Final final thoughts on gay marriage and NC

Darn it, I knew I was forgetting something when I wrote that last post!  Here’s what I wanted to say…

Although democracy is a great thing, there’s a reason we don’t have direct democracy and last night is a very good indication why.  First, it all too easily allows a tyranny of the majority.  A FB friend nicely pointed out that the last time North Carolinians voted to change the state Constitution on marriage it was to make sure that there was no inter-racial marriage.   Secondly, the fact that so many votes were cast out of ignorance and people voting against their own preferences does not speak well for government (directly) by the people.  From PPP:

In some sense North Carolinians are voting against their own beliefs. 53% of voters in the state support either gay marriage or civil unions, yet a majority also support the amendment that would ban both. The reason for that disconnect is even with just 24 hours until election day only 46% of voters realize the proposal bans both gay marriage and civil unions. Those informed voters oppose the amendment by a 61-37 margin but there may not be enough time left to get the rest of the electorate up to speed.

Honestly, I’d feel more comfortable with this result if I felt that it accurately reflected the considered beliefs of a majority of North Carolinians.   I really don’t think a majority of North Carolinians wanted to ban any legal union, but that’s exactly what we got.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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