Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dan Soucek, More Wrong than RIGHT

Editorial in the Durham Herald-Sun:
Sen. Dan Soucek, R-Watauga, believes that the North Carolina constitution should enshrine "correct moral standards."

That's what he told a crowd of more than 3,000 people who rallied in Raleigh on Tuesday. Soucek sponsored a bill that would put a constitutional question on November's ballot: Should "marriage between a man and a woman [be] the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized"?

Soucek is wrong on two counts.

First, the constitution should enshrine the precious rights of the people of North Carolina.

Those broadly stated rights allow us to uphold the more narrow moral standards we deem correct, most of which are described in state statutes. But Soucek and his supporters believe that same-sex unions, presently outlawed by state statute, are reprehensible.

Their devotion to what they frame as a religious principle so thoroughly outweighs their devotion to the principles of democracy that they want to change the nature of the state constitution -- from enumerating rights to enumerating actions the state will not tolerate.

This brings us to Soucek's second error: He is wrong on principle.

The government's proper sphere is to create and uphold a system of laws that applies to all of its subjects.

Marriage is a religious sacrament, but for the state's purposes, it is shorthand for a contract that describes the rights and responsibilities of the parties involved.

When the state gets involved, it is a fundamental question of civil, not moral, rights.

The state prohibits minors and the mentally deficient from entering into contracts, but consenting adults have broad rights to enter agreements with others -- from cell phone contracts to mortgages.The government has no proper role in prohibiting two consenting adults of the same sex from entering into a contractual relationship enjoyed by other adults. In the case of marriage, where the responsibilities come paired with rights like inheritance, shared insurance and child custody, the state has an even greater responsibility to ensure fair access.

We have great confidence that, if a constitutional ban on marriage appears on November's ballot, North Carolinians of conscience will vote it down.

It's a shame that there may not be enough of them in the legislature.


brotherdoc said...

This is all part of the National Fundamentalist Agenda. They have already put this on the ballot in Minn. for 2012, sparking this item:

Anonymous said...

It's what makes Republicans great. They know how to divide people with their wedge issues so they vote against their own economic interests. Everyone should read Thomas Franks' What's the Matter with Kansas for insight on this strategy. Unfortunately, it works. Say the word "abortion" and the moral majority comes out in droves, even though the Republican strategy is abstinence, something they don't personally practice. Of course, Republicans are also really, really good at beating up on people who have no political voice - the poor, gay people, disabled, etc.

Opinionated said...

This is not about "saving marriage". This is about denying civil rights to one segment of the population - something that, I thought, went out with the War Between the States.

Not Really said...

Well said, Opinionated!

Next election let's send Dan Soucek back into the private sector. There must be other well qualified people out there who would better represent our interests.

Anonymous said...

You will never defeat Soucek. In addition, you people are plum foolish!!!

Opinionated said...

Yes, there were people at the time of the American Revolution who felt our founding documents, and our Constitutional precepts, were "plum foolish".