Council passes equality resolution, 5-1 ***UPDATED WITH VIDEO***

Council passes equality resolution, 5-1 ***UPDATED WITH VIDEO***-attachment0

At the end of a nearly six-hour meeting, Asheville City Council passed a “equality” resolution that includes domestic-partnership registry, employment non-discrimination policy, anti-bullying ordinance and an endorsement of civil marriage. The resolution passed 5-1, with Mayor Terry Bellamy voting against it (Council member Bill Russell was absent due to illness).

Earlier that evening, supporters of the amendment gathered at Pack Square Park to rally for LGBTQ equality:

Video produced by Jake Frankel. Music by Jar-e.

In other actions, Council continued its public hearing on Ingles’ request for exemptions in its plan to build a new store on Smoky Park Highway.

See below for a full roundup of the Twitter dispatches from Senior News Reporter David Forbes. And in other business, Council:

• approved a rezoning on Bear Creek Road to high-density residential

• consented to selling its ice rink to Asheville Hockey League

10:43 a.m. RT @mxnews: Asheville CIty Council preview: Equality and Ingles http://bit.ly/f1ju8y #avlnews


4:57 p.m. Council chambers packed 15 minutes before meeting begins


5:01 p.m. Equality resolution supporters gathered outside City Hall earlier


5:04 p.m. Meeting on, Council considering request to delay considering Ingles project to March 22 meeting


5:05 p.m. Group of pastors seated behind press row talking about resolution, AntiChrist coming out of the EU


5:06 p.m. Avl residents noting that many people showed up to voice opinion on project


5:07 p.m. Developer wants to have hearing before full Council. Bill Russell is absent due to illness


5:08 p.m. Vice Mayor Newman makes motion to proceed with public hearings despite Ingles’ request


5:09 p.m. Newman cites public interest in topic, number of people who have come to speak


5:10 p.m. Bellamy: Allowing for full Council “is just proper”


5:10 p.m. Mayor Terry Bellamy: Usually if large hearing w/out full Council we let developer withdraw


5:11 p.m. Council member Jan Davis isn’t supportive of holding hearing tonight either, says a lot is at stake, request reasonable


5:12 p.m. Council member Cecil Bothwell: Shouldn’t deflect the people’s interest based on member’s illness


5:13 p.m. Motion to hear Ingles development tonight passes 4-2 Bellamy, Davis against


5:14 p.m. Bellamy presenting proclamation declaring Feb. 22 “Spay Day”


5:15 p.m. Bellamy: Observe the day by having your own pets spayed and neutered


5:17 p.m. Next proclamation celebrates March as Women’s History Month


5:19 p.m. Last proclamation for March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month


5:19 p.m. Asheville NOW President Mary Metcalf praising all women “who have fought the patriarchal culture”


5:23 p.m. Now, an update on the Blue Ribbon Healthcare task force


5:24 p.m. Jim Christian, retired director of VA Center and head of task force, presenting recommendations


5:27 p.m. Christian: Wanted to ensure city’s plan accessible, quality and cost-effective


5:28 p.m. To help quality, prevention, task force recommends opening city employee clinic 5 days instead of 2


5:29 p.m. Other proposals: more preventive care, coordination with providers, incentives for wellness


5:32 p.m. Cost proposals include increasing employee/retiree contributions, changing plans offered


5:33 p.m. Christian: City needs to analyze retiree health plans, especially as many retirees get other assistance


5:34 p.m. Christian: This plan will ensure city’s health fund remains viable


5:37 p.m. Human Resources Director Kelley Dickens: Clinic expansion in progress, plan changes go in effect July 1


5:39 p.m. Bellamy thanks task force, Council will consider recommendations during upcoming budget process


5:42 p.m. Next up: request to rezone plot on Bear Creek Road to high density residential


5:44 p.m. Site will probably have school/daycare center. Council passes 6-0


5:47 p.m. Ingles time. Proposal for large new store, additional retail space in Smoky Park Highway location


5:50 p.m. Ingles requesting conditional zoning, including nine parts of project not in keeping with current ordinances


5:53 p.m. Staff opposes granting four of the exemptions related to lighting, parking


5:55 p.m. Staff supports approving project, but not granting 4 exemptions they oppose


5:55 p.m. Staff notes that most of exemptions seem to be based around Ingles’ preference, not actual design challenges


5:59 p.m. Ingles also requesting more signage than normally allowed by city rules


6:00 p.m. City normally allows 200 square feet of signs for this kind of development. Ingles wants 289


6:04 p.m. Staff recommends approving signage plan


6:07 p.m. Ingles represented by lawyer, former Council member Gene Ellison. Ellison says overall, Ingles providing enough trees.


6:08 p.m. Ellison: Able to satisfy Planning and Zoning requirement that wraparound sidewalk is safer for public


6:09 p.m. Ellison: “We’re not trying to go around, just do things in different ways.” Project will provide jobs, help area.


6:10 p.m. Ellison: Not perfect, but it puts people to work, creates jobs in community


6:12 p.m. Ellison: The light remains on the property, this amount of light is Ingles’ standard


6:13 p.m. Ellison: Ingles been here for 45 years. “Want to make sure we’re dealing with facts, not innuendo”


6:17 p.m. Bellamy asks if Ingles has people to answer technical questions. Ellison: we thought project would get delayed, they left for Atlanta


6:18 p.m. Resident Bert Arshierre: Against exceptions on lighting staff opposes, especially on lighting.


6:19 p.m. Arshierre: City’s standard is a national one, perfectly reasonable, can easily read a book under amount of light it allows


6:20 p.m. Arshierre: Level of light Ingles requests serves no purpose but to draw attention to site


6:22 p.m. Arshierre: “A danger if Ingles is granted exception simply to meet its marketing plan”


6:24 p.m. Tree Commission Chair Bob Gale: Ingles large parking lot, with not enough trees, will create overheating, runoff


6:25 p.m. Gale: Other big-box stores regularly comply with city’s standards


6:26 p.m. North Asheville resident Kevin Fulford: Asheville’s nat’l recognition not been bestowed because of treeless parking lots


6:30 p.m. Laura Perreno, of Sierra Club: Executive Committee asks Council to turn down Ingles’ request, will set bad precedent


6:31 p.m. Perreno: Standards are meaningless if not meant. Other big-box stores have met this w/out trouble.


6:34 p.m. One woman, who says she’s speaking on behalf of handicapped, says project would be a problem


6:36 p.m. Susan Roderick of Asheville GreenWorks: Support staff’s recommendation. Plenty of projects meet these standards


6:41 p.m. Activist and West Asheville resident Steve Rasmussen: “Amazed and deeply disappointed” Ingles trying to avoid standards


6:42 p.m. Rasmussen: Ingles should repent, build greenest supercenter around. Will create good jobs


6:45 p.m. James Judd, from Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods: Multiple neighborhoods, astronomy club oppose Ingles project


6:47 p.m. Judd: One developer that continues to come to Council for exceptions is Ingles. Wal-Mart, etc. seem to have no issue


6:48 p.m. Judd: “No facts” to back Ingles’ request up


6:49 p.m. Public hearing’s over, Bothwell moves to adopt staff’s recommendation not to approve four issues, City Attorney: applicant must agree


6:50 p.m. Bellamy to Ellison: Do you agree to changes? Ellison: I don’t have that authority, suggest continuation to go back to Ingles


6:51 p.m. Ellison: “This is a delicate issue… We want to build this store” wants to work with city


6:52 p.m. Bellamy: “So, Mr. Oast, what do we do now?” Man in audience: “Vote!” Bellamy: “No disruptions”


6:53 p.m. City Attorney Oast: If motion passes, application would fail, developer would have to come back with different project


6:55 p.m. Newman: Can Council pass resolution, could then delay to modify? Ellison: “When Council starts tinkering” could harm project


6:56 p.m. Oast recommends continuing hearing, so staff, Ingles can come to agreement


6:58 p.m. Newman: I’m going to support project with staff’s recommendations, not w/out. If Ingles doesn’t like that, have decision to make


6:59 p.m. Bothwell: “Unthinkable” Ingles can’t adapt to same rules as Wal-Mart; Ellison interrupts, doesn’t want Ingles compared to Wal-Mart.


