Day: May 9, 2012

North Carolina’s Public Image Harmed By Vote Banning Gay Marriage In State Constitution

North Carolina was part of the Confederate South during the Civil War.

North Carolina was part of the segregated South for a century, but the lunch counter sit ins at Greensboro in 1960 were one of the first events to draw attention to the issue of civil rights for African Americans in the South.

North Carolina started to prosper, passing its neighbor, South Carolina, in social and economic progress in recent decades, and in population as well, and gained a good reputation as a progressive state.

North Carolina has a black mayor of Charlotte, which will be the host for the Democratic National Convention this summer, and that city is the center of major banking and finance.

North Carolina is the center of high technology and excellent universities, with Durham and Duke University, Raleigh and University of North Carolina, and Chapel Hill with North Carolina State University.

Areas including Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill were strongly against the Amendment One, but the religious right, led by Billy Graham and Franklin Graham won out over the appeals of the educated ,and even of former President Bill Clinton.

So North Carolina has suffered, and will suffer in public image, and it will take a long time before North Carolina can regain the stature it had worked so hard to achieve in the past 30 years.

And to top it off, unmarried heterosexual couples will no longer be protected in their rights, either, whether civil unions or domestic partnerships. This is a heavy price to pay for ignorance, prejudice, and narrow mindedness, and provoked by organized religion, which should unite citizens, not divide them!

Gay Marriage And The Split Of Age Groups: The Future Is Bright!

An interesting statistic about gay marriage and different age groups presents itself, based on research, and is a sign that gay marriage will have a rosy future over time.

If one polls people who are senior citizens, over 65, one finds that gay marriage is opposed in every state of the Union.

But when one looks at voters under the age of 30, only 12 states would ban gay marriage!

So as time passes, and the older generation leaves us, gay marriage will become much more accepted, and one day, about 30 years from now, many will wonder what the big commotion was about, and there will be embarrassment that there was such a fight over human rights!

But then, it is embarrassing to look back at the 1950s and 1960s, and the incessant struggle over civil rights for African Americans in the South!

Interestingly, it is in the South that we have the most vehement opposition to gay marriage and gay rights, so what does that tell us?

As time passes, nothing changes in much of the “Old South”, the rural South, whether it is Democratic, as it was in the past, or Republican today!

An Historic Moment In Evolution Of Human Rights In America!

America’s history has been one of slow evolution toward reform and change, and toward the expansion of human rights!

Today, May 9, 2012, is one of those moments that will reverberate as a memorable day in our history, as President Barack Obama has finally declared his full support for gay marriage, after having promoted action to promote gay rights in other ways earlier, including the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military.

To gay and lesbian Americans, and those who believe in gay and lesbian human rights, it was a long time coming, but that fact will now be forgotten in the excitement that our President has taken a very moral stand on gay rights, that despite many religious objections, means that over time, the institution of same sex marriage will spread far and wide as a civil right that all other people have, and that gay Americans are entitled to have.

Barack Obama will be long remembered for this great initiative, and Joe Biden will be long praised for having prodded the President to move in the final direction of full acceptance of what he was arriving at in an evolutionary fashion.

The hate mongers, common among Republicans and conservatives, will fight tooth and nail, as they did in the case of Amendment One in North Carolina, to deny equality, even to those military people on bases in the state, a despicable action.

But eventually, there will be a move to have the US Supreme Court decide whether it is not a national right, that cannot be denied by the states, but also mandate that no church, synagogue or other religious institution, would be required to marry people they did not want to be involved in marrying. That would be left up to ministers and rabbis comfortable with the idea, or to the act of civil marriage.

If the Supreme Court could declare in Loving V. Virginia in 1967, that interracial marriages were constitutional, they can certainly do the same for same sex marriage!

To insure such a result, however, it is MORE urgent than ever before that Barack Obama win a second term in the White House, and be able to insure that the Supreme Court does not become more conservative than it already is, and continue to prevent progress and change!

Who Is “Moderate” In Republican Party In US Senate After Defeat Of Richard Lugar?

It has been said for a number of years now that “moderates” are an “endangered species” in the Republican Party in the US Senate.

Without knowing what new members will join the US Senate in the upcoming elections of 2012, of those now in the Senate, who could be considered “moderate” in any sense?

Senator Susan Collins of Maine
Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts
Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio
Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee

What is this list based upon?

Voting records of these US Senators
Comments and Statements made on issues
Talk by these Senators about Bi-partisanship.

