32 wins out of 32 votes to defend the meaning of marriage
The people of the US state of North Carolina yesterday voted in favour of defending the meaning of marriage in the state’s constitution. It is the 32nd time the issue has been voted on in referenda in the US, and the people have voted to back traditional marriage each and every time.
Binding ballot powers are available in a number of US states, but not all. The handful of US states that have redefined marriage have done so only through legislative lobbying or judicial activism – not by the will of the people.
Significantly in yesterday’s vote, Democrat voters backed traditional marriage, just like they did in California when they supported Proposition 8 (a ballot initiative that changed to state’s constitution to protect traditional marriage).
It is widely reported that President Obama has been weighing up whether to support gay marriage as part of his re-election campaign. The result in North Carolina may have convinced him that the issue is a vote-loser, especially amongst Democrat voters.
Perhaps his strategists have also noted David Cameron’s drubbing in the British local elections, and the commentary from backbench MPs that issues like gay marriage have caused the Tories to haemorrhage votes. On both sides of the pond the message is clear: the public don’t like politicians meddling with marriage.