Obama bailed out of North Carolina visit as traditional-marriage amendment goes to voters

posted at 1:21 pm on May 8, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Is the new sensitivity on the gay-marriage issue at Team Obama really all that new?  Last week, the White House scheduled a visit to North Carolina today to talk about the economy, which would have been interesting enough in a state with a jobless rate above the national average.  With traditional-marriage Amendment One appearing to be headed for victory, the White House changed direction two hours later and said the President was unavailable to speak in the Tarheel State, a fact reported today in North Carolina:

President Barack Obama was scheduled, albeit briefly, to visit North Carolina on Election Day to make an speech in Asheville about the economy.

But the White House sent the notice Wednesday last week but reversed course about five hours later, saying the trip wasn’t taking place, according to a North Carolina congressional office notified about the trip. The false alarm isn’t unprecedented — but the fact the White House even considered visiting the state on primary election day is interesting.

A controversial vote on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and civil unions is on today’s ballot. Obama issued a statement against the amendment earlier this year — but polls show it is likely to win by a solid margin.

That decision preceded Joe Biden’s comments on Sunday, which makes it appear that Biden may really have gone off the reservation.  Had Obama spoken today, there is little doubt he would have had to address Amendment One at some point.  How could Obama have responded?  Arguing that he’s still “evolving” while publicly opposing the amendment would have produced some awkward and incoherent moments.  So much for leadership.

It’s a shame we missed that, but North Carolina’s embattled governor gave us a demonstration of what it would have looked like today.  Governor Bev Perdue backed the current statutory language banning gay marriage, but opposes the amendment to the state constitution that would put the issue out of the reach of activist judges.  Suddenly, Perdue thinks that this issue doesn’t belong on ballots and needs a “national conversation,” which prompts Chuck Todd to ask her how Perdue can possibly square this circle:

It’s a headscratcher, all right, especially the claim that this amendment has nothing to do with gay marriage.  Here’s the text of the amendment:

“Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.

This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.”

So domestic partnerships would still be legal, as they are now in North Carolina.  The amendment only changes the status of the legal definition of marriage from statute to constitutional amendment while protecting private contracts such as domestic partnerships.  In other words, it’s only about same-sex marriage, not about taking rights away from anyone, as the Salisbury Post tacitly notes in their analysis:

What will happen if the amendment fails?

Same-sex marriage will remain illegal under a 1996 North Carolina law. Civil unions still will not be offered to either same-sex or opposite-sex couples, but the state could pass a law to allow them.

There will be no constitutional ban on either gay marriage or civil unions, meaning a state court could one day strike down existing law as unconstitutional.

What will happen if the amendment passes?

It will be added to the state Constitution, meaning a three-fifths majority of state legislators would have to agree to repeal it.

The amendment would prohibit both same-sex marriage and civil unions, or legal unions with equivalent rights to marriage.

Just as in Minnesota this fall, the amendment gives voters in North Carolina a chance to keep judges from redefining marriage from the bench.  That’s it.  And if Perdue and Obama agree that the legal definition of marriage should be one-man-one-woman and that any other definition should be reached through means of representative democracy rather than declaration by judicial fiat, they should have no problem with Amendment One.  Perdue — and Obama — want to have it both ways, and as Chuck Todd implies, that’s nothing less than sheer incoherence.


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Of course. As you can clearly see from some of the comments on this article and several other articles, a lot of people who are against gay marriage view homosexuals as perverts, freaks, pedophiles, mentally diseased, depraved, and/or beneath “normal” straight people. They don’t want gays to be able to get married because they don’t want the government to treat and promote gays as being equals to straights. If that happens, it will become harder and harder for them to be able to convince their peers that homosexuals are deviant perverts who are sick in the head.

Don’t leave us hanging. What’s the punch line?

