• 41°

Editorial: Gay marriage: No issue for referendum

The Rowan County Board of Commissioners’ foray into the controversial subject of gay marriage Monday night was pure theater ó full of sound and fury.
Chairman Carl Ford played the lead role, claiming to have made a rookie mistake by putting a resolution concerning this controversial issue on the commission’s consent agenda. Thus he set the stage for the evening’s drama.
His supporting cast included the Rev. Garland Faw, the pastor of Truth Temple Baptist Church who happens to be Ford’s father-in-law. Faw called same-sex marriage “the prime agenda of the homosexual movement.” He was accompanied by a chorus of speakers who searched for words to convey just how despicable they find homosexuality. Someone came up with “rotting corpse.”
This all came about because state Sens. James Forrester of Stanley and Jim Jacumin of Connelly Springs are asking county boards across the state to express support for their “Defense of Marriage” bill, which defines marriage as “the union of one man and one woman at one time.” North Carolina law already denies equal marriage rights. That’s nothing new. This bill would take the issue to the constitutional level ó requiring a public referendum ó and also prohibit recognition of civil unions, domestic partnerships or other such relationships.
The bill has been filed every year since 2004 and died in committee ó it’s that popular.
Ford’s fellow county commissioners were quick to roll over and cite the public’s right to vote as they cast their “yea” votes to the resolution of support. But citizens in the audience were not afraid to speak up. They objected to putting the state bill on the county agenda and to subjecting the rights of a minority to a vote of the majority. Bill Stanback directly addressed the issue of homosexuality, citing his daughter’s longterm lesbian relationship, and warned that the issue would incite and divide the community.
A voter referendum on gay marriage would indeed divide the community, and some say the damage might be done for nothing, since the U.S. Supreme Court would have the final say. To date, courts have been inclined to strike down bans on gay marriage. Let’s hope the U.S. Supreme Court accepts a case that will settle this matter sooner rather than later. Countless gay and lesbian couples already have committed, longterm relationships. If there is a constitutional reason why states should not grant legal status to those relationships, the court should say so.
Until then, skirmishes like the one that played out in Rowan County this week will continue all across the land. County boards have no power over this area of the law, but their chairmen get to set their own agendas ó and consent agendas. The public has its eye on Chairman Ford and his agendas now.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

City approves DOT agreement, Salisbury Station project could begin next year

Local

County plans to use vulture effigy, enforce violations to remedy animal carcass feeding problem

Education

Two weeks after ending enhanced protocols, Catawba has no COVID-19 cases

News

Council to hear revised version of Downtown Main Street Plan

Local

Veto override of NC school reopening bill fails in Senate

News

Political Notebook: Majority of likely voters, local legislators support school reopening bill

Coronavirus

COVID-19 vaccinations in Rowan top positives since start of pandemic

Crime

Man faces drug charges after breaking and entering call

Lifestyle

Waterworks schedules 2021 Summer ARTventures

Crime

Blotter: Man faces drug charges after being found passed out in vehicle

Ask Us

Ask Us: What programs exist for litter cleanup?

Business

County begins accepting restaurant grant applications

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged with nine more felony sex offenses

Nation/World

Biden team readies wider economic package after virus relief

Nation/World

Spacewalking astronauts prep station for new solar wings

Nation/World

Cuomo sorry for remarks aide ‘misinterpreted’ as harassment

Nation/World

Trump calls for GOP unity, repeats lies about election loss

Education

Rowan County administers 700 vaccines, with majority going to local educators

Crime

Shoplifting at Walmart presents challenge for Salisbury police

Local

Commissioners will hear details about changes to solar energy policies

Business

After overcoming obstacles, local barber Daniel King earns registered status

Lifestyle

39th annual K12 student exhibitions go virtual

Business

Biz Roundup: Chamber of Commerce to host ‘Salute to Agri-Business’ at March Power in Partnership

Local

Local legislators back bills ranging from new restrictions on sex offenders to Holocaust education