The right-wing: Swinging both ways on the marriage amendment

Earlier this week in this space, I called out the inhabitants of the state’s “libertarian” think tanks for their deafening silence on the the marriage bigotry amendment advanced by their chums in the state legislature:   

“Isn’t there one brave “libertarian” amongst you with the courage to stand up and speak out publicly, directly and forcefully for freedom and against the tyranny on display in the North Carolina General Assembly this week?  Just one?”

Yesterday, there was a “reply” of sorts in the form of a very brief article from the Locke Foundation’s Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs.

According to the piece, Raleigh’s News & Observer is wrong to attack the marriage limitation amendment as a “big government” infringement on privacy rights because marriage itself amounts to big government. Thus, by limiting marriage rights, conservatives in the General Assembly are actually halting the spread of big government.

We’re not making this up.

Apparently, it is the author’s actual position (as well as one of his colleague’s — whose 2004 article on the subject is cited)  that state-sanctioned marriage itself should be abolished. This is from the article received from these folks this morning:

“In the marriage amendment debate, the underlying problem for gays is the institution of marriage itself in this country. Marriage is not simply the ability to get married in a ceremony where two people agree to spend their lives with each other. If it were, gays already would have the same rights as everyone else. Instead, marriage has become about government-benefits (and other benefits, such as societal recognition) that arise from receiving a government-issued marriage license.”

Don’t you just love these guys? This is the same kind of nonsensical jibberish that was spouted on the House floor by the delusional Rep. Glen Bradley – i.e.:  “The problem isn’t with the law, it’s with you silly gays who want to partake in all of that terrible, big government oppression that everyone else makes the mistake of falling for.”

Of course, if the Locke people were truly consistent and said this kind of stuff plainly, clearly and all of the time, one might be tempted to cut them at least a little slack. But, of course, that’s not the case.

Instead, even as they’re issuing tepid and unclear statements like the latest, they’re breathlessly “reporting” every word uttered on the subject by their pals Rep. Stam and Sen. Forrester and working hand-in-glove with the bigoted theocrats who will be pushing the amendment between now and May. 

In other words, it appears that when it comes to marriage, the Locke people swing both ways: they want all of the political benefits of allying with bigots, but none of the intellectual responsibility that ought to come with being hypocrites.


  1. Unemployed and Unaffiliated

    September 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Yeah, yeah, we know the Republicans have lost their tiny little minds, as Molly Ivins used to say. However, the milquetoast NC Democrats want to have it both ways as well, they want to get the LGBT vote in November 2012 without having to say the following words “I support legalization of same-sex marriage”.

  2. Rob Schofield

    September 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    For many of them, you’re absolutely right.

  3. HunterC

    September 16, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I settle for the following from Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians or anybody.

    “This amendment goes far beyond so-called protecting marriage. I support civil unions and domestic partner benefits some local governments in NC have decided to offer their own employees. Therefore I oppose this mean-spirited, overreaching amendment, and I urge you to vote NO on the amendment.”

  4. Glen Bradley

    September 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    I’ve never said any such thing, nor would I say such a thing, that’s obscene. Please try at least a little bit to tell the truth. Thank you.

  5. Nick

    September 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    To the person claiming to be Glen Bradley, regardless of whether or not you are, I would say that I agree with removing government-sanctioned tax breaks for marriage entirely. That’s a reasonable position.

    However, there are other legal consequences for marriage like hospital visitation rights and inheritance. This amendment bans domestic partnerships and civil unions, so there’s a huge negative repercussion for the LGBT set, as well as heterosexuals that enter those arrangements. Government needs to recognize those arrangements.

    If we’re going to have subsidized marriage, we should at least have fair subsidized marriage. It seems to me that libertarians should vehemently oppose this amendment, and any libertarian that doesn’t is a social conservative simply masquerading as one.

  6. Glen Bradley

    September 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Nick, there’s a reason I’m a ‘no-vote’ (counts as a “no”) on the amendment, as the amendment itself is obscene, and frankly (not that most here would care about this part) blasphemous. I understand there was some confusion, but Republicans like Chuck McGrady and myself who opposed this won’t be getting $50,000 from the Democratic Caucus in 2012, so although there was a little self-preservation involved, at the end of the day I’m counted as a “no,” I vehemently spoke against the amendment on the floor, and I’m now helping two orgs campaign against the amendment for the May Primary.