Mason on May 8, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Sachiko on May 8, 2012 at 1:34 PM

turnout seemed low for early voting … didn’t see any long lines
today either …

conservative tarheel on May 8, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Heh. I think they really stepped in it with their convention this year. Not only is the current Democrat governor unpopular and unemployment state-wide still high, but he’s going to be accepting the nomination in a stadium named after the most hated big bank in the country. Priceless.

changer1701 on May 8, 2012 at 1:37 PM

and with NC being a right to work state
the unions are pissed …

conservative tarheel on May 8, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Just keep your eyes on the ball and do not get distracted by this noise. Pretty soon we will be spending precious time discussing all the Bidenisms. Focus.

sdbatboy on May 8, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Educated progressives. aka troll

inthemiddle on May 8, 2012 at 2:12 PM

FIFY

conservative tarheel on May 8, 2012 at 3:49 PM

I do bite, so it’s understandable. :P

NotCoach on May 8, 2012 at 2:53 PM

have you had all your shots and do you draw blood …
enquiring minds and all that …. :D

conservative tarheel on May 8, 2012 at 3:55 PM

conservativeswrker on May 8, 2012 at 2:27 PM

+1 from this corner of NC

mankai on May 8, 2012 at 3:17 PM

and from the NE corner …

conservative tarheel on May 8, 2012 at 3:56 PM

OhioCoastie on May 8, 2012 at 2:46 PM

I think your list is too short. Tell me there are other things on that list.

Like, If I don’t believe in socialized, single-payer, government directed and controlled healthcare, I shouldn’t be forced to pay for it?

BobMbx on May 8, 2012 at 4:00 PM

I do bite, so it’s understandable. :P

NotCoach on May 8, 2012 at 2:53 PM

So do mosquitoes.

[swat]

BobMbx on May 8, 2012 at 4:02 PM

I am glad Mr Evolving decided not to come to NC Today…I did not want to see him and neither did anyone else in NC. by the way…I voted yes on the amendment

logicman_1998 on May 8, 2012 at 4:02 PM

How about getting government out of the marriage business altogether?

ButterflyDragon on May 8, 2012 at 4:03 PM

How about getting government out of the marriage business altogether?

ButterflyDragon on May 8, 2012 at 4:03 PM

I think this is the only long-term way to keep the homonazis from upsetting the entire civilizational applecart. Because to paraphrase Jesus, “the perverts you shall always have with you”.

If we take away the ability of the government to legislate what is and is not marriage…we leave them pretty much legally toothless.

MelonCollie on May 8, 2012 at 4:12 PM

I think this is the only long-term way to keep the homonazis from upsetting the entire civilizational applecart. Because to paraphrase Jesus, “the perverts you shall always have with you”.

If we take away the ability of the government to legislate what is and is not marriage…we leave them pretty much legally toothless.

MelonCollie on May 8, 2012 at 4:12 PM

I agree. However the courts would still need to be involved in that people still need a legal contract to bind them and to desolve that contract should the couple decide to part ways. But I think the only answer is for government to get out of trying to legally define marriage.

steel guy on May 8, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Governor Bev Perdue backed the current statutory language banning gay marriage, but opposes the amendment to the state constitution that would put the issue out of the reach of activist judges. Suddenly, Perdue thinks that this issue doesn’t belong on ballots and needs a “national conversation…”

I believe Bill Maher has a name for people like Bev Perdue.

I can’t say it here, but it rhymes with Kumquat.

UltimateBob on May 8, 2012 at 4:24 PM

They don’t want gays to be able to get married because they don’t want the government to treat and promote gays as being equals to straights.

If gay marriage is banned in NC or other states, it doesn’t prevent two gay men or lesbians from living together and doing whatever turns them on.

But marriage (in the heterosexual sense) is also about raising children–those born to the couple or adopted by a married couple. In a family raised by a heterosexual married couple, a child tends to emulate the same-sex parent, and seek a mate similar to the opposite-sex parent. How would a boy raised by two lesbians learn how to become a man, or a girl raised by two gay men learn to become a woman? How would a boy raised by two gay men learn about women, or a girl raised by two lesbians learn about men?

Like the Democrats and Hillary like to say, it’s about the children.

Steve Z on May 8, 2012 at 4:27 PM

I believe Bill Maher has a name for people like Bev Perdue.

Perdue is the French word for “lost woman”. It describes her well.

Steve Z on May 8, 2012 at 4:28 PM

agree. However the courts would still need to be involved in that people still need a legal contract to bind them and to desolve that contract should the couple decide to part ways. But I think the only answer is for government to get out of trying to legally define marriage.

steel guy on May 8, 2012 at 4:23 PM

I will readily agree that it’s not the perfect solution; there will still be some legal loose ends to be tied up.