7:00 p.m. Bothwell: 21st century store could save energy. Ingles plan not good enough. P&Z should obey the rules.


7:01 p.m. Davis: Vilification of Ingles “disgusting.” Company is “an outstanding corporate citizen”


7:02 p.m. Davis apologizing to Ingle family “for the tone this has taken”


7:03 p.m. Council member Gordon Smith praising Ingles, but thinks staff’s recommendations should be met


7:09 p.m. Bellamy telling Ellison doesn’t look like project will pass without mature trees in project


7:10 p.m. Ellison asking for 30 days, Council sets date for March 22


7:11 p.m. Manheimer: Doesn’t want project squashed, supports continuance to “negotiate something mutually agreeable” Shares Bothwell’s concern


7:12 p.m. Manheimer: Ingles like “second home” but wants to see standards adhered to


7:14 p.m. Bothwell wants to see Ingles stay within signage rules, moves to continue to March 22


7:15 p.m. Council votes 6-0 to continue Ingles hearing to March 22


7:16 p.m. Council takes 20-minute break


7:23 p.m. Rally outside City Hall for equality resolution, earlier today. #avlgov http://plixi.com/p/79292020


7:28 p.m. Small group of anti-resolution proesters, earlier today #avlgov http://plixi.com/p/79292837


7:37 p.m. Council’s back


7:40 p.m. Council moving to second reading of development changes that prohibit denied projects from returning and increase spacing requirement


7:41 p.m. Oast notes that four members of Council must support 2nd reading for it to succeed


7:41 p.m. Manheimer recused due to conflict of interest with her law firm


7:43 p.m. Davis notes he originally voted against amendments, but supportive now.


7:43 p.m. Bothwell: this brings letter of law in line with spirit


7:44 p.m. Bellamy has changed to supporting amendments as well


7:45 p.m. UDO amendments pass 5-0


7:47 p.m. Some people clearing out of Council chambers, a few seats open


7:49 p.m. Council on state legislation. Smith noting that legislation banning community broadband would end possible #googleavl deal


7:52 p.m. Council puts opposition to broadband legislation on consent agenda for next meeting


7:54 p.m. Council considering agreement to sell Civic Center rink/equipment to Asheville Hockey League


7:58 p.m. Avl Hockey League head Hutch Turner: “Our goal, as people who love ice” is permanent facility, approved a payment to city


8:01 p.m. Deal would allow Avl Hockey League to expand operations, college club hockey teams, figure skating increase visitors to area


8:08 p.m. Hockey league sending up a delegation of children. “If we got ice hockey here, it would be a real pleasure for everybody,” one says


8:10 p.m. Council passes ice rink sale to Asheville Hockey League 6-0


8:12 p.m. Mills River Valley resident Jerry Briton speaking on proposal for Mills River protection program


8:14 p.m. Mills River Valley located south of Asheville, source of drinking water for area


8:16 p.m. Over 75,000 households/customers use water from Mills River


8:20 p.m. Dealing with declining water quality, fish kill, Mills River Partnership has improved quality, working on more formal structure


8:22 p.m. Kieran Roe, Mills River partnership representative asking city to name rep to serve on new board


8:24 p.m. City Manager Gary Jackson wants 60-90 days to evaluate partnership, can give update in 30 days


8:28 p.m. On to the equality resolution. Smith thanking People of Faith for Just Relationships, GetEqualNC, Ashley Arrington, Sam Soper


8:29 p.m. Rev. Joe Hoffman of PFJR speaking about gay friend who faced threats, says things haven’t changed that much


8:30 p.m. Hoffman: Resolution “is a civil rights document… This is not a religious statement”


8:31 p.m. Hoffman: Diversity is a gift, all people of Asheville deserve equal rights, “but that is not the reality”


8:32 p.m. Resolution includes domestic partnership registry, employment non-discrimination, anti-bullying ord, endorsement of civil marriage


8:34 p.m. Hoffman: Was with lesbian couple in hospital, been together for 20 years, don’t feel secure in recognition of rights


8:35 p.m. Hoffman: “Must say we will not have second-class citizens in Asheville”


8:38 p.m. Rev. Wendell Runion of We Still Pray: “Experiencing deja vu” from original battle over sexual orientation protections


8:40 p.m. Runion: “It has happened again.” Resolution fiscally irresponsible, an added expense


8:42 p.m. Runion: Irresponsible “to add these people to your benefits”


8:43 p.m. Runion: Protections in resolution for gender identity, “could go into pedophiles, sex offenders.”


8:44 p.m. Runion: “we’re facing reverse discrimination, that’s where we’ve come to in America”


8:53 p.m. Randy Brae: Resolution “endorsing a lifestyle not approved of God” those who vote for it “face eternal consequences”


8:54 p.m. Tom Astik: Wife and I considering moving out of Asheville if this resolution is passed


8:56 p.m. Astik: Direct violation of N.C. law intended by this resolution


8:58 p.m. Rev. Larry Sprouse: “Never thought in America we’d stand here debating such an issue”


9:00 p.m. Sprouse quoting Proverbs on “abominations before the Lord” tells Council to “make a decision you can face god with”


9:02 p.m. Rev. Jerry Young: Not about hate, about “god loving each one of us.” Doesn’t understand how city can afford this


9:03 p.m. Young: “I don’t cast any stones” but asks Council to consider God’s judgment


9:05 p.m. Angel Chandler w GetEqual: “Always amazed me when Bible used” used in past to justify and argue against slavery, suffrage


9:06 p.m. Chandler: People have the right to believe whatever they want religiously, but government doesn’t privilege one over another


9:07 p.m. Chandler: I’m a taxpayer, citizen, homeowner, but I don’t have the same legal rights as the people complaining”


9:08 p.m. Chandler: “All equal, and it’s time government started treating us as such”


9:09 p.m. Resident Juan Oyola: Like to be able to visit, comfort partner when he’s laying in hospital bed.


9:10 p.m. Oyola: “We are doctors, lawyers” contribute to community. “I want just to be myself”


9:11 p.m. TJ Thomasson: Here to “recruit you, Mayor Bellamy and the rest of Council” urges them to resist bigotry


9:12 p.m. Thomasson: “Make this a home for everyone who lives in our community.”


9:15 p.m. Oakes: gay people have right to marriage benefits “if it’s between a man and a woman”


9:15 p.m. Gene Oakes: Gay agenda out to “silence anyone who believes homosexuality is wrong”


9:17 p.m. Swannanoa Chris Oakes: Just want everyone to be treated equally


9:18 p.m. Yvonne Cook-Reilly: As transgender person “Asheville has afforded me the right to walk down the street w/out fear of being attacked”


9:20 p.m. James Shealer: City has goal for sustainable city. For that everyone has to feel comfortable. Important to state everyone is welcome


9:21 p.m. Shealer: When wife and I moved here, looked for active gay community. Wanted tolerant city


9:23 p.m. Leslee Kulba: Distinction between rights and privileges. What happens betwn consenting adults their right


9:24 p.m. Kulba: Shouldn’t give privileges to those who “hook up w city employees”


9:25 p.m. Russ Heath, moderator of PFJR: These items appear to be only bettering lives of LGBT people. Resolution makes larger statement too


9:26 p.m. Heath compares to ending slavery, female suffrage “making us all better Americans”


9:28 p.m. Ashley Arrington: See bullying happening in city on regular basis. This is about city offering protections, esp for children


9:30 p.m. Hour of public hearing past, Council extends for 30 more minutes, each speaker getting 2 minutes


9:31 p.m. Simon Thompson: Me partner of 12 yrs run 2 businesses. Many LGBT ppl here own businesses guarantee Council members have visited them


9:33 p.m. Alan Robinson: 41 yrs old when came out of closet, “resolved I wasn’t going to be invisible”


9:34 p.m. Robinson: Wife at the time thought I’d be beaten when put pink triangle sticker on car


9:36 p.m. David Spicer: Happen to be left-handed, autistic, gay, “wasn’t consulted when maker made me.” Just trying to live responsible life


9:38 p.m. Carmen Romes-Kennedy: I am an African-American. I do not live in fear of difference, support this resolution


9:39 p.m. Rome-Kennedy reading letter from pastor who disagrees with homosexuality, but supports resolution


9:40 p.m. Leicester resident Alan Ditmore: “Here because gay neighbors save me school taxes”


9:41 p.m. Ditmore: “The gayest town in America is Provincetown and guess what, they’re rich.”