    The CORRECT approach is to remove “marriage” out of government altogether, and allow legal civil unions ONLY (not marriages) to be filed with the government that conveys whatever benefits the State wants to appropriate to marriages today. That way everybody wins.

    Don’t buy into the hate, I opposed this thing from before I was even elected, and that hasn’t changed. I’m campaigning against this thing as best I can without geting crossways from the ‘Moral Majority” who seems to me to worship Government above God. I’m counted as a “no” on the roll-call, and my little stunt fleeing the chamber in disgust is geting more press than had I actually voted ‘no’ straight up.

    I do wish I was a bit stronger than I was on that vote, but like I said, Republicans who oppose this monstrosity won’t be getting $50k from the Democratic Caucus in 2012, so if we want to come back in 2013 to hold the line for civil rights in NC we have to tread very carefully in how we do things.

  7. James

    September 16, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Treading very carefully is a fool’s errand. You either stand strong or you crawl on your knees, begging for handouts from whatever special interest comes along. Who gives a shit whether you end up “crossways” with the Moral Majority, and who cares whether the Democratic Caucus gives you $50,000 or 50 cents.

    You may technically be counted as a no vote, but you didn’t vote no. History will count you missing in action.

    I am glad you wish you were a bit strong on that vote, but you weren’t. You, along with every supposedly decent person in that chamber, failed to serve the people of North Carolina. Every damn one of you should be ashamed.

  8. Rob Schofield

    September 16, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Welcome to The Progressive Pulse, Rep. Bradley. We appreciate your participation.

    Unfortunately, your comments make about as much sense as your speeches during the House floor debate (which can be found at around the 50 minute and 2 hour, 12 minute marks on this video).

    In speech #1 you spoke in oppostion to the marriage amendment. You talked a lot about “blasphemy” and “fallen men” and offered an amendment on the floor (which was defeated) to give voters another option — doing away with state involvement in marriage altogether.


    In your second speech on the floor you changed gears suddenly and said you intended to vote “yes.”

    After delivering these speeches, you voted “YES” on the amendment on the critical second reading. The record of this can be found here.

    Then, on third reading, one minute later, you did not vote at all. This record can be found here.

    Sorry, sir, but it’s not that complicated to take a side on this matter and explain it coherently. We appreciate your angst and effort, but you have failed on both counts.

  9. Rob Schofield

    September 16, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Oh, and while my characterization of your position in the original blog post was clearly hyperbolic, I believe it actually captures the the essence of it (i.e., “Now that we’ve reached a time in which gays might actually get state marriage recognition, it’s time for us to end the institution”) quite accurately.

  10. Frances Jenkins

    September 16, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Rob has a God complex.

  11. Rob Schofield

    September 17, 2011 at 9:16 am

    And I forgive you, Frances, because you clearly know not what you are talking about.

  12. Frances Jenkins

    September 19, 2011 at 7:40 am

    I get up every morning, hope and pray that I can even be in the same room with people as smart as you. I am not even asking to sit at the table, just be in the same room. By the way, I have three questions for your deep mind:

    1.Where is Bev Perdue on this issue?
    2.Will Perdue complete her term? (Rumors are running wild)
    3.Did RC Soles abuse his position as Senator?

    Small minds want to know.

  13. gregflynn

    September 19, 2011 at 8:56 am

    I thought you said you had been in the same room with me Frances. I guess I’m not as smart as Rob. Here are my answers for what they’re worth:
    1. Good question.
    2. First I’ve heard of this “rumor”. Trying to start one?
    3. RC Soles may have abused his position as a member of the human race but I’m not aware that the abuse extended to the Senate.

  14. Jack

    September 19, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Mr. Bradley, thank you for your comment, especially since it confirms what I’ve understood for decades. That politician’s care not about people and doing the right thing but only about the next election.

  15. frances

    September 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm


    The best memory I have of you is the speech you gave at one of the hearings on redistricting.
    Jesus and children are always good things to use. You took it to a new level. I was so impressed with your knowledge and your ability to point us in the way we should travel. Thank you!!


  16. gregflynn

    September 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    My Wilmington speech is located on the web. There are no references to Jesus or children in it.

  17. frances

    September 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Lord, you are as challenged as you think I am.

  18. Jack

    September 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Doubtful that Gov. Perdue will follow in the footsteps of Sarah Palin.

    Palin, bless her heart, not only resigned as governor of Alaska before her term was up but she couldn’t offer a coherent explanation as to why she resigned.

  19. Frances Jenkins

    September 19, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Palin was not forced out because of legal issues.

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