Posts Tagged ‘vote’

North Carolina and Amendment One: A Chance to Say No to Bigotry

May 4, 2012

Most of the time, state ballot intaitives amuse me: should we repeal a liquor tax? What about letting people smoke pot in public? I tend to think of it is the great political revenge of letting voices be heard on some entertaining issues.

Not so next week in North Carolina.  Next week voters in North Carolina are seeking to define relationships.  Currently, the Tar Heel State is does not recognize gay marriage. Now, they are seeking to ban it.  The legislature this year managed to place on the ballot the following:

Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.

If this amendment passes, North Carolina’s Constitution would read as follows:

“Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.”

Marriage, not civil unions, not domestic partnerships, is the only legal union.  To some people, there might not be a distinction between only allowing heterosexually married couples to receive the government benefits of marriage.  There is: this proposed amendment has the potential to impact domestic abuse charges, custody and support rights in non-married heterosexual couples.

There has long been the stereotype of the ‘narrow minded Southerner’.  This amendment promotes that stereotype.  In a telling quote, Majority Leader Rep. Paul Stam (R-NC 37) stated “They’re going to bring with them their same-sex marriages. They’re going to want to get divorced and have custody issues decided”, he said. “We’re not equipped to handle that.”  Rep. Stam, let me personally assure you, the gay community is not interested in rushing to North Carolina to get divorced.

Maybe one day I’ll understand how individuals can think my decision on who to marry has any impact on his/her relationships (aside from the obvious affair).  Passage of this amendment would be a giant step backwards.  Not just for the LGBT community but for every citizen of North Carolina, and by extension everybody who knows and loves somebody in the Tar Heel State.

I find it bemusing that the political party which staunchly opposes perceived intrusions into our personal lives supports such a reaching decision.  This is bigotry.  This is fear mongering.  This is hatred of the other.

My only hope and prayer is that the people of North Carolina see this for what it is worth and refute the amendment.  We all deserve better.

The Angry Moderate Rant from Tax Time

February 8, 2012

I’m angry.  And by angry, I mean ready to hop-up-and-down-throw-a-temper-tantrum-mad.  Like this:

Wicked mad.

Wicked mad.

 

I filed my taxes I was smacked again by the inequity of the system.  The NY Times had an article confirming that 47% of American households do not pay Federal income taxes.  Given the fact I’m in the lower 53% for income in tax year 2011, I more than fumed.   I am not going to get into property taxes (paid), gas tax (paid), state income tax (paid, higher rate too).  I’m hoping mad over the federal tax code.  In the past two weeks, I have heard four people state they received more back from the Federal government than they paid into the system.  Say what?  Yup. Paid for not having enough income.  I’m so doing something wrong.

The Federal tax code simply has to be one of the most privileged pieces of stuff created by the Federal government.  Married? Tax break.  Home owner? Tax break (I enjoy this one: however, it is beyond elitist).  Have kids? At least one tax break.  Investment income? Tax break.  And on and on.

I would get over all of this if when I opened my state return and it didn’t say “are you legally considered married by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts but unable to claim so on your Federal return?”.  Flat out: are you gay? Yes.  Why yes, I am.  Thanks for reminding me of all the tax breaks I lose because the Federal government considers me less of a citizen than the person who sits next to me on a subway.  Let me try to figure out with my partner who can claim the kid(s), who can claim the house just so we can bring down our tax burden to that of our heterosexually married peers.  While I’m on this lament also send me such a partner to share these issues.

While those in Washington talk about the small businesses that are the little engine that could of the American economy, where are the tax breaks for small business owners? The real tax breaks that prevent double taxation on the same dollar?  The ones that actually give credit for building a successful business?

Sigh. The tax code drives me nuts.

Can I blame the people who receive more than they pay in back? Meh. It’s the code.  I do believe that everybody should pay Federal income tax.  I also am intrigued by the idea of a flat tax without deductions and single filing only.  I haven’t done enough nerd number crunching to see how it would actually work.

My mood was bad enough and then it was Rick’s night.  Dear Republicans in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and (sadly) Colorado: have you guys lost your collective minds?  Or better yet to any woman who voted for Santorum, have you lost your ever lasting mind? More than Newt, more than Mitt and far and away more than Ron Paul, Rick Santorum has all but declared an open war on women and our rights to make decisions on our own health.  And this man has won more states than anybody else in the GOP primary.  Rick Santorum lost re-election to the US Senate by more than double digits.  Do you know how hard that is? And he is now the person who has the most victories.

I despise the primary system (don’t get me started on how I feel the caucuses are completely slanted against shift workers).  I have an issue with the amount of money wasted, the mindless bickering and the general anger.  For me to vote for the GOP, it takes a lot: like not having sex with an intern. I’ve never voted in a primary.  This year, I will do both.  I will vote in the GOP primary. Why? The simple thought of President Gingrich or President Santorum keeps me up at night.

In most states, you can still switch your party affiliation if you have a closed primary in your state.  I urge you to look at the Republican slate and ask the simple question: if one of them was to become POTUS would you pick.  And vote for that person.  You don’t have to vote for them in the general election: but it’s time the moderates take back control.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 164 other followers