9:43 p.m. Craig White of Center for Partic Change: I am bisexual, but married to partner of opposite sex. Receive all benefits, but aware of difference


9:44 p.m. White: Arguments against boil down to tradition and religion


9:46 p.m. Dye: Want bullying addressed, don’t want bullies silenced, because them speaking damages their position


9:46 p.m. James Dye: This will send message to Raleigh as anti-gay marriage amendment is considered.


9:47 p.m. Aixa Wilson:If we want to win the future, must pursue courage and community. Support this resolution


9:49 p.m. Boyd: “My religion has nothing to do with law.” Personal faith is not the constitution


9:49 p.m. Leslie Boyd: Am a Christian, God loves us just the way he made us.


9:52 p.m. Jennifer Thornburg: Told time and again in Sunday school America great country because of Church/State separation


9:53 p.m. Heather Tally: Mission in ethics, development to embrace our city as unique leader


9:57 p.m. Albert Wells: Looked around US for place to live. Found a home here. Hope we can be forerunner for NC embracing equality


9:57 p.m. Sam Soper of Justice for All: Asking you to give community a chance to practice humility by passing resolution


9:59 p.m. Candler resident David Hall, a Baptist preacher: Due to city’s embrace of homosexuality, wouldn’t tell anyone I lived near Asheville


10:01 p.m. Another Candler resident opposing resolution “This used to be the Bible Belt”


10:02 p.m. Sam Taylor: “Getting away from what the framers intended” homosexuality part of “sin nature”


10:03 p.m. Taylor: “Separation of church and state does not mean separation of God and state”


10:09 p.m. Allison Schad: Never identified as straight, “lived in fear whole life” relationship not recognized by culture. “That is oppression”


10:10 p.m. Bellamy denies preacher who wants to read scripture because he gave up time earlier


10:12 p.m. Preacher referencing Sodom and Gomorrah, saying God ordained heterosexual partnerships “better live in fear of God”


10:13 p.m. Hearing over, Assistant City Manager Jeff Richardson talking on domestic partner benefits


10:14 p.m. Richardson: In March will look at benefits, preparing for domestic partner benefit rollout July 1


10:15 p.m. Smith: in early 1990s, 1,500 people showed up on nondiscrimination clause hearing


10:16 p.m. Smith: That’s a sign of how far we’ve come, now can fit meeting in city hall because many see it as “idea whose time has come”


10:17 p.m. Smith: Resolution doesn’t prevent people from believing whatever they want to, just ensures equal rights


10:18 p.m. Bellamy wants bullying language clearer, wonders if speech against homosexuality would count as bullying, “it’s not clear”


10:19 p.m. Smith: will use state standards against school violence for bullying part, this resolution sets direction for staff


10:20 p.m. Smith: Domestic partner registry handled by city, any private organization can choose to use too


10:21 p.m. Bellamy: “This is separate but equal” records are kept in register of deeds. Smith: County hasn’t done this yet


10:24 p.m. Smith: City can’t offer marriage but we can endorse same-sex couples have equal rights


10:25 p.m. Bothwell: For me, this comes back to Golden Rule. In favor of this


10:27 p.m. Davis: Conflicted, “shouldn’t tolerate discrimination” but unclear how enforce anti-bullying ordinance


10:29 p.m. Davis: Past religion, this is about “rights for people.” Have no fear of standing before god. Will support resolution.


10:33 p.m. Manheimer and Newman endorsing resolution, saying about equal rights


10:34 p.m. Bellamy wants language fleshed out, “if this so monumental, so important” needs more clarity


10:36 p.m. Bellamy: Want clear on what ordinance does and doesn’t say. Didn’t get served in restaurant last week because people assumed my opinion


10:37 p.m. Bellamy: Same thing happened in store because voted against domestic partner benefits. “Demonized” in own town.


10:39 p.m. Bellamy: Never had a malicious thought towards to gay people, believe in equality. Resolution creating fear


10:40 p.m. Bellamy: A “bible-toting believer” doesn’t mean oppose good policy, shame can’t say I oppose same-sex marriage w/out being condemned


10:41 p.m. Can’t say don’t want lesbian cousin to have her partner at deathbed, but can’t support gay marriage


10:44 p.m. Bellamy: “lie from the pit of hell” that I don’t represent Asheville. Represent city “like it or not”


10:46 p.m. Smith: Utmost respect for Bellamy, if bullying ordinance comes back and against free speech, I’ll vote against it. This sets direction


10:47 p.m. Newman suggests clarifying anti-bullying section to note ordinance forthcoming


10:48 p.m. Newman: If we controlled it, would like to have registry in register of deeds. But we can’t do that, so this is start


10:49 p.m. Equality resolution passes 5-1, Bellamy against. Applause breaks out, Mayor bangs gavel


10:54 p.m. Meeting adjourned.


11:22 p.m. Epilogue, by request: Davis, Smith, Manheimer, Newman, Bothwell voted for equality resolution. Bellamy against. Russell absent


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80 thoughts on “Council passes equality resolution, 5-1 ***UPDATED WITH VIDEO***

  1. J

    What? Bill was sick? Poor Bill, he was sick during the hearing last year when they passed the resolution on Domestic Partner Benefits.

    What a terrible, unfortunate, tragic, coincidence that Bill seems to get sick whenever gay-equality measures come up before council.

  2. “WHEREAS up to 12% of Asheville’s population is lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT);”

    … so then, what is the estimated percentage of the AVL population who smokes grass? i bet it could easily be over 12%.

    therefore, why is the City of AVL bent on showing partiality to the rights of the individuals? why not end all arrests for possession of marijuana and industrial hemp here in Asheville?

  3. Congratulations to Asheville City Council for adopting the resolution in support equal rights for all Asheville citizens; Mayor Bellamy dissenting, of course. And boo, double boo, to all of the other dangerous moralistic religionists who spoke in opposition during public comments in their ongoing effort to apply the coercive force of government to impose their peculiar religious views on all others. I expect the good mayor will be shown the door in the due course of time. Good riddance.
    …………………………..

  4. “What? Bill was sick? Poor Bill, he was sick during the hearing last year when they passed the resolution on Domestic Partner Benefits.”

    I’m not sure Bob Oast got this one right. He said that Bill Russell’s absence would count as a non-vote and council would need a tie-breaker.

    I believe that if a member is unexcused in their absence for a vote, then the record will show a “Yah” vote for that member.
    …………………………

  5. shadmarsh

    infinity,

    Are you suggesting that only those in the majority should have equal protection under the law? Or are you just high?

  6. bobaloo

    Pity Terry Bellamy for not being able to oppose gay marriage in Asheville (!) without people thinking she sucks. Poor, poor Terry Bellamy.

