This does not strengthen marriage in North Carolina. No straight, religious, married couple in North Carolina is now going to be married longer, and have a more fulfilling, happy marriage, because of this vote. That's absolutely irrefutable.
Here's what this amendment does do:
- If a gay person is admitted to a hospital and the hospital decides only family can visit that person, his or her same-sex partner cannot visit. It doesn't matter if that couple (yes, they can still be called a couple) has spent thousands of dollars and oh-so-many hours to have legal paperwork that says they will have this right if such a scenario presents itself. That paperwork is null and void in North Carolina.
- If a gay person dies, the parents, siblings or children of that person - who that person may not have talked to in years - will have all rights regarding the funeral and burial. Regardless of any relationship that person may have with someone of the same sex, even a 20-year-old partnership, that partner can legally be excluded, entirely, from the planning - even from attending. It doesn't matter if that couple has spent thousands of dollars and oh-so-many hours to have legal paperwork that says they will have this right if such a scenario presents itself. That paperwork is null and void in North Carolina.
- If a gay person gets a job that gives health insurance coverage to a spouse, his or her same-sex partner cannot get that coverage, under any circumstances.
How does any of that make straight marriage stronger? It doesn't! In fact, straight Christians will continue to sometimes (often?) have relationship and sexual problems, will continue to sometimes (often?) have adulterous affairs, and often get divorced. This amendment does NADA to address those things.
By contrast, without this amendment - if you, North Carolina, allowed gay marriage - here's what would never, ever change:
- If your church does not recognized gay marriage, it would still not recognize gay marriage. Just as a Baptist church is under no obligation to allow Muslim weddings, just as a Catholic church could refuse to marry to non-Catholics, your church would get to continue to refuse to recognize gay marriage. You can refuse to perform such ceremonies, you can ask such people to leave your grounds. That doesn't change no matter how marriage is defined.
- You get to continue to be disgusted by gay marriage, just as I'm disgusted by child marriage, a marriage where there is more than a 30 year age difference between the partners, or religious marriages that require women to stay in abusive relationships. You get to continue to speak out about how you think it's awful, stand up and leave the room in a huff when someone says they support it, ignore people engaged in it, etc.
- You get to continue to refuse to attend any wedding among any two people you don't think should get married, gay or straight.
- Straight people like Kim Kardashian and Brittney Spears will get married for just a few hours/days.
- Gay people would continue to live together, love each other, even hold hands in public.
None. Zilch. Nada.
Consider this, voters of North Carolina: most of you are Christians. But you aren't the same kinds of Christians. In fact, some of you would say that some others of you are NOT Christians. I've heard Church of Christ people say no one else is Christian but them, I've heard Catholics say no one else is a Christian but them, I've heard Baptists say that neither Catholics nor Mormons are Christians, and on and on and on. You people loooove to debate who is and isn't a Christian. You would have gotten to do the same thing regarding gay people had you NOT passed this amendment: you would have gotten to continue to say, "I believe marriage is between one man and one woman and, therefore, those guys over there aren't really married." You would get to continue to believe that, with all your heart. But if you are an intensive care unit nurse, you would have had to keep that belief to yourself when a man came to your unit to see his husband - would that REALLY have been so hard? Are you going to feel better telling that man, "No! You cannot see him! Ha ha!" Is that really what Jesus would do?
Why should your religion - which I do not believe in, by the way - get to determine which loving, adult, consenting couples get to get married? You say marriage is something that is sanctified by God and was created for the purpose of having children - yet here I am, an Atheist who is not having babies, and I was allowed to marry. Are you going to try to take away my marriage now?
This was a vote that was driven entirely - ENTIRELY - by religious people, particularly and especially Christians. And it represents so much of why we Atheists find you just as reprehensible as you find The Gays.