New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Progress, Not Commerce

May 21, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Economy, Jerry Elmer, Politics

Human Rights and Dignity Are Larger than the ‘Jobs Issue’

by Jerry Elmer

On May 7, North Carolina voters, by a margin of over 20 percentage points, approved an amendment to the state’s constitution banning same-gender marriages. In the days leading up to the vote, former President Bill Clinton recorded a robocall to North Carolina voters, urging voters to vote against the proposed constitutional ban. Clinton’s message said, in relevant part, “I’m calling to urge you to vote against Amendment 1 on Tuesday, May 8…. What it will change is North Carolina’s ability to keep good businesses, attract new jobs, and attract and keep talented entrepreneurs. If it passes, your ability to keep those businesses, get those jobs, and get those talented entrepreneurs will be weakened.”

I understand completely why President Clinton framed his argument in terms of jobs. Clinton was trying to think of an argument that would be persuasive, and in today’s economy, economic arguments have weight. Moreover, Clinton’s argument had the added benefit of being factually accurate; states that have enacted marriage equality, such as Vermont and Massachusetts, are benefiting economically from an upswing in marriage tourism. So, Clinton is making a sincere effort to be politically persuasive on a controversial issue — and he is doing so by telling the truth. I get it. (more…)