  7. Chapter 160A.
    Cities and Towns.
    Article 5 – Form of Government.
    § 160A?75. Voting.

    No member shall be excused from voting except upon matters involving the consideration of the member’s own financial interest or official conduct or on matters on which the member is prohibited from voting under G.S. 14?234, 160A?381(d), or 160A?388(e1). In all other cases, a failure to vote by a member who is physically present in the council chamber, or who has withdrawn without being excused by a majority vote of the remaining members present, shall be recorded as an affirmative vote.

    http://is.gd/UaPbCY
    ……………………

  8. i cannot support any such anti-liberty political legislation or affirmations which go beyond matters of the State. i don’t see how advocating or allowing the State to have continued interference beyond its limitations as being pro-liberty.

    marriage is an institution of the Church, not the State. the State should not be involved in marriage whatsoever because it has no authority over matters of Church. if/when a contract between individuals is broken and no remedy or agreement can be reached, then the parties involved can seek a tort resolution and remedy.

    regardless, government should not interfere in ANY agreements or covenants between individuals. to do so is a violation of the free market.

    but i find it interesting how people will trumpet phrases like “separation of church and state” only when it suits their agenda.

    on a separate note, i cannot personally condone actions which are at enmity with the Creator, and/or the perpetuation of life as a species. but of course, this is a personal and spiritual perspective, not a political one.

  9. Frostillicus: “infinity, Are you suggesting that only those in the majority should have equal protection under the law? Or are you just high?”
    ———

    no, i’m suggesting that government’s continued dabbling into areas outside the jurisdiction “matters of State” is a complete waste of time, energy, and the taxpayers money.

    what gays/lesbians are being “oppressed” in AVL? give me a break!

    however, on the other hand, how many individuals are TRULY being oppressed… like those neighbors of ours who are arrested and jailed for smoking a freakin’ plant???

    from a personal situation which occurred last summer, it appears that the AVL Police Department is more interested in busing weed smokers than they are thieves.

    US government and its citizens need to get their priorities straight. government should be limited to its proper duties and jurisdictions.

    if this City Council is going to waste MY taxes on advancing the homosexual agenda of demanding that everyone accept/condone their actions, then i’m certainly going to voice facts such as i have presented here in this comment thread.

  10. Marriage is a peaceable voluntary contract between free individuals often involving property, reputations, assets and even children. Just as in any contract, it is the proper role of the government to adjudicate contract disputes when they arise. Sadly, our gay citizens are prohibited by the government from entering into these contracts. This is a violation of individual rights.
    ………………………..

  11. no one is prohibited from same sex marriage. again, here is TRUTH:

    marriage is an institution of the Church, not the State. the State should not be involved in marriage whatsoever because it has no authority over matters of Church.

    if/when a contract between individuals is broken and no remedy or agreement can be reached, then the parties involved can seek a tort resolution and remedy.

    regardless, government should not interfere in ANY agreements or covenants between individuals. to do so is a violation of the free market.

  12. “regardless, government should not interfere in ANY agreements or covenants between individuals. to do so is a violation of the free market.”

    The government is presently interfering in the right of free individuals to enter into marriage contracts. These peaceable voluntary marriage contracts are prohibited by law (the government) and a violation of every individual’s right to exercise his or her own best judgment.

    One cannot be opposed to government interference in private contracts AND opposed to gay marriage. It is a logical inconsistency.
    ………………………….

  13. the government is ONLY interfering with marriage — an institution of the Church, NOT the State — by usurping the right of the individual to FREELY contract with another individual without have a “marriage license”.

    doing so is a violation of the First Amendment. the government has NO POWER over matters of the Church, unless it is usurped.

    how is it logical that the government is allowed to issue marriage licenses. to do so is parallel with saying that adult individuals have no right to enter into the marriage covenant WITHOUT a license from the State to do so — THAT is the violation of individual rights.

    a proper affirmation by the City Council with regard to the issue of marriage would have been that marriage is of no business of the State.

    continuing to push for “sam sex marriage” is merely acknowledging that matters of the Church ARE ALSO matters of the State.

    otherwise, what does “separation of church & state” really mean and what does the First Amendment really matter?

    WOW folks, it seems that the masses DESIRE the State to dictate every facet of private life. why would anyone in their right mind want such a thing?

  14. I agree that free individuals should not need permission from the government to enter into peaceable voluntary contracts, even marriage contracts.

    But if they do, then that contract should be legal and the government does have a role to play in resolving disputes and disposing of property in the interest of justice.

    I support every free individual’s natural right to enter into marriage contracts of their own choosing.
    …………………….

  15. Tim Peck: “I agree that free individuals should not need permission from the government to enter into peaceable voluntary contracts, even marriage contracts. But if they do…”

    ———

    then THAT’s the problem and is what i’m addressing. the problem should be addressed properly, not improperly.

    to solve the problem is not to compound onto it. to advance liberty with regard to this issue, we should be removing gov’t from the equation of being in the “marriage business”… because it’s NONE of its business what kind of contracts are made between individuals unless/until there arises a dispute among said individuals within a contract.

    … just like it’s none of the government’s business what goes on in the bedrooms of consenting adults.

    for example, government will preside over a dispute between individuals who have a dispute over their contract regarding the sale of an item, but the two individuals do not NEED to have a license to purchase or sell the item.

    we should ALWAYS limit government from acting outside of its Constitutionally given powers and limits.

  16. bill smith

    [i]doing so is a violation of the First Amendment. the government has NO POWER over matters of the Church, unless it is usurped.[/i]

    You ARE aware that marriage is also a legal definition, right?

  17. Apparently the Xpress reporter was at a different meeting than I attended. It was almost a 6 hour meeting. I was home six hours and eleven minutes after it started, and I’m quite sure I didn’t miss anything.

  18. It can equally be said that it is none of the church’s business to be in the marriage business which has civil and social consequences that affect the larger secular society much more profoundly than any church as an institution. The church is concerned with souls not property. The government is concerned with property not souls.

    In America I have zero obligation to submit to the authority of any church doctrine. The church needs to butt out of things over which they have no concern and no jurisdiction.

  19. Christopher…

    Q: what church makes it its “business” to interfere with the free will decisions of individuals? if two individuals make a covenant together, what church interferes with them for doing so?

    A: NONE

    the FACT remains that it is the government which interferes with the rights of individuals with regard to making covenants, making UN-Constitutional demands on individuals to be “licensed” to enter into the marriage covenant.

    again, issues regarding property and disputes over contracts are none of the government’s business UNLESS those individuals have a dispute which they cannot remedy and take the matter before a court of law.

    THIS is the way it’s SUPPOSED to work. therefore…

    Q: WHY can’t we “free” individuals mandate it to be so?

    A: BECAUSE the governments We the People have created have grown to the point where they are UNLIMITED and UNACCOUNTABLE.

    this is yet another example of tyranny in a country that would otherwise be a free one.

    ———

    The Philosophy of Liberty:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muHg86Mys7I

    (more people should watch this)

  20. thank you, Mat (along with Frosty), for your off topic comments.

    it’s interesting that when discussing various issues with others that when TRUTH is presented, the most typical comebacks are personal attacks.

    how about addressing why it is that you and Frosty apparently believe that government should be in the position to grant individuals PERMITS (licenses) to get married, while it simultaneously arrests individuals for smoking a plant?

    why is it that our City Council is wasting time and MY taxes on such drivel, when individuals in the AVL area are being jailed for exercising their unalienable rights?

  21. Bill Smith: “You ARE aware that marriage is also a legal definition, right?”

    ———

    you ARE aware that ANY/ALL contracts individuals freely enter into are legally binding covenants, right?

    marriage is like any other. that doesn’t make ANY/ALL contracts between individuals a matter for the State upon which to issues licenses for individuals to be permitted to enter into them.

    … or is there some other logic train i am for some reason not seeing here.

    please help me understand your point of view… and than you kindly for refraining from personal attacks.

  22. shadmarsh

    I have a personal policy of not getting into arguments/discussions with people who use the word “truth” in capital letters and who claim to have unique access to it. Also, I am for legalization, and I have no problem with the government granting permits (or PERMITS even) for things, and do not see in any way how the two are even remotely congruent.