But I really think we have to either get the gov’t out of marriage fast. Because if they take this national and win, the USA could be facing the bugger-boy’s version of Roe v. Wade: a nationwide catastrophe that basically can’t be undone.

MelonCollie on May 8, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Educated progressives.
inthemiddle on May 8, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Yet another endangered species…I am reminded of Charlie Sheen, who also thought he would win in the end.

I happily voted for the amendment today…and for Rick Santorum…it will be interesting to see how many votes Mittens doesn’t get in NC today.

ironmarshal on May 8, 2012 at 4:44 PM

OT, but just found this:

BREAKING: Wikipedia deletes “Forward” entry showing link between Barack Obama’s new slogan and Socialism.

pambi on May 8, 2012 at 3:02 PM

The internet could benefit from a function and site called “Wikipedia Edits” (if it doesn’t already exist by some other name).

I realize that Wikipedia posts “history” pages with each page/subject/entry that displays editor/edited behaviors with dates and nature of “edit” BUT what I’m referring to is some overall “History” site that tracks these sociopolitical happenings that are “cause for to edit” (if not retract or remove) content.

Because that behavior — what I just described above, last sentence — isn’t “mere editing,” it’s rewriting history, it involves actual concepts or subjects being removed or represented due to sociopolitical pressures and goals by opinionated sources and is, therefore, misleading academically.

Lourdes on May 8, 2012 at 4:46 PM

So do mosquitoes.

[swat]

BobMbx on May 8, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Don’t scratch the itch from the bite.

NotCoach on May 8, 2012 at 4:51 PM

It’s unbelievable NC elected such a dingbat.

The fact that the Velvet Mafia lets Democrats get away with this nonsense tells me that they’re not really interested in their so called “civil rights”, it’s just about bashing Republicans and letting the Democrats walk scot-free on an issue they claim is oh so dear to them.

BradTank on May 8, 2012 at 4:51 PM

It’s unbelievable NC elected such a dingbat.

The fact that the Velvet Mafia lets Democrats get away with this nonsense tells me that they’re not really interested in their so called “civil rights”, it’s just about bashing Republicans and letting the Democrats walk scot-free on an issue they claim is oh so dear to them.

BradTank on May 8, 2012 at 4:51 PM

And maybe it’s Communism attacking religious liberty.

Lourdes on May 8, 2012 at 4:52 PM

NC conservative here.  Scare tactics are alive and well in the commercials here.  
If you vote for the amendment you’re voting to strip children of their health care.
You’re voting to strip domestic violence protections from women (they use a lady who talks about being woken up to a beating by her steel toe’d boots wearing boyfriend),
Senior citizens could be forced to marry to keep their legal protections, which would cause them to lose benefits such as pensions, health care, and social security.  etc. etc. etc.   

 They’re careful to say, these things “may” or “could” happen.    A group of lawyers came out refuting these claims, but I haven’t seen coverage of that. I also haven’t seen a single commercial that argues against the amendment on the merits of gay marriage or same sex unions.  

childseyes on May 8, 2012 at 4:52 PM

With traditional-marriage Amendment One appearing to be headed for victory

I certainly hope not, although I can’t say I’d be surprised or shocked if it does end up passing. Although, if nothing else, it has been extremely entertaining watching several vocal supporters of Amendment One embarrass themselves and their cause.

theoddmanout on May 8, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Ah, well. For the regressives, just stating the facts is now cause for embarrassment. It is true that we used to prosecute homosexuals for their perversion. Personally, I’m glad they quit. Mental illness should never be criminally actionable. And, queers are mentally ill, alas for them.

Quartermaster on May 8, 2012 at 4:53 PM

have you had all your shots and do you draw blood …
enquiring minds and all that …. :D

conservative tarheel on May 8, 2012 at 3:55 PM

You don’t need shots if you aren’t unclean. And what do you want the answer to be for the second part of your question? :O

NotCoach on May 8, 2012 at 4:55 PM

But I really think we have to either get the gov’t out of marriage fast. Because if they take this national and win, the USA could be facing the bugger-boy’s version of Roe v. Wade: a nationwide catastrophe that basically can’t be undone.

