In response to a recent editorial in The Charlotte Observer that questions the need for a constitutional amendment restricting marriage rights in North Carolina, Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of N.C. Values Coalition, says the reason for the proposed measure is simply that the definition of marriage should be up to voters and not an "activist judge."
"Putting the marriage amendment on the ballot for the people to decide is the right thing to do," writes Fitzgerald, using an argument she repeats several times throughout her article. "It fulfills the democratic process by letting everyone vote."
"The people of North Carolina want to determine for themselves how they want to define marriage," she continues. "They don't want activist judges doing it for them."
The August 16 editorial to which Fitzgerald responded had posed the question, Since North Carolina already has an active law that defines marriage as a union of a man and woman, why are the state House and Senate bothering to spend time on a constitutional amendment that outlaws gay marriage?
Fitzgerald seems to be suggesting that it's simply for the satisfaction of voting: "Passing this amendment means that marriage will continue to be marriage between a man and a woman just as it has always been in our state. It's nothing more, nothing less than letting the people decide this fundamental issue."
Which raises the question, What other existing laws should North Carolinians have the satisfaction of re-deciding?
Fitzgerald's piece also compares same-sex relationships to incest and pedophilia.
The Observer reports that legislators will return to Raleigh in September to consider the amendment. If three- fifths of the N.C. House and Senate support the measure, it will go on the ballot so citizens can have the pleasure of voting on it in 2012.
Read the original editorial here. Read Fitzgerald's piece here.