COMMENTARY | As North Carolina voters passed an amendment in May to their state constitution limiting marriage to between a man and a woman, the more conservative citizenry cheered. It seemed their prayers were heard and they needed to fear "those gay people" no longer. Now that the confetti has cleared, even those who cling to fundamentally biblical beliefs are being called back to reality.
While some people have their eyes set on the afterlife, the rest of us live here in the realm of the real world. Many of those affected by North Carolina's decision to step on the rights of a minority are starting to shove back with lawsuits, according to MSNBC. Unless the state's legislators come to their senses and recognize our uniquely American liberties are to be shared by all, it will get expensive.
The ACLU has filed lawsuits on behalf of six same-sex couples who feel they're discriminated by their inability to adopt their partner's children. As the law stands, one of the parents would need to give up their parental rights for an adoption to go through. Besides the emotional difficulty this causes, these children are also deprived of other benefits such as health insurance, disability and Social Security. And if both parents aren't legally the parent of the child, other difficulties from hospital visitations to picking kids up from school also appear.
These families are the first to speak up and to challenge an unfair, discriminatory environment. They will not be the last. The next round of expensive legal troubles for the state might be among employees, employers and insurance companies. I have no doubt North Carolina will find itself spending money it can't afford over the resistance against basic freedoms for some.
I'm confused as to why any state has any say in which two adults can marry at all. If no harm is being done to others, why should two people need to ask the government for permission to live their own lives with whomever they wish. Outside of personal religious beliefs, there is no legitimate reason to restrict two people from forming a legally recognized union. And for limiting freedoms as they have, North Carolina will find this costly.