MelonCollie on May 8, 2012 at 4:29 PM

There seems to be little middle ground on this issue. People are either for it or against it. It seems to me that the whole question can be rejected by taking the government out of the equation. Why is this such a minority view when it could potentially resolve the issue for everyone?

steel guy on May 8, 2012 at 5:12 PM

There seems to be little middle ground on this issue. People are either for it or against it. It seems to me that the whole question can be rejected by taking the government out of the equation. Why is this such a minority view when it could potentially resolve the issue for everyone?

steel guy on May 8, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Because both sides want their way to be enforced on everyone else.

It really is that simple.

But what conservatives don’t get is that they will not always win on this issue. Nobody is king of the hill forever and gays are not just going to disappear in the near future.

MelonCollie on May 8, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Lets get something straight, I have the right to religious freedom. In my religion sodomy is a sin, and marriage is between a man and a woman. But the gay community wants to force me to accept that which I cannot. So I’m the bad guy? OK then as citizens we vote to define marriage as between a man and woman. Democracy wins and is usually the case when this issue is put to a vote, traditional marriage wins. I also have the right to vote but in the last presidential election my candidate lost. I didn’t insist to the gay community (who largely voted for Obama) that they must accept my beliefs, so why should I be forced to accept what they want? This civil rights mantra is wearing thin. I’m tired of being forced to accept what I find as devient behavior as a normal. If it was normal then more people would vote to legalize gay marraige. The gay community can’t even get the president sack up for them. We know he’s all for it, so why won’t he come out and say it. Because he knows the majority of people are against it.

buckeyerich on May 8, 2012 at 5:21 PM

What a mealy mouthed ninny Joker Face is in the clip above- I’m not for gay marriage, but I’m against the spelling out of what a marriage constitutes? How does that even make sense?

I don’t give a flying fark either way, as it is my belief that some pencil necked bureaucratic gov’t weasel has no business telling me whether or not my marriage is legal. My marriage (hetero) is not the Govt’s business, no way no how- they need to go pass a budget or something.

However, the crushing double speak stupidity of Governor “Suspend the Elections” here, as well as the smug sanctimonious turds around Durham/Chapel Hill trying to make this a “hipster” cause forced me to vote FOR the stupid amendment today mainly in sheer revulsion at the odious “tactics” used to get me to vote their way.

GrassMudHorsey on May 8, 2012 at 5:40 PM

31 states have voted against gay marriage…including California.

Reality…what a concept.

kingsjester on May 8, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Obama in 2004: ‘I Don’t Think Marriage Is a Civil Right’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XAVqrqr4j4&feature=player_embedded

Resist We Much on May 8, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Separate but (not really) equal? Not a good thing.

McDuck on May 8, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Heterosexual unions produce children, which are a good thing.

monalisa on May 8, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Just passed my blood borne pathogens portion
of my EMT test …

don’t know If I need to practice …

conservative tarheel on May 8, 2012 at 7:24 PM

have you had all your shots and do you draw blood …
enquiring minds and all that …. :D

conservative tarheel on May 8, 2012 at 3:55 PM

You don’t need shots if you aren’t unclean. And what do you want the answer to be for the second part of your question? :O

NotCoach on May 8, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Just passed my blood borne pathogens portion
of my EMT test …

don’t know If I need to practice …

conservative tarheel on May 8, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Nobody is king of the hill forever and gays are not just going to disappear in the near future.

MelonCollie on May 8, 2012 at 5:19 PM

God forbid but male homosexuals engaging in anal intercourse are one new disease from extinction.

Mason on May 8, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Amendment 1 vote in NC
43% of precincts reporting at 9:18 pm
59% Yes
43% No

Also of note : 20.11% (129,122) Democrats have voted No Preference for President on the ballot. Obama won by less than 14,000 votes in 2008.

LoganSix on May 8, 2012 at 9:23 PM

Nobody is king of the hill forever and gays are not just going to disappear in the near future.

MelonCollie on May 8, 2012 at 5:19 PM

.
God forbid but male homosexuals engaging in anal intercourse are one new disease from extinction.

Mason on May 8, 2012 at 8:54 PM

.
Sober (or somber?) truth.
.
Hey MelonCollie. Speaking only for myself, I’m only trying to get the activity “shoved back in the closet” (no pun intended), where it was before the Counter-culture revolution 1960s thru the ’70s.

