Raiders of the Lost Rights

In addition to the historical occasion of a sitting U.S. President declaring his support for same-sex marriage, this week also saw North Carolina write discrimination into their state constitution through the hideous Amendment 1.  The amendment prohibits same-sex marriage, which was already illegal in the state. Interestingly enough, the last time North Carolina amended their constitution in regards to marriage, was to prohibit interracial marriage.

This all seems like a good use of time by the Republican-controlled state legislature. You would think being ranked the fifth highest state in unemployment in the nation would make jobs a priority.
Amendment 1 also bans civil unions and domestic partnerships. Many believe the legislation could affect straight couples due to writing so vague that Herman Cain could have authored it.  The Amendment reads:

“Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”

Below are just a few potential monkey wrenches the amendment will be throwing into the lives of heterosexual couples:

  • Unmarried parents would no longer retain the same child custody and visitation rights as married parents.
  • Domestic and civil partners could have the new law interfere with their end-of-life arrangements.
  • Employers would no longer be required to provide benefits to partners of unmarried employees.

In their quest to take away equal rights, supporters of the law may have voted to deny their heterosexual lover health coverage and affected the right to see their child. But look on the bright side: you can still marry your first cousin.
Why would anyone support such an amendment?  According to the wife of the law’s author, to support the growth of the white race (because nothing encourages heterosexual breeding among homosexuals more than taking away their right to marry).

Possibly the biggest supporter award would fall to the group Vote for Marriage NC, which contributed $1,192,278.59 to the amendment campaign.

The group’s chairwoman, Tami Fitzgerald, said “And the point – is simply that you don’t rewrite the nature of God’s design for marriage based on the demands of a group of adults.”  Tami Fitzgerald, God’s special lamb.
Her choice of words do bring up an interesting question: did churches or other tax-exempt groups support this legislation?  The Vote for Marriage NC site reveals over forty churches and religious affiliated organizations supported Amendment 1.

Every tax-exempt diocese donated $50,000 to this campaign.  This is far from the first discriminating legislation to be backed by tax-exempt funding.

In 2008, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (as Jesse Pinkman would say: “Mormons, yo!”) contributed more than $180,000 to California’s Proposition 8.  This does not include the millions of dollars the Church encouraged their members to donate in their campaign for the legislation.  Which raises another question:

How can these organizations continue to remain tax-exempt when it can clearly be argued they have violated their 501(c)(3) status?

Churches that contribute funds to hateful legislation against citizens of this country should lose their tax-exempt status.  As a bonus, this would even have a positive impact on the economy.  Former White House senior policy analyst Jeff Schweitzer has written the value of untaxed church property is between $300 to $500 billion dollars.

Only one church has ever had their tax-exempt status revoked.  In 1992, a New York church placed a full-page ad in USA Today against then presidential candidate Bill Clinton.
The taxing of churches is not a new concept.  In 1875, Republican President Ulysses S. Grant favored the concept, saying “I would suggest the taxation of all property equally, whether church or corporation.”

President Grant was also a supporter of civil rights and like all civil rights struggles, this too will eventually be won and future generations will look back and wonder, what took so long?

Earlier this week, Badassdigest editor Devin Faraci wrote: “Conservatives against gay marriage: in 20 years you’re going to be the villains in an Oscar-nominated movie about the gay rights struggle.  Just thought you should know.”

The set is ready; we’re just waiting for the film to arrive.

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