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NC and gay marriage

Published: Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 10:10


According to the National Opinion Research Corporation, more Americans now support (46%) than oppose (40%) the right of gays and lesbians to marry.  A new NORC report entitled "Public Attitudes toward Homosexuality" also notes that same-sex marriage is now supported by a whopping 64% of Americans under 30.

Meanwhile, what have we seen in Raleigh since the 2010 election, at least in the state house and senate?  A regression to the mean, as in mean-spirited; regression to fear, hatred, ignorance and bigotry.  This is my conclusion in light of recent efforts by state legislators to amend the constitution to ban same-sex marriage.  North Carolina lawmakers are heading down the same sad, nauseating road that led them in past eras to preserve slavery and prohibit interracial marriage.

Same-sex marriage is not a threat to heterosexual marriage.  The key factors undermining traditional marriage are the same in every era:  infidelity, cruelty, and incompatible personalities.  Banning same-sex marriage won't do away with those problems.  It will merely reinforce a petty and shameful denial of basic rights to same-sex couples that heterosexual married couples enjoy.  It violates our core American constitutional principle of equality under the law.

Gays and lesbians are our brothers and sisters, daughters and sons, uncles and aunts.  There is no good reason to prevent them from marrying someone they love.

Dr. Perry is Director of the Vann Center for Ethics and Professor of Applied Ethics. Contact him at

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