Wow. Just. Wow. Should we all now start investigating all of the heterosexual marriages in the NC General Assembly that have ended in acrimonious divorce?

Is this really the threshold upon which Speaker of the House Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg; his contact page here) bases his support for a marriage amendment?

That’s what he told the Asheville Citizen-Times.

“The defense of marriage is one that a number of folks in our base feel very strongly about,” Tillis said, noting the issue would definitely be brought up in a special fall session. “Generally speaking, it polls fairly high across the voter base. It’s not a particularly partisan thing.”

Asked how he personally feels about gay marriage, Tillis said “data” show that traditional marriages between men and women are more stable and nurturing.

He expects the measure, which can’t be vetoed by the governor, to pass the House with the minimum 72 votes and go to voters in 2012.

As for whether the ballot measure should prohibit same-sex partner benefits given by some businesses and a few local governments such as Asheville, Tillis said he hasn’t taken a formal position.

As I sit here typing this on July 1, the seventh anniversary of my LEGAL marriage to Kate in Canada that is not recognized by North Carolina, this science-free garbage spewed out of the Speaker’s mouth is offensive. I would like him to explain how he knows that my marriage is less stable than his or anyone else’s based solely on the fact that we are a same-sex (TAXPAYING) couple.

Obviously Speaker Tillis didn’t read anything about the ridiculous, discredited expert “testimony” during the Perry v. Schwarzenegger Prop 8 trial, where the proponents of discrimination could not muster up any credible defense of their position. What it boiled down to was that they didn’t like the idea of marriage equality. There was no science-based “data” to support marital instability (any more than exists now), poor child-rearing or any other obstacle that would justifying the denial of freedom to marry. And the witnesses failed.

Judge Walker in his ruling:

An initiative measure adopted by the voters deserves great respect. The considered views and opinions of even the most highly qualified scholars and experts seldom outweigh the determinations of the voters. When challenged, however, the voters’ determinations must find at least some support in evidence. This is especially so when those determinations enact into law classifications of persons. Conjecture, speculation and fears are not enough. Still less will the moral disapprobation of a group or class of citizens suffice, no matter how large the majority that shares that view. The evidence demonstrated beyond serious reckoning that Proposition 8 finds support only in such disapproval. As such, Proposition 8 is beyond the constitutional reach of the voters or their representatives.

He further noted that Proposition 8 was based on traditional notions of opposite-sex marriage and on moral disapproval of homosexuality, neither of which is a legal basis for discrimination. He noted that gays and lesbians are exactly the type of minority that strict scrutiny was designed to protect.

With this in mind, I hope that Speaker come up with a reality-based reason why altering North Carolina’s constitution to institutionalize bigotry — no matter how many people culturally object to the freedom to marry — is a huge mistake, an incredible statement that gay and lesbian couples, who pay his salary, mind you, are second-class citizens.

And by the way, Speaker Tillis, any religious argument presented to bolster support for an anti-gay constitutional amendment is not going to fly. You know and I know that this is about civil marriage, not anything about forcing a church to marry anyone.

In fact, if you want to “go there” on the religious tip, think twice – affirming this bigotry is going to flatly discriminate against the religious freedom of pastors and other faith leaders who would like to legally marry same-sex couples. It doesn’t take a constitutional scholar to see this amendment, if voted for and placed on the ballot in 2012, will show this country whether our state is looking forward, or a cultural backwater to be ashamed of.

NOTE: Tillis’s Twitter handle is @thomtillis. I just sent him a link to my post and said:

“Ask Speaker @thomtillis what science supports his view that “traditional marriage” is more stable than #SSM. #ncpol


Reporter Scott Rose wrote a letter to Speaker Tillis. It is below the fold.  


Scott Rose

Speaker Tillis:

I am a reporter.

Be advised that when you cite a study saying that “traditional marriages” are “more stable and nurturing” as evidence against marriage equality, you are promulgating anti-gay hate speech.

I wonder whether you have a scientific understanding of human sexuality.  Orientation is not a commodity that can be turned on and off at will, like the hot and cold water knobs on a sink – FYI.  To say that a heterosexual marriage is “more stable and nurturing,” in your view leaves gay human beings with exactly which viable options?

Are you as Speaker saying you believe that gays and lesbians should remain so deeply closeted that they enter into marriages with heterosexual persons?  If that is what you are saying, do you believe there is any chance for such marriages to be successful and happy, for either the closeted gay spouse or the heterosexual spouse?  And if you believe THAT, have you examined that belief to determine whether it is rational?

I also believe that you are promulgating anti-gay hate speech when you allege overwhelming support for the continuation of sexual orientation apartheid but say nothing to acknowledge support for equality.   Many heterosexual people today favor equality for their LGBT fellow citizens.  Do you know who Elke Kennedy is and have you personally ever spoken with her?

Doubtless in your state it would be possible for anti-Semites to rile up the population enough that Jews could start getting sidelined and oppressed.  Instead though at present, you are a spokesperson and cheerleader for irrational, ignorant and cruel oppression of homosexual persons.  Hitler might have been proud of you, as he too oppressed gay people and sent them to gas chambers.  Even after WWII, gay prisoners were taken from the “liberated” concentration camps and thrown into German jails to rot for decades for no reason other than that they were gay.  Are you mindful of that history?

I would hope for you to take on a more enlightened view, and show more responsible leadership, but I am not going to hold my breath in anticipation of your doing so, because your remarks create the appearance that you are a gay-bashing monster in a business suit, eagerly encouraging your vicious gay-bashing supporters to continue oppressing their innocent gay victims.


Scott Rose

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding