On Tuesday, voters in North Carolina passed an amendment to their constitution that reads "Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state."
In reaction to this vote, same-sex marriage supporters are calling for the Democratic National Convention (DNC) to change locations in September. The DNC is currently scheduled to be held in Charlotte, N.C., beginning Sept. 3, 2012. Opponents do not want to see hard earned liberal money spent in a state that does not support equal rights for all citizens. A convention of this size can have a significant economic impact on communities that sponsor the event. The 2008 DNC had a financial impact in Denver of approximately $266 million.
An online petition has been started, encouraging people to ask the committee for the DNC to move the convention to a state that supports the LGBT community. The petition currently has almost 30,000 signatures.
Although some Democrats want to see the convention moved out of North Carolina, others want to be sure it stays there to increase the presence of liberal values in the state. There has been no response from the committee on the issue of possibly moving the convention at this time.
Conservative groups are celebrating the vote in North Carolina as a victory for conservative values. Opponents of same-sex marriage plan to initiate similar legislation in other states to follow the example set by North Carolina. The President of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), Brian Brown said, “God is the author of marriage, and we will not let an activist politician likewho is beholden to gay marriage activists for campaign financing to turn marriage into something political that can be redefined according to presidential whim.” Brown also said, “President Obama has made the definition of marriage a defining issue in the presidential contest, especially in swing states and we intend to win this marriage debate this November.”
President Barack Obama, Vice Presidentand other high-ranking Democrats have publicly expressed support for same-sex marriage. According to a recent Gallup poll, the majority of Americans support same-sex unions as well:
As arguments continue in the political arena, voters are also beginning to question the legality of the constitutional amendment passed in North Carolina. Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution says: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
As North Carolina braces for the economic fallout for the passage of this new amendment, observers are beginning to wonder if the Supreme Court may end up having the final word on the legality of this amendment. As we head down the path toward the 2012 U.S. presidential election, this issue is definitely going to remain in the forefront.
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