    Perhaps the real question you should be asking yourself is where, how, and why the LGBT movement has been successful in advancing its rights and causes where the legalization movement has not, instead of trying to equate what has become a fundamental right with recreational drug use, and complaining that your pet issue hasn’t received the same credence.

  23. Frosty:

    i occasionally capitalize words like “TRUTH” & “FACTS” when truth & facts are presented and people seem to ignore or hide from them… as you have exemplified.

    i have no unique access to these truths & facts i have presented. you are free to educate yourself likewise, if you so choose to.

    if you have no problem with the government granting permits for things that individuals have unalienable rights to, then again, you and everyone who has no problem with government usurping such rights REALLY need to learn more about the philosophy of liberty:

    The Philosophy of Liberty
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muHg86Mys7I

    the other question you have presented is off topic and contains an erroneous statement:

    firstly, none of these issues “become” rights. rights do not come from any individual or group of individuals (ie: government).

    those who understand the philosophy of liberty know that individuals are born with certain unalienable rights — we have natural rights. included is the right to enter into contracts with other consenting adults and also to decide what kind of food/medication one prefers.

    secondly, the issue i have raised here isn’t a matter of movements and how they are doing.

    the issue i have raised here is why City Council is wasting my tax dollars on such drivel when no one in the gay/lesbian community is really being oppressed whatsoever, while it apparently does nothing in regards to people who ARE being oppressed daily in our area, which contains probably more marijuana smokers than gays/lesbians.

    what gays/lesbians are jailed for getting married at any church which condones same sex marriage?

    all this makes me wonder if the people in our community — or at least City Council — really even understand what oppression is?

  24. shadmarsh

    You seem to be confusing my disagreeing you with ignorance, which–besides being entirely arrogant– is something I have no interest in “debating.”

  25. [MODERATOR NOTE]

    This is a personal attack:

    Frostillicus: “infinity, Are you suggesting that only those in the majority should have equal protection under the law? Or are you just high?”

    And this is a personal attack:

    mat catastrophe: “Hey, frosty, if you haven’t guessed it by now the answer to your question is: He’s high.”

    That is, arguing against the arguer instead of the argument (ad hominem).

    Bernard and I have certain philosophical differences that we debate from time to time but I never once felt compelled to publicly claim that he is stupid, a bad person or mentally impaired.

    The ‘ad hominem’ argument is an admission of failure.
    ………………………………………..

  26. Frosty: no, i don’t think i’m confused at all.

    based upon your comments, it’s very obvious that you are ignorant about RIGHTS verses PERMITS, with regard to government and its granted Constitutional powers & limitations.

    if a great many Americans are, like yourself, OK with government usurping the rights of individuals, by making such rights only available to individuals through the process of permitting, then it’s no wonder why this country continues to go down the tubes.

    whether or not you view me as being “arrogant” in presenting such truths, i strongly suggest that you take some time in your life to educate yourself, and advocate others do likewise.

    liberty isn’t free. it’s up to individuals to maintain our unalienable rights while others continue to usurp them, largely through government force.

  27. shadmarsh

    No, I just take a different view than you is all. I do find it arrogant that you somehow feel that those that do not share your view of government and its role are somehow ignorant of “the facts.”

    Tim,

    If the moderator(s) of the Xpress board (which I might add are not you) want to label my above comment (which was an obvious jest) as malicious I am comfortable with that, and accept all consequences thereof. Do I need to go back over the board here and offer up one of the many quotes where you yourself have engaged in the same behavior that you apparently– at least in others– find so abhorrent?

  28. Frostillicus,

    The ‘ad hominem’ argument need not be malicious, it only need be against the arguer rather than the argument.

    And yes, you can pour over the board if you like, but make sure you properly attribute the initiation of incivility. This approach to debate may, however, backfire.
    …………………………

  29. Frosty:

    it’s fine that people choose to take different views on things. we’re all individuals, not part of some kind of collective.

    however, we cannot both be correct in our posts — one of us is correct, and one of us is incorrect.

    either it is the unalienable right of individuals to be free from government intervention with regard to such things as entering into contracts (including marriage), or it is not.

    where any government has violated this unalienable right, then it violates the liberties of these individuals.

    i’m not attempting to play some “i’m right” game, etc. i’m merely striving to point out various truths with regard to liberty, and help my fellow neighbor better understand liberty. often that appears as being arrogant.

  30. shadmarsh

    [NOTE TO MODERATOR]

    This thread is off-topic.

    Too bad.

    Yes, because of you. Also Dear Timmy, thanks for making this thread about mat and I, we are much more interesting than you…and entirely more popular with the ladies!

  31. shadmarsh

    it’s fine that people choose to take different views on things. we’re all individuals, not part of some kind of collective.

    actually I would assert that we are, but that doesn’t preclude us from disagreeing.

    however, we cannot both be correct in our posts—one of us is correct, and one of us is incorrect.
    I disagree. It is certainly possible for us both to be right, or both to be wrong. Perhaps we are just at a fundamental disagreement about what constitutes (or doesn’t) a Truth.

  32. “Also Dear Timmy…”

    Wow, you seem like a truly awful and hostile person. I’m glad I don’t know you.
    ……………………………

    [MODERATOR NOTE]

    This is where the thread became uncivil.

  33. Frosty: “I disagree. It is certainly possible for us both to be right, or both to be wrong. Perhaps we are just at a fundamental disagreement about what constitutes (or doesn’t) a Truth.”

    ———

    i apologize. i thought the discussions here regarding this topic might be based in reality.

    if you at some point in your life you decide to join the rest of us, let me know and i’d be happy to continue such a discussion, based upon sound logic and reason.
    8-)

  34. shadmarsh

    BBC,

    Careful you’re veering dangerously close to an ad hominem attack, and while I certainly have think enough skin to absorb it, certain posters here seem to take offense to that sort of thing.

    also, what mat said.

  35. “also, what mat said.”

    So what you’re saying is that you have no valid intellectual arguments.

    Thanks for the clarification.
    …………………….

  36. Mat, i apologize if my initial post threw folks a curve ball. i was merely attempting to make the point that REAL oppression is occurring in our very own city, yet Council would rather waste time (and therefore money) on making an issue out of a non-issue, whereby no one is truly being oppressed: no homosexual is sitting in jail right now for illegally being married.

    in my following posted comments, i have attempted to explain why this is true. perhaps i have failed to explain this properly, but i am pretty much finished attempting to do so.

    ———

    but to address your honest and on topic question, the “civil rights” of homosexuals have not been violated. BOTH heterosexuals AND homosexuals are free to engage in contracts with other individuals, including marriage… except where the government interferes.

    therefore: EVERYONE’S civil rights are being violated — as usual — by the government, because the government has usurped the right of individuals to freely engage in the contract, or covenant, of marriage, which is an institution of the Church, not the State.

    early on in the history of America, the government violated this right of every single human being, when it began issuing licenses for marriage.

    NOTE: license = “The permission by competent authority to do an act which without such permission, would be illegal.” — Black’s Law Dictionary

    so… we can all now know this TRUTH (yes, in CAPS again for emphasis), that the government has deemed it to be ILLEGAL for EVERYONE to be married without asking its permission. … and you guys say you are OK with this. well, I’m not.

    did you also know that by doing so, you give the State jurisdiction over your marriage? just like having a drivers license, by doing so, one gives the State jurisdiction over the once held freedom to travel freely… but in the spirit of keeping on topic, let’s not go there — it’s the principle i’m trying to make clear.

    when America began, there were no such thing as marriage licenses. such a thing was unheard of, and founders such as Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin would have certainly stood up against such tyrannical legislation.

    however, many American states prohibited marriage between blacks & whites. as time went on, certain states began issuing licenses which gave permission to blacks & whites to marry.

    then as government typically goes, some states began requiring all people to have a license in order to “legally” marry.

    then around the time of the Great Depression, the US Federal Government made marriage its business by passing such legislation in Congress.

    now we continue to waller in all this mess, regarding not only the matter of same sex marriage, but also all the foolish tax laws which affect people as a result of their relationship status.

