Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fear Gets Constitutional Footing in N.C.

This week both branches of the North Carolina state legislature voted to place on the ballot a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships, and for all I know, gay potlucks.

Now is a good moment to revisit the words of Sen. James Forrester (R-Gaston), who has sponsored a Defense of Marriage Act for eight years in the N.C. Senate.  Last week Forrester attended a DOMA rally in Gaston, and his statements, as reported by the Gaston Gazette, show the man's heart is in the wrong place.

“If this bill does not pass then homosexuality will be taught into public school as the norm,” said Forrester. “Do you want that? No. The homosexuals want to have their lifestyle considered normal.”

He called the city of Asheville "a cesspool of sin."  Forrester said if he were gay—a revolting thought both to him and to me—he would "target" North Carolina to practice homosexual "mischief" because the state has no constitutional law against it.

Forrester is a physician.  He claimed AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases cut the gay lifespan by at least 20 years.

“We need to reach out to them and get them to change their lifestyle back to the one we accept,” he said, raising my blood pressure to an intemperate level, because that's really the crux of it, isn't it?  He is so ignorant of who we are, and so scared by difference, that he needs us to conform, to match his idea of acceptable.

For eight years he's sought to legislate his fear.  This time he succeeded.  Next spring, it will be up to the people of North Carolina whether they want to go along with Forrester's Festival of Fear.