset, so I figured, well clearly this means that there’s a law being passed that we all now have to be gay.

KING: Oh, I see.

STEWART: Once it was explained to me that only gay people, I seem much more comfortable with it. It doesn’t seem like such a big deal anymore.



Rep. Ellison & Rep. Goode respond to each other
December 22, 2006, 9:43 am
Filed under: Newsflash

Yet, another post about Ellison and his decision to swear his oath of office on the Qur’an, for which I applaud Mr. Ellison.

Rep. Keith Ellison responded yesterday to Rep. Goode’s letter, saying among other things:

. . . I think that we need to not focus on what religious text any Congress member might want to use. Let’s focus on the text that binds us together. That’s the Constitution. That’s a great document, and I’m looking forward very much to raising my hand and swear to uphold that Constitution.

Well said, Mr. Ellison.

Meanwhile, Rep. Goode defends his letter:

I believe that the overwhelming majority of voters in my district would prefer the use of the Bible[.] . . .

Probably true, but that should not translate to support of the position that a Muslim, even if elected in Bible Belt, US of A, should not be able to swear his oath of office on the Qur’an. Goode also said:

I am for restricting immigration so that we don’t have a majority of Muslims elected to the United States House of Representatives. . . .

This is an opportunity for us to have a little civics lesson in America and to help people to really understand the underpinnings of our great country[.]

Oh, my.



Today is World Aids Day
December 1, 2006, 10:24 am
Filed under: Newsflash

Find out what you can do to help raise awareness and fight AIDS.

Support World AIDS Day