Who would have ever thought Democratic North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue, Democratic Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx and former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, a Republican, would have anything in common? Unfortunately, when it comes to the pending anti-LGBT constitutional amendment, the three Tar Heel politicians are more similar than different.

McCrory, who is unofficially running against Perdue for next year’s gubernatorial election visited Salisbury on Tuesday and spoke with The Salisbury Post. He had plenty of criticism for Perdue, for sure. He also chimed in on the proposed anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment that would ban recognition of marriages, civil unions and domestic partnerships for same-sex and some opposite-sex couples.

From reporter Karissa Minn:

McCrory said he plans to vote for the amendment and understands that a majority of state residents might turn out to disagree with him.

“I think it’s perfectly viable to put to voters an important issue that won’t go away on either the left or the right,” he said. “The voters will have their way on the issue.”

No one should be surprised that McCrory will vote for the amendment. In his 14 years as the Queen City’s mayor, McCrory stood firmly opposed to most, if not all, efforts to extend equal protections to LGBT city workers and citizens. Of more importance, however, is McCrory’s apparent caution when addressing the potential outcome of the amendment vote.

McCrory questions the potential for the amendment to pass, acknowledging that voters could reject it. Such a notion flies in the face of almost every word uttered by the state’s Republican legislative caucus. Why does he feel the need to cast himself as a moderate? The answer is simple: To stand in full favor of the amendment means siding with some of the state’s most ardent and radical anti-gay extremists and hate groups. McCrory isn’t LGBT-friendly, but I doubt he’s a true bigot.

For McCrory, waffling and moderation is necessary, but caution has also been the needless tactic of choice for both Perdue and Foxx. Though Perdue has said she’ll vote against the amendment, she’s also said she supports “traditional marriage.” Foxx, on the other hand, has just called the amendment distraction.

The reasons for Perdue’s and Foxx’s caution aren’t so clear. Both have voiced support for LGBT-inclusive measures in the past. Perdue has signed LGBT-inclusive legislation. The only answer to Perdue’s and Foxx’s cautionary behavior is political expediency and the perceived, though misguided, damage they think a pro-LGBT position could do to their reelection campaigns, despite all evidence rejecting the notion that candidates and elected officials lose support at the polls based solely on their pro-equality positions.

Perdue and Foxx need to end their sly and cowardly politics-speak. The amendment isn’t about insider Raleigh politics or jobs or the economy. It is, without a shred of doubt, a hate-filled measure that will enshrine discrimination and hatred toward LGBT people into our state’s constitution. That’s the motivation. That’s the intended outcome. And, anti-gay extremists will win if citizens, public officials and advocates are too cowardly to call out the truth.

Perdue’s and Foxx’s silent treatment toward the anti-gay hatred and bigotry that has underpinned support for this amendment is no different than actively voicing the same bigotry themselves. One cannot realistically waffle on issues of equality: North Carolinians are either equal or they are not. There’s no in-between.

Unlike McCrory, Perdue and Foxx have no need to fear taking a solid position on this issue. They don’t have to side with hate; they can simply side with honesty and every single, time-tested American ideal and principle ever conceived. How is that so difficult? Why in the world are Perdue and Foxx