Everyone knew homosexuality was being practiced. But as long as it stayed “out of sight out of mind”, there weren’t any anti-gay zealots running around trying to hunt them down or ferret them out.

listens2glenn on May 8, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Amendment 1 vote in NC
43% of precincts reporting at 9:18 pm
59% Yes
43% No

LoganSix on May 8, 2012 at 9:23 PM

.
Logan’, this isn’t necessarily your fault, but 59% plus 43% equals 102%.

Margin of error?

listens2glenn on May 8, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Don’t leave us hanging. What’s the punch line?

Mason on May 8, 2012 at 3:35 PM
===================

That was the funniest thing. I laffed so hard…I’m still laffing.

Oh my…..surely you are a comedian, right?

patfish on May 8, 2012 at 10:19 PM

Logan’, this isn’t necessarily your fault, but 59% plus 43% equals 102%.

Margin of error?

Nope, just typed 43% twice.

Now there are 82% of precincts reporting and it is
61.28% Yes
38.72% No

LoganSix on May 8, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Biden may really have gone off the reservation.

Ed, does Biden look like he has high cheekbones?

ted c on May 9, 2012 at 12:52 AM

But I really think we have to either get the gov’t out of marriage fast. Because if they take this national and win, the USA could be facing the bugger-boy’s version of Roe v. Wade: a nationwide catastrophe that basically can’t be undone.

MelonCollie on May 8, 2012 at 4:29 PM
There seems to be little middle ground on this issue. People are either for it or against it. It seems to me that the whole question can be rejected by taking the government out of the equation. Why is this such a minority view when it could potentially resolve the issue for everyone?

steel guy on May 8, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Trying not to sound dim, but I don’t understand what it means to take government out of the equation. Assuming that we still are going to have things like an income tax code and a Social Security system, we still have to decide who gets to file taxes as “married filing jointly” and who qualifies for Social Security spousal and widows’ benefits, among countless other applications of marital status.

Is the suggestion here that government simply approve every “marital” arrangement as long as a private citizen can find some church or other entity to bless it? I’d be against that. The government still has to decide what marriages it recognizes and what it doesn’t.

Chuckles3 on May 9, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Remind me again, does the “S” in SCOAMF stand for stuttering or stumbling?

Extrafishy on May 9, 2012 at 9:56 AM

God forbid but male homosexuals engaging in anal intercourse are one new disease from extinction.

Mason on May 8, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Uh-huh, just like that last supposed ‘gay plague’?

MelonCollie on May 9, 2012 at 10:21 AM

More sour grapes and sore losers from the party of ‘uncivil’ rights.

LizardLips on May 9, 2012 at 10:49 AM

I know this is a shocker for all, despite losing by a nearly 2/3 majority, the opposers of the amendment are having a press conference today to announce legal challenges.

PJ Emeritus on May 9, 2012 at 10:50 AM

MelonCollie on May 9, 2012 at 10:21 AM

No thanks, still dealing with the consequences of the current one

PJ Emeritus on May 9, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Lets get something straight, I have the right to religious freedom. In my religion sodomy is a sin, and marriage is between a man and a woman. But the gay community wants to force me to accept that which I cannot. So I’m the bad guy?

Maybe those gay militants want to, but I’m certain that they’re in the minority of the homosexual population. Most gay folks I know just want all the benefits of marriage and do NOT want to take over any churches or religions. So a church won’t do gay marriages? Find one that does. Forcing churches to change their doctrine really flies in the face of the First Amendment, and I hope the courts stand firm on that.

As for children not having opposite-sex role models in same-sex-couple households: The same goes for children raised by single parents. Anyone want to ban those too? Are we gonna force single moms to give away their kids?

Best we can do is tell these parents to find positive role models that are the same gender of the kids.

TMOverbeck on May 9, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Every time this bag-of-wind Perdue opens her mouth, I thank God it is 100% certain she will not be the Governor of my state next year. Disaster does not even begin to sum her up.

Bev, sweetie, take your lying, Joker-looking face and beat it.

mapper on May 9, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Who is this We?

bettycooper on May 8, 2012 at 2:11 PM

MIP (mouse in pocket)/

S. D. on May 9, 2012 at 10:19 PM

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