    NONE of this would be an issue at all if the government would have kept out of areas it has no legal authority to be involved in to begin with.

    so there’s the abridged history of how it came to be that American government got into the business of marriage — it was born in racism and in violation to the law, which is the Constitution… the document which was created to LIMIT & hold ACCOUNTABLE these governments we have created from growing so tyrannical as it has become.

    however, it appears as though most Americans don’t even understand such basic truths — many Americans actually believe that the Constitution is a document which provides for our unalienable rights.

    oh well, that’s the fruit of the public school system, i guess… that’s evil for ya!

    i hope all this helped in answering your question. thank you for helping this thread to get back on topic.

    peace…
    8-)

  37. “either it is the unalienable right of individuals to be free from government intervention with regard to such things as entering into contracts (including marriage), or it is not.”

    It is not and never has been throughout the whole of human history as long as citizens have made a contract with government to be governed. THAT IS THE TRUTH.

    There are tremendous numbers of laws regarding business contracts between free individuals directing just how they work and how they can be dissolved. Just ask Tim.

    And that’s how things really work infinityBBC no matter how twisted your train of thought. That is an accurate observation not a personal attack.

  38. shadmarsh

    i was merely attempting to make the point that REAL oppression is occurring in our very own city, yet Council would rather waste time (and therefore money) on making an issue out of a non-issue, whereby no one is truly being oppressed: no homosexual is sitting in jail right now for illegally being married.

    I’m curious as to what qualifies as REAL oppression, but that is beside the point. Obviously no one is in jail for being illegally married, but to suggest that somehow the LGBT community doesn’t experience oppression–which, at least grammatically, you seem to be doing here– is odiously false.
    If you want to have a discussion about decriminalization, or even a de-facto decriminalization and non-enforcement policies by the city of Asheville I think that would be a great idea. However to try and draw a comparison between drug use (yes I know it’s just a plant…) and the very real discrimination experienced by the LGBT community just seems painfully insensitive and totally random.

  39. Michael Muller

    Thanks to Tim Peck for his eloquent ad compelling defense of gay marriage. Makes me want to go out and have one.

  40. bill smith

    @BBC [i]marriage is like any other. that doesn’t make ANY/ALL contracts between individuals a matter for the State upon which to issues licenses for individuals to be permitted to enter into them.[/i]

    When did we say anything about ‘any and all’ contracts? We are speaking quite specifically about marriage, and my questions was if you are aware marriage is a legal contract. You seem to have walked a wide circle around such a simple question.

    Perhaps if i capitalized some of the words?

    Again, you ARE aware that marriage is a legal contract, and therefore obviously susceptible to state oversight?

    @TimPeck-Is a sense of humor an extension of the liberal nanny state?

  41. Margaret Williams

    Me too, Michael. A generally interesting argument/discussion overall, guys. Thank you for staying (mostly) civil.

  42. mcates

    Equality for all? I don’t think this resolution accomplished that.

    According to Smith the resolution “endorses” same-sex relationships. Married people are already endorsed by the State.

    What about other types of families?

    If you and the mother of your child decided to live together but not get married by the “state” you are not “endorsed” by this resolution.

    Just as an example, could this resolution eventually led to the city providing healthcare for married couples and same-sex couples, but not couples who are committed, but chose not to get legally married?

    The City of Asheville, NC or the US should not play favorites regarding families.

    If there has to be a resolution, it should have truly provided Equality for all… or not have one.

  43. Chris C:

    yes, wherever a country’s citizens enter into slavery, whether voluntary or involuntary, that government has the right to ownership of its slaves.

    the difference here in America is — IF the government abided by its legal Constitutional limits — we’re not supposed to be slaves. we’re supposed to have self ownership over our own selves.

    THAT IS THE TRUTH! 8-)

    the fundamental issue here which i apparently have to continually reiterate due to generations of deception, is that Americans have willingly given up their right to enter into a marriage covenant without government interference, just as we have given up many other unalienable rights — which are NOT granted by any human individual or government, but by our Creator (whatever one understand “Creator” to mean) — and entered into a real form of slavery.

    YES — that’s how tyranny works, no matter how deceived people have become.

    honestly, i cannot see how anyone in their right mind could read my posts and come to the conclusion that my train of thought is “twisted”.

    tell me, what part of the fact that individuals are supposed to have the right to enter into a marriage contract without permission from the government is so “twisted” to you? do you not understand that we never even had marriage licenses until decades after America was formed? why are you advocating such tyranny over the right of the individual to live freely?

    it never ceases to amaze me how people clamor for their “equal rights” under the law, yet don’t even understand what their rights are.

    have the American masses entirely lost the concept of self ownership? are we OK with the government having jurisdiction over such private matters as relationships?

    i’m just not following your “un-twisted” logic… but i’m trying to understand where the disconnect resides! 8-)

  44. Frosty:

    sure, oppression comes in various forms. when i emphasized “REAL oppression”, i was trying to contrast between the drastic differences of whatever oppression homosexuals might feel by others, vs. the oppression by the State resulting in imprisonment of people who are merely exercising their unalienable rights.

    i see a very drastic difference here, so much that i decided to criticize Council for showing such partiality in standing up for the homosexual community in AVL that is supposedly so very oppressed, while the local law enforcement continues to focus on jailing the marijuana community in AVL which is certainly a larger % per capita than the homosexual community. (it wasn’t me who brought up population as a point by which to pass such a resolution, but Council… i was just drawing a parallel and exemplifying serious oppression.)

    but again, i already apologized for my failure to make that crystal clear and have addressed many other points which have not been fully addressed by those who disagree.

  45. Bill:

    i’m sorry, i thought i was answering you clearly when i said that ANY/ALL contracts (including marriage) are legally binding agreements. in fact, a verbal contract is also legally binding.

    however, this doesn’t mean that any individuals entering into ANY contract (including marriage) must first obtain a permit or license in order to do so.

    the State has no authority — other than that it has usurped from the people — over contracts between individuals, UNLESS those individuals have a dispute they cannot settle outside of the courts, and then they give the State the authority to rule in such a matter.

    is this not common knowledge? otherwise, why not just have the government assign permits and licenses for EVERY contract between individuals, and resign ourselves to be nothing more than slaves of the State, having no self ownership whatsoever?

    perhaps consider giving this a view and get back with me?

    The Philosophy of Liberty
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muHg86Mys7I

  46. bill smith

    [i]however, this doesn’t mean that any individuals entering into ANY contract (including marriage) must first obtain a permit or license in order to do so…[/i]

    I see, so you AREN’T aware that here in reality the government does issue marriage permits since a marriage clearly has legal ramifications with government.

    [i]otherwise, why not just have the government assign permits and licenses for EVERY contract between individuals, and resign ourselves to be nothing more than slaves of the State, having no self ownership whatsoever?[/i]

    I see.

    You know, the government issues marriage licenses for legal purposes. You can get a non legally-binding ceremony with a tree if you want, but you will have to go through the government if you want the government to recognize your marriage for all the obvious tax purposes (and i don’t think they’ll recognize the tree, fwiw).

    I fail to see how this implies the desperately slippery slope you imply, and think that perhaps you live too far ion theoretical land to have a cogent argument in reality.

    The government issues marriage licenses. How you can deny this is beyond me.

  47. bill smith

    Oh, and I reviewed your ‘liberty’ video, and fail to see how it relates to the issue of marriages whatsoever, unless your implication is that marriage in and of itself is the antithesis of liberty, in which case, as a married man, I’d agree with you.

    Then again, I also got my marriage approved by the big bad government, so i am clearly just a slave. I could have just stuck with the 366 day hand-fasting we first did, but it didnt work out so well when we did our joint taxes/ Oh, right, taxes are illegal too, right?

