More bigoted backlash to marriage equality

| October 25, 2014

Chris Fitzsimonby Chris Fitzsimon, NC Policy Watch and NC SPIN panelist, October 24, 2014.
The backlash over the federal court rulings about marriage equality in North Carolina took another ugly turn this week with the blessing and even encouragement of a top Republican official in the state, House Speaker Pro Tem Paul Stam.

Stam held a news conference Thursday to endorse a ridiculous proposal from Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger to allow magistrates and registers of deeds to refuse to marry same-sex couples if they claim it would violate their religious beliefs.

But marrying people who are eligible to be married is part of a magistrate’s job and same-sex couples are now eligible to be married under the recent federal court rulings.

As absurd as the idea is, it paled in comparison to the bigoted rhetoric at Stam’s news conference from a Fayetteville minister, Johnny Hunter with Cliffdale Community Church.

Hunter, with Stam standing behind him, called on John Arrowood, an openly gay candidate for the N.C. Court of Appeals, to withdraw from the race, calling him a “flaming homosexual” whose work against the marriage discrimination amendment in 2012 should somehow disqualify him from serving on the court.

Hunter didn’t stop there, asking “Why would I put a Klansman in charge of civil rights?”

Putting aside Hunter’s asinine logic—which would mean female judges could never hear arguments about gender discrimination or more to the point, a fundamentalist Christian shouldn’t be allowed on the court either—it’s hard to decide what’s more offensive, his bigoted rhetoric or that Stam stood idly by while he spewed it.

It harkens back to the public debate over the marriage discrimination amendment in 2011, when Republican lawmakers stood shoulder to shoulder with ministers who bellowed that gay people were an abomination and going to hell.

Somebody needs to ask Stam, and Thom Tillis and Pat McCrory for that matter, if they believe that being gay is similar to being part of the Klan and if they agree that gay men and women should not be allowed to be judges in North Carolina.

More jobs hyperbole from McCrory’s office

The spin machine in the governor’s office is working overtime these days, cranking out press releases for everything imaginable especially job announcements. And it doesn’t matter how many jobs are created.

This week Gov. McCrory’s office breathlessly announced that DuPont was adding 18 jobs to its sizable facility in Kinston. That’s right 18 jobs. And not all at once mind you, but over three years.

DuPont is an important employer in Kinston and already employs 750 people across the state and any well-paying jobs are welcome these days.

But a press release touting an announcement that a company is adding six jobs a year over the next three years?

And of course DuPont is receiving help for the small job creation, an $80,000 grant from the state. No way the company could afford to add all those jobs on its own.

It really does make you wonder where the incentives and the press releases stop. A new McDonald’s or Starbucks would employ more than six people. Will they start getting incentives too and will McCrory’s office starting issuing press releases when they open?

Don’t bet against it.

Unemployment insurance chief turned partisan political commentator

The folks at the Pope Civitas Institute are holding their final poll luncheon before the election next week—not the branch of the group that is working directly to help Republican candidates get elected, the branch that is supposed to be a nonpartisan organization issuing legitimate polls, though the two branches are run by the same people.

The guest speaker for the event is none other than Dale Folwell, currently the Assistant Secretary of Division of Employment Security—in other words the person who oversees the state’s unemployment insurance system.

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems a little unusual for a state official that is supposed to be in charge of making sure people get the their unemployment checks to be appearing as a political commentator at an event held by a right-wing group that advocated for slashing benefits and has a sister organization that runs attack ads against candidates.

Category: NC SPIN Perspectives - Opinions from NC Leaders & Organizations

Comments (2)

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  1. Norm Kelly says:

    Years ago I read a Tetley tea bag tag that said something like ‘some minds are like concrete, all mixed up and permanently set’. I’ve put in my responses in the past a more accurate, truthful, use of that phrase: liberal minds are like concrete, all mixed up and permanently set. And when libs write or speak they prove my point. Chris does this for all of us on a regular basis.
    Let’s take ‘incentives’ as an example. This is corporate welfare, plain and simple. You know, that dastardly deed that libs constantly and consistently whine about Republicans doing. Incentives are supported by most pols, it’s true. But incentives are defended religiously by lib pols and their allies.
    But when the REPUBLICAN Gov Pat says anything about an incentive, suddenly the libs don’t like incentives. Dupont can hire ANY employees they want. Kinda like Dell could hire whatever employees in the state they want or wanted to. Yet somehow it was considered a good thing when money was taken out of my back pocket, and the pockets of citizens and businesses across the state, so the lib Gov Bev (or was it the convict Easley?) could announce that ‘incentives’ were being used to bring Dell to NC.
    The best way to get everyone to agree that ‘incentives’ are bad for everyone is for ‘incentives’ to be used for everything, every time. When we get enough libs who hate Dupont to agree that spending tax dollars to pay a wealthy company like Dupont to do business here (or more business), we might actually get them to understand why conservatives hate incentives for companies like Apple or Facebook or GE. Once we get enough people on both sides realizing that allowing politicians to play games with tax dollars is not just bad but stup1d, then maybe we’ll get back to where we should be with having a level playing field for EVERYONE. I don’t mean the kind of ‘level playing field’ that your typical mixed up confused lib speaks often about, but refuses to ever define what they mean. I mean a real, honest, actual level playing field where ALL participants are treated exactly the same way. Every business pays or doesn’t pay the same tax RATES, every citizen pays the same RATES, every business gets the same INCENTIVES or NO INCENTIVES at all. A level playing field where we STOP stealing money from one group to GIVE to another group.
    But until libs admit that they favor certain groups, and are willing to bankrupt government budgets to support their favored ‘groups’, we’ll make no progress on legalized theft, what pols call incentives. However, there are still too many who believe that legalized theft is good so long as it benefits those who support the legal thieves. Wonder if part of the whine about the Dupont use of ‘incentives’ has anything to do with the belief that Dupont supports Republican pols more than it supports lib pols. If Dupont bought lib pols, would Chris write about it? Would the N&D report on it?

  2. Richard Bunce says:

    It’s just you… it’s always just you.