Same sex marriage (SSM), civil unions, & domestic partnerships
In North Carolina
Current status of SSM and Civil Unions in North Carolina:
As of 2012-APR, neither civil unions nor same-sex marriages are available to residents of North Carolina. However, the situation in this state is interesting because when voters are asked how the state should handle loving, committed, same-sex couples. There are three logical forms of recognition:
This is every politician's nightmare. No matter what move they make, they will generate a lot of animosity on the part of a major voting segment.
A majority of voters favor recognition of the relationships of loving, committed same-sex couples in some fashion -- either by legalizing same-sex marriage or by creating a system of civil unions. Only a minority favors the present system. Many religious and social conservatives remained enthusiastic about trying to preserve the status quo by changing the constitution to prevent the legislature or the state courts from recognizing same-sex relationships in any way. This position is often described as simple animus towards the lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) community. However many persons who are opposed to recognition of same-sex relationships sincerly believe that:
Most LGBs, religious and social liberals, therapists and counselors, human sexuality researchers, etc. strongly deny the validity of the first five beliefs.
Most religious and social conservatives want loving, committed couples to be treated as "legal strangers" -- as simple roomates. They wrote an amendment to the Constitution to ban SSMs, domestic partnerships, and civil unions. However, such an amendment would be have been turned down by the voters if the latter became totally aware of its scope. Thus it it was promoted as a simple prohibition of SSM in the hopes that voters would not notice the wide scope of the amendment.
The promoters of the amendment were successful. The people of North Carolina did not realize that this was a stealth amendment. It passed on 2012-MAY-08 with about a 61% vote in favor. When the people of North Carolina eventually realize that they were deceived, there may well be considerable backlash.
The result is a major controversy.
First posted: 2011-AUG-31