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Gay-rights supporters are fighting hard to keep the gay-marriage amendment off the state ballot. That’s understandable. Who wants to have prejudice against themselves enshrined in the Constitution?
 
But I hope the Republicans succeed in scheduling a statewide vote. Not just because Public Policy Polling predicts it will lose. But also because it will hurt Republicans in North Carolina for years to come.
 
The GOP will carve in stone its image as mean, narrow-minded and out of touch. A generation of younger voters – the voters who elected Obama in 2008 and stayed home in 2010 – will find a reason to vote and vote Democratic.
 
Young voters – and voters in metropolitan areas – hoot when they hear the anti-gay crowd’s ads: “Marriage is at risk.”
 
These voters think the risk to marriage is heterosexual couples breaking up, not gay couples wanting to get married.
 
Speaker Thom Tillis, I suspect, gets this. He has been noticeably MIA in this debate. He’s probably like a lot of Republicans who wish it would go away, but are afraid to stand up to the GOP’s Old Testament caucus.
 
Me, I’m pulling for Reps. Stam and Folwell to dig this hole deeper.
 
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Ian Palmquist
# Ian Palmquist
Friday, September 09, 2011 5:11 PM
Wow, Gary. I'm usually a fan of your posts, but you're actually willing to make an entire group of North Carolinians second-class citizens in our constitution for many years to come because it will make the Republicans look bad? I agree that it will hurt them--badly--in years to come. But no one who believes in basic fairness should be willing to risk the harm this amendment would do to score political points.

This amendment would truly harm loving, committed couples who would be denied even the most basic forms of recognition for their relationships. But even more importantly, it sends a truly horrible message to thousands of LGBT young people who are coming of age now, likely facing bullying and harassment in school and many times in their homes and churches as well. Imagine being a gay kid in rural NC seeing your family and neighbors voting on whether you deserve to be treated equally to everyone else. Their lives are quite literally at stake. You missed the mark on this one.

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