AN OPEN LETTER TO THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY
AMENDMENT ONE - THE TRUTH
All of us have buttons.
Some are hot, others turn us dead cold. Someone wants to get us good and mad, they know to press the hot one.
Someone wants to turn us off to an issue or situation, not care about it, they hit that cold button that makes us ignore anything else that’s being said about the subject.
In politics, there are paid experts who are always scheming and conniving about how to hit certain buttons in a certain portion of the electorate, to motivate those folks to vote, or NOT vote for a particular issue. That’s why we get so many mean and hateful political campaign commercials.
And you know, given that this is an election year, and President Obama is running for re-election, we’re going to see some doozies on our TV screens accusing the president of, "...being a Muslim who wasn’t born in this country who will totally destroy this nation if he’s re-elected."
Now anyone with any decent common sense doesn’t believe that, because it isn't true, but the conservative Tea Party folks pushing those ads are going to get a lot of support, because it pushes certain can’t-lose hot buttons that certain people in the country instantly respond to.
Race and religion.
Betcha shaking your head in agreement.
But betcha you’re falling for the same thing.
There are conservative Republican leaders in the NC General Assembly who have put forth a completely bogus voters’ referendum on the May 8th Primary Day ballot to determine whether or not a proposed state amendment to the NC Constitution is approved.
Hint: The Republicans want you to approve it!
You’ve heard of it, it’s called “Amendment One,” and its purpose, say conservative Republican lawmakers, is to legally define marriage in North Carolina as exclusively between a man and a woman, thus effectively prohibiting and outlawing same-sex marriages in North Carolina.
Many African-Americans, who normally wouldn’t trust conservative Republicans with last week’s garbage, are automatically all for this, because our Christian faith teaches us that homosexuality is a sin, and, as "good" Christians, we certainly don’t want to allow same-sex marriage to become not only legal, but accepted in North Carolina.
So as far as many African-Americans are concerned, it’s A-OK for the GOP to press that particular hot button - religion - if it keeps North Carolina free of same-sex marriages.
The Bible says homosexuality is wrong, and that’s all good Christians need to know, right?
But there’s just one problem. Regardless of whether you believe in, or even agree with that teaching, in the state of North Carolina, marriage is ALREADY defined as being exclusively between a man and a woman.
NC General Statute 51-1 - A valid and sufficient marriage is created by the consent of a male and female person who may lawfully marry, presently to take each other as husband and wife, freely, seriously and plainly expressed by each in the presence of the other…”
So North Carolina law, written and adopted many, many years ago, already defines a “valid and sufficient marriage” as being between “a male and female person.”
But just in case you’re still not convinced, please flip over to NC General Statute 51-1-2, which clearly states, “Marriages, whether created by common law, contracted, or performed outside of North Carolina, between individuals of the same gender are not valid in North Carolina.”
So if those two laws have been on the books for some time, then why is the Republican Party wasting so much time and money trying to get good Christian, GOD-loving folks like YOU to vote for a referendum to stop same-sex marriage in North Carolina, if it’s ALREADY stopped, and ALREADY illegal?
Why are conservatives literally lying to the black community about the need to vote to stop something in NC that has already been stopped...FOR DECADES? Same-sex marriage is ALREADY against NC law!
Because the GOP knows that this is a hot button issue for North Carolina’s African-American Christian community, and just like certain white Christians who are convinced that they must vote against that “Muslim, anti-Christian, black socialist who is corrupting the country,” namely Obama, there are black Christians here in NC who devoutly believe that voting for Amendment One will forever ban same-sex marriages.
Sorry, not true. Even NC House Speaker Tillis admitted recently that Amendment One could be overturned in the near future.
So why is the GOP going hog wild over something that simply isn't needed, and why are they trying to convince African-Americans that it is?
Because they know that the issue of homosexuality is the way to fracture President Obama’s base of support of both African-Americans and gay people.
And if they can successfully do that, not only does the president lose North Carolina for sure, but Democrats will also lose because of deep divisions the GOP is pouring gasoline on.
President Obama has already spoken out, telling all North Carolinians to vote AGAINST Amendment One on May 8th.
Regardless about how you feel about homosexuality from your religious perspective, the Republicans are trying to use that to hurt the president, not "protect" North Carolina, especially when there are already laws on the books.
The NCNAACP has joined the president, warning that Amendment One is dangerous because it allows the state to codify legal discrimination against a certain group of citizens.
So gay people today, another group...maybe some of US... tomorrow, observers say.
The GOP wants that power under the guise of enacting good Christian dogma, when it fact, there is no legitimate legal reason for it.
And, as has been already reported, a conservative group in 2009 called the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), forced to turn over their campaign finance files, reportedly plotted to deliberately split the black and gay communities by having black and gay leaders publicly attack each other.
And 2009 documents also prove that NOM wanted Pres. Obama removed from office, and saw splitting his voting base as the best way to do it.
State House Rep. Earline Parmon, a black Democrat of Forsyth County, has already found herself being, “…targeted by Republican dollars” just because she refused to co-sponsor Amendment One.
Ask yourself this question: How can conservative Republicans who are trying to suppress the black vote through voter ID; who are trying to reduce the early voting period from two weeks down to one before an election starting next fall; and have cut $1 billion from the state education budget, making things harder for our public schools across the state, all of a sudden be people you can trust on Amendment One or anything else?
Don’t allow the GOP to divide the Democratic base, and make sure that President Obama loses re-election.
It is imperative that you know, and spread the word that our community must collectively vote NO on Amendment One. Voting yes does not make the anti-same sex laws already on North Carolina’s books any better or any stronger.
Don’t allow the GOP to fool you by pushing your religious hot button like they’re doing with the “Obama is a Muslim” crowd.
This is politics, of the worst kind. Our community MUST stay strong and united in these challenging days ahead leading up to the 2012 presidential elections.
Again, don’t let the GOP fool you, and divide us.
Spread the word - vote NO against the worthless Amendment One.