It should be made clear that this is based on the author’s own judgment, and is in a ranked order, from MOST moderate and cooperative and bi-partisan to LEAST moderate.

Overall, the concept of “moderate” Republicans is dying more every day, and particularly now with the voluntary retirement of Olympia Snowe of Maine and the forced retirement of Richard Lugar of Indiana!

The Anti Obama States Ranked By Popular Vote In 2008 Presidential Election

With the Presidential Election of 2012 just six months away, and with the increasing polarization of the nation shown by the Indiana Senatorial nomination results and West Virginia negative vote in the Democratic primary against Barack Obama, it is instructive to examine the 2008 Presidential Election results.

22 states voted against Barack Obama and for John McCain in 2008, with Obama gaining 53 percent of the vote against 46 percent for McCain nationally, and winning 28 states and the District of Columbia. Obama had a popular vote lead of 9.5 million over McCain.

But in those 22 states that voted for McCain, the McCain majority was as follows in ranked order:

Oklahoma 65.65
Wyoming 64.78
Utah 62.58
Idaho 61.53
Alabama 60.32
Alaska 59.42
Arkansas 58.72
Louisiana 58.56
Kentucky 57.40
Tennessee 56.90
Kansas 56.61
Nebraska 56.53
Mississippi 56.18
West Virginia 55.71
Texas 55.45
S. Carolina 53.87
Arizona 53.64
North Dakota 53.25
South Dakota 53.16
Georgia 52.20
Montana 49.52
Missouri 49.43

So going by the standard that 55 percent is a landslide, that means all but seven of the 22 states were landslides, and allow for Missouri, Montana, Georgia and even Arizona as possible turnovers, with growing Hispanic and Latino populations, and the relatively close vote, particularly in Missouri and Montana. South Carolina and the two Dakotas are not seen as possible turnovers, and with the two Dakotas so small in population in any case, no attention will be paid to those states by the Obama campaign.

The “New South” Of Bill Clinton And Jimmy Carter Clashes With The “Old South” Of Billy Graham And Franklin Graham

The American South, referring to the states of the Civil War which broke away from the Union, have been said to have changed in the years since the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965.

With African Americans given the right to vote, and civil rights being enforced by the federal government, we saw a switch of many white Democrats, who believed in segregation of the races, to the Republican Party, including a vast majority of state and national officeholders.

Those who remained Democrats were seen as “moderates” who wished to bridge the gap between the races, and keep the heritage of equal rights and social justice connected, and therefore, we saw the triumph of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton winning the Presidency, reflecting a “changed” South.

But while Carter and Clinton were inspirational to many, the truth is that the majority of white southerners remain what they were before—unwilling to accept racial equality, resentful of Northern liberal influence on their section of the country, and using their religious views to oppose gay rights, labor rights, women’s equality, and immigrant rights.

So despite Bill Clinton backing the fight against Amendment One in North Carolina, putting traditional marriage alone in the state constitution, the amendment passed easily, most notably supported by the Reverend Billy Graham, now 93, who along with his preacher son, Franklin Graham, show us just how little progress has been made in North Carolina, the last “Old South” state to ban gay marriage in its constitution.

Even with the popularity of Bill Clinton nationally, and the fact of the victories years ago of both Clinton and Jimmy Carter, the “Old South” is still very much evident in what some attempt to consider the “New South”! The past is not yet past, sad to say!

West Virginia Joins Oklahoma As Most Anti Obama State

Yesterday, in the West Virginia Democratic Primary, President Barack Obama was challenged by a federal prison inmate, Keith Judd, whose name was put on the ballot by anti Obama forces in the Democratic Party in that state.

Amazingly, Judd was able to gain 42 percent of the vote against Obama’s 58 percent!

Some might say this is “democracy in action”, but actually, it is totally ridiculous, disrespectful of the Presidency, and reflects badly on the state of West Virginia.

So West Virginia joins Oklahoma as the most anti Obama state, not that it is just those two states that are enemies of the President and his agenda.

It should be pointed out, however, that both Oklahoma and West Virginia are among the poorest, most socially backward states of the Union, and many would see both states as living in the 19th century, rather than the 21st.

Both, heavily white and Ku Klux Klan oriented in their past, demonstrate just how much progress is needed to bring modernization, but it is going to be a long haul before either state can gain the respect of the rest of the nation.

This is not a laughing matter, but rather something of serious concern for the future progress of our country!