For the benefit of Mr. and Mr. Kite

As the national same-sex marriage debate hold the floor of the Supreme Court, Buncombe County had its own microcosmic pivotal moment over the question of domestic partner benefits — for same-sex (and opposite-sex) couples. In Jake Frankel’s March 27 story, “Equality or Sacrilege,” he reports, “After a tense March 19 public hearing, the Buncombe County commissioners narrowly approved extending benefits to both same- and opposite-sex domestic partners of county employees.”

The meeting’s public forum was similarly split. “During that hearing, more than 35 members of the public weighed in with their thoughts; about half of the speakers were for the measure and about half of them were against it,” Frankel writes. Our polls on Facebook and Mountainx.com tell a story of near-unanimous support among respondents and participants. This week’s Letters to the Editor section is replete with responses to a March 27 letter from a local pastor opposed to same-sex partner benefits (and same-sex anything). Join the conversation at mountainx.com. — Jaye Bartell

Via Mountainx.com

Interesting — as a question (if I knew the answer, I wouldn't ask): Do "domestic partners" have a legalized contractual agreement between them which is recognized by the state and used as the basis for allocating the benefits at issue? If so, fine; if not, then how can the county legitimately extend these benefits? Any lawyers out there who can address this? — Imehaffey

lmehaffey, their doesn't have to be a state recognized contract in order for the county to provide these benefits. This has nothing to do with marriage. This is strictly about health benefits, the county can allow the employees whatever with their benefits to my knowledge if that's how the board votes. If the employees are able to prove and maintain the requirements set forth by the commission they will be able to give their partners insurance. So yes, the county can legitimately do this for their employees. — Gilbert

There is not a hint of equality in the Christian tradition, so why is the Mountain Xpress framing this as an opposition? Every aspect of equality in any form is a "sacrilege" from the point of view of the church. That good, upstanding citizens are still willing to stand up and demand we live by the rules set out in a third century interpretation of ancient Middle Eastern orthodoxy should be an occasion for public outrage.

And for an alleged news organization to go out of its way to give these sad social outliers a public voice so they can perpetuate their sick views should be a cause for public consternation. — Ascend (of Asheville)
3 days ago

Ascend, we report as accurately as we can what was said and what actions were taken at local government meetings. To exclude a significant portion of the public remarks would go against this journalistic imperative. Further, two key aspects of our mission call for including and respecting divergent views:  We treat our readers as participants in an ongoing civic dialogue; We honor diversity. — Margaret Williams Co-Managing Editor, News, Mountain Xpress

Via Facebook

I mean, we are all equal under the Constitution as Citizens? Correct? Are we not entitle to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? — William Pattison

Marriage equality = civil rights. It's not about religion, it's about rights. — Dee Dee Allan

Equality! Love is love no matter what the genders are! — Nicole Parente

Legislating faith and religion is sacrilege! — Candi Barbagallo Davis

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