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By Donnabeth Leffler

Good Use of our Money?

By Donnabeth Leffler Posted September 30, 2011 at 6:24 pm

     I am a bit confused about something and I’m going to share my perplexity with you.  
 
     Let’s just say there’s already a law against something.  Let’s also say money is tight.  Schools need money, social programs need money (because more people need social programs)… I think we can all agree there’s just not enough money to go around these days.  
 
     Can we also agree that special legislative sessions cost money?  I’ve read it’s about $50,000/day.  I don’t know how much it costs to put a constitutional amendment before voters but it probably isn’t $0.  
 
     So, therein lies my confusion: North Carolina already bans same-sex marriage so why spend money we clearly don’t have to put that ban in the constitution?  I don’t understand how it could be made more illegal than it currently is.  Is doubling-down on this “illegality” worth more than aid to Hurricane Irene’s coastal victims?  Is it worth more than limiting which 4-year olds get more education?  Is it worth more than treatment for victims of domestic abuse or the mentally ill?  Some people clearly think so.  
 
     Well, like it or not the money has been/is being spent and we will all get to decide in May.   
 
     I have my personal, moral, humanistic code on this question but I write today as a Savvy Spender and so I have to wonder which fiscal conservatives think this is money well spent?  Which proponents of small(er) government are backing this enlarging of an already existing law?
 
     May I tell you what else I don’t understand?  In a state that has come a long way from a discriminatory past, why don’t our legislators learn from our own history?  There are plenty of people who say it’s a moral issue and, if that’s true for you, that’s your code. But why legislate everyone’s code?   It’s a religious issue for you?  Ok, I respect your faith but didn’t the nation’s founders call for a separation of church and state as they fled religious oppression?  
 
     There’s just so much I don’t understand.  Here’s another bit:  There’s a whole bunch of people who hate us just for being Americans.  I am an American and I wouldn’t want to be anything else.  I can’t imagine why that’s deserving of hatred and violence.  Suppose the folks behind al-Qaida formed a government and voted that to discriminate against Americans is okay?  While that’s less offensive than killing thousands of us and plotting to kill more, I believe its members would say its part of their moral code.  Isn’t there enough hate in the world that we don’t need more of it?  
 
As I am truly puzzled by this plan, I would appreciate hearing from someone with a different point of view.  Please leave a comment below or write to me at donnabeth@chapelboro.com It’s an emotionally charged issue so I ask that all notes and comments be courteous.  Disagree and I’m happy to read it but any vitriol will be disregarded.  
 
     A final and unrelated note:  Last week I wrote about University Mall’s programming and I didn’t touch on specific retailers.  Well, here’s a postscript to that column:  I attended Chapel Hill 2020 this past week and the topic of shopping came up among my small breakout group.  I want to share that there was a rousing cheer for Roses.  That kind of emotional response to a store or a brand is something big corporations pay a lot of money to engender.  What do you think other businesses can learn from this?  
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