  48. “NOT granted by any human individual or government, but by our Creator (whatever one understand “Creator” to mean)”

    Now let me see if I have this right. Some unknown creator granted us some unalien rights that the church claimed control of and we then gave them up in slave like fashion to the state and in the process stole them from the rightful authority of the church who is standing in for the unknown creator the TRUE dispenser of the unalien rights.

    Is that your basic train of thought?

    Might I suggest you watch a little of the history channel to see how human civilization and the individual’s relationship to power and authority has worked for the last several millennium.

  49. WitchDoctor

    Bill- I think that BBC was trying to get at this: Is there another situation where the government requires individuals to buy a licence before they enter into a contract?

    I’m pretty sure that he wasn’t claiming that the government doesn’t issue marriage licences.

  50. And ya know, people can call themselves married and live together without buying a permit. The official stamp of approval grants EXTRA benefits and rights. (Sorry for the caps, but no italics here.) If one doesn’t want to avail oneself of a partner’s Social Security, or protect one’s children by making them qualifies for the partner’s SS, then one really doesn’t need the state’s imprimatur at all.

  51. Betty Cloer Wallace

    “Might I suggest you watch a little of the history channel to see how human civilization and the individual’s relationship to power and authority has worked for the last several millennium.”

    Here is a visual depiction that illustrates the historical evolution of religionist and governmental interpretation of these matters, as well as other trains of thought.

    http://vimeo.com/18998570

  52. Bill: “unless your implication is that marriage in and of itself is the antithesis of liberty, in which case, as a married man, I’d agree with you.”

    bbc: LOL! that’s a good one! 8-) but no, of course i’m not implying in the least that marriage is the antithesis of liberty.

    rather, i’m underlining that government intervention and/or intrusion into the private lives and unalienable rights of individuals is the antithesis of liberty.

    any time We the People give up our rights to the government, we are giving away our civil liberties — which is what people cry about when they draw up such silly affirmations such as the one presented by Council.

    in doing so, we give jurisdiction to the government over our personhood, thereby voluntarily dispensing with self-ownership. the “Philosophy of Liberty” video i shared explains the principle of self-ownership, which is paramount to understanding liberty itself.

    i am saddened that so many people apparently do not even understand the basic fundamental principle of liberty.

    i am also saddened that after highlighting the fact that once upon a time in America marriage was a right, then over time that right was usurped by government, and when one points out that truth, people still think that’s quite alright.

    Bill: “Oh, right, taxes are illegal too, right?”

    bbc: taxes in and of themselves are not illegal. however, the Income Tax which was originally supposed to be only a capital gains tax (a tax on the rich), was warped into including a “wage tax” which is a tax upon everyone’s wages — the fruit of one’s work — is MOST DEFINITELY illegal and immoral.

    any country which imposes any kind of “wage tax” denies the right to privacy of the individual, thus, forces its “subjects” into slavery.

    this relates to our discussion about marriage because it is illegal for the government to make laws respecting an establishment of religion: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

    by allowing the government to dictate differing tax structures for married vs. single individuals is a violation of the First Amendment.

    there is no Constitutional provision which gives any branch of Federal Government the power to show such partiality.

    the more one looks into the facts regarding how the government has violated its Constitutional limits, the more one discovers how illegal this current government really is.

  53. Chris C NC: perhaps you have never read this section of the Declaration of Independence:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

    Thomas Jefferson, who penned this wonderful document, was very wise in the choosing of his words. he chose “Creator” to account for all individuals: those who believe in intelligent design, and those who do not.

    you see, the important point being made here is that our unalienable (not unalien) liberties are not derived from a human being or a group/government of human beings.

    unalienable/inalienable = unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor

    an unalienable right is a “natural right”, which is much different than a “legal right”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_and_legal_rights

    legal rights are those granted to individuals by legal entities, like government. natural rights are those which are granted to individuals by their Creator (which could mean an intelligent or divine being, OR nature’s cosmic/primordial soup) — either way, we are ALL created beings. if anyone thinks they can argue against that, please first call up your mom and dad and tell them you don’t believe they created you! 8-)

    so it seems you, Chris, might benefit from watching the History Channel to discover more about the origin of libertarian philosophy upon which our legal system of LIMITED & ACCOUNTABLE government was based.

  54. Betty Cloer Wallace

    “…the origin of libertarian philosophy upon which our legal system of LIMITED & ACCOUNTABLE government was based.”

    ……upon which our legal system was based for some people, specifically white land-owning adult people of European lineage, but not for women, children, slaves, indentured servants, non-land-owing white men, other animals, etc.

  55. ironically, in last night’s (2/25) “Freedom Watch” with Judge Napolitano, Mike Huckabee was on and the Judge corrected Huckabee in saying EXACTLY the same thing i have been saying:

    that the government has no business or jurisdiction whatsoever in ANY contract between individuals for that matter:

    the Judge begins the Huckabee interview @ 7:40 –
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7NNKJ2iXgE&feature=player_embedded

    the Judge then sums up the truth of the matter @ 5:40 –
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVGV0BYoKgk&feature=player_embedded#at=374

    … and no, before anyone posts something foolish, i’m not a regular FOX nor MSNBC viewer. IMO, the Judge is the only media personality that cuts through all the BS on mainstream media and gets to the truth of a given matter.

  56. Betty: “upon which our legal system was based for SOME people”

    bbc: no, not for SOME people. just because people have screwed up royally and allowed government to step outside of its limitations, doesn’t negate the truth of the matter.

    it just means We the People have voluntarily given up our unalienable rights and our power OVER government, just as so many here are happy to continue giving government power over our unalienable right to enter into contracts (including marriage) without government interference.

    yes, slavery (woman’s suffrage, and other evils) continued for quite a while after the founding of America. the Civil War was the result of allowing slavery to continue, which ultimately resulted in the creation of the Federal Government and ended State and Individual sovereignty.

    but is that a reason to just concede all our rights over to the tyrannical government? i think not!

  57. mcates

    Betty,

    The founders new exactly what they were writing. They discussed the very issues you described.

    And they put in place the very legal documents that would eventually allow for equality.

    Adams and his wife argued over this very issue. Basically, Adams told her if they did so at this time the country couldn’t handle it. He thought it would open up the country to rebellion.

  58. Betty Cloer Wallace

    The founding fathers were ultimately trying to protect their lucrative investments in patriarchal power, status, and millions of acres of land they had already surveyed and claimed prior to any discussions of revolution.

    Their discussions about equality for all people were couched in how to prevent it, not ensure it. They did not desire any sort of equality, liberty, or equal status for any people they considered “fractional” humans or even non-humans: women, children, slaves, indentured servants, non-land-owing white men, Indians, etc.

    Yes, fortunately, they did successfully prevent the formation of an American monarchy modeled on European monarchs as head of both church and state—but that was a result of so many religious factions fighting each other since the early 1600s, not for any altruistic notion of (gasp!) equality for all people. They simply could not risk any such domestic/internal upheaval that might derail their eventual declaration of independence from Britain and their founding of a new republic to protect their own self-interests.

    And so, after all this time, we’re still arguing about the deeply intertwined and divisive notions of equality for all people and separation of church and state.

  59. bill smith

    [i]rather, i’m underlining that government intervention and/or intrusion into the private lives and unalienable rights of individuals is the antithesis of liberty.[/i]

    Right,but as I’ve pointed out several times, you can go marry a tree if you want, with not government oversight.

    It’s only when you want to BENEFIT from this arrangement in terms of taxes, etc that you do it in the eyes of the state.

  60. mcates

    One can only wonder how Jefferson was protecting investments when wrote the Virginia law of 1778 prohibiting the importation of enslaved Africans.

    Or when he proposed banning slavery in the new territories of the Northwest.

    And when he freed his slaves at death.

    Benjamin Franklin said separation from Britain was necessary since every attempt among the Colonies to end slavery had been thwarted or reversed by the British Crown.

    After America separated from England, the founders who had owned slaves released them (e.g., John Dickinson, Ceasar Rodney, William Livingston, George Washington, George Wythe, John Randolph, and others).

    In 1774, Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush founded America’s first antislavery society; John Jay was president of a similar society in New York.

    Other foudners who were members of societies for ending slavery included Richard Bassett, James Madison, James Monroe, Bushrod Washington, Charles Carroll, William Few, John Marshall, Richard Stockton, and Zephaniah Swift.

    Because of these Founders, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts abolished slavery in 1780; Connecticut and Rhode Island in 1784; New Hampshire in 1792; Vermont in 1793; New York in 1799; and New Jersey in 1804.

    Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa all prohibited slavery due to a federal act authored by Rufus King (signer of the Constitution) and signed into law by President George Washington.

    I chose to look at the actions of the founders and public and privite writings to interpret their perspecitve and intention. They weren’t perfect, but they did create something unique in the history of the world.

  61. Betty Cloer Wallace

    The French and Indian War and the American Revolution were not about slavery, nor was slavery a primary concern of our founding fathers.

    Control of resources on the North American continent was the issue. Religious conflict, Indian genocide, slavery, and treatment of people considered “fractional” or “non-human” were merely secondary and politically expedient means to an end.

    The sole purpose of Britain in colonizing North America was to extend the British empire, since England needed our virgin forests for shipbuilding after they had decimated their own forests, and they needed slavery in most of their colonies worldwide to produce agricultural products. Additionally, they needed our deerskins for their factories.

    Slave trade was in its heyday throughout most of the British colonies prior to and long after the American Revolution, and our founding fathers had little to no impact on it.

    Most of our freedoms actually came through subsequent amendments to the founding fathers’ documents and through hard fought civil rights movements more than two centuries later—one of which is exemplified by the topic of this thread, equal rights for LGBTQ persons.

    ”And when he (Thomas Jefferson) freed his slaves at death.”

    At death? Wouldn’t that be a clue, if it were true? Actually, at his death, Jefferson freed only the children of Sally Hemings, but not Sally herself nor any other of his numerous slaves, and to the end of his life he refused to acknowledge his own children by Sally Hemings. He lived as an aristocrat but died deeply in debt.

    As for George Washington’s wealth, the American-born Washington also lived like a European aristocrat. He amassed hundreds of thousands of acres of farms and forests in addition to Mount Vernon, tended by slaves he had inherited, bought, and acquired through marriage into the wealthy Custis family.

    Here’s an excellent realistic and comprehensive PBS documentary series produced in 2006 that dispels many of the saccharine school-textbook myths about our founding fathers while still honoring their contributions and importance: The War That Made America. It’s about four hours long and worth your investment in both time and cost.

  62. mcates

    I understand your points, but if control of the resources was the driving issue, then why not allow slavery in the new territories?

    Do you have any thoughts to Jefferson’s legistlation or the founders who started or joinded anti-slavery groups?

    No, he didn’t free all his slaves on his death like washington. Freeing slaves was quite expensive and as you acknowledged he was in debt. In 1806 there was a bill that would attest to the exemplary behavior of each slave to be freed. If freed, the slave had to leave the state without his or her family.

    Jefferson tried to get this law changed.

    In 1808, as President, he signed into law a bill banning the slave trade with Africa.

    And what did Washington do with his slaves at his death? How many did he free?

    I am not making the argument that there was not financial motivation in holding slaves, but to say that is the only reason we would have to discount a great deal of information about their actions.

  63. Betty Cloer Wallace

    And furthermore, albeit it a bit off-topic for this thread, here are numerous articles about Texas dropping Thomas Jefferson from their history curriculum and textbooks last year:

    http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz;=&q=texas+schoolbook+jefferson&aq=f&aqi;=&aql;=&oq;=

    This incredibly sad and disturbing controversy is only the latest event in a long history of censorship showing how school boards are influenced by politics and how history is rewritten—and since Texas is the second largest buyer of school textbooks (after California), all the major history textbooks used nationwide, including North Carolina’s, will also be minus Jefferson.

  64. Betty Cloer Wallace

    The short answer is that our founding fathers did not practice what they preached if it interfered with their social, cultural, or economic wherewithal—much the same as what we call NIMBY today.

    Land acquisition was their major economic focus for the new republic and for themselves—the economic foundation upon which they could live as social and cultural aristocrats in the European mode but without a monarchy—and fractionalizing and dehumanizing anyone other than themselves (white landowning males of European lineage) was simply a politically expedient means toward their goal of land acquisition and control of commerce.

    Their contrived “policy” of manifest destiny, for example, was their excuse for Indian extermination and/or Indian removal so they could take their land. After all, they declared, the Indians were savages and had no souls, but could be “trained” as farmers out west somewhere.

    Civil rights and human rights at the time were non-existent for anyone other than themselves.

    Literacy and education were, in their opinion, only for….. guess who?

    Google their names combined with terms such as land acquisition, manifest destiny, Indian removal, colonial social class system, women’s rights, slavery, and servitude, and you’ll find tons of good reading.

  65. Chris C NC: “That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Perhaps you just glossed over this part.”
    ———
    bbc: nope, i didn’t miss it. but apparently the Federal Government has missed it, along with many here posting their comments.

    there is absolutely no powers granted to the Federal Gov’t by the People with regards to marriage.

  66. Bill Smith: “Right,but as I’ve pointed out several times, you can go marry a tree if you want, with not government oversight. It’s only when you want to BENEFIT from this arrangement in terms of taxes, etc that you do it in the eyes of the state.”
    ———
    bbc: YUP! and such benefits from the State for such private arrangements is immoral and UN-Constitutional. thank you for underlining this fact.

    again, the gov’t should get out of areas in which it has no authority or business being in.

  67. oh, also — but i’ve probably already said this — by creating benefits for some and not for everyone is an example of the State showing partiality to certain people, which of course is illegal as well.

  68. much of Betty’s recent posts are SO off topic, but i must comment in brief:

    the battle between liberty & tyranny has raged throughout human history. no culture produces perfect humans because no humans are perfect. likewise for the American founders.

    what Betty and so many others who banter against the principles documented in our American documents fail to realize, is that even in their imperfection, these documents paved the way for freeing the slaves.

    for example, under British rule, slaves were not to be thought of a “person” at all. upon the founding of America, slaves were thought to be considered 2/3 of a “person” — although this wasn’t perfect, it was a major improvement over the former situation.

    regardless, since then, ALL Americans have become slaves to the centralized UNLIMITED and UNACCOUNTABLE Federal Gov’t, and its “States”. the intrusion of the State into the private area of marriage over the course of 200 years is but one example of this.

    if we follow the philosophy of Betty, we would continue throwing away our liberties, throwing the baby out with the bath water, just because of all the various mistakes the American founders — and every single administration since — has made.

    sounds very unwise to me.

    a better plan is to continue fighting for liberty, thus removing government from any equation where it violates the unalienable rights of the individual — ANY individual, without partiality.

  69. Betty Cloer Wallace

    InfinityBBC, whoever you are, my responses were to another poster who asked specific questions of me, with both questions and answers being quite on-topic.

    I expressed no “philosophy” of my own; nor did I “banter” against anyone’s principles; nor did I “throw away” anyone’s liberties; nor did I “throw out” any babies out with any bath water; nor do I care if you deem my statements “unwise.”

    So, please do not continue to misrepresent my contributions herein as a fall-guy for your personal marriage/contract beliefs.

    Trying to use slavery as a hyperbolic point-man or straw-man in a discussion of liberty and equality and justice in 2011 is a major disservice to the many categories of humans who are still disenfranchised to varying degrees and who, after all this time, have still not fully achieved equality or justice or liberty–or even opportunity–which is what this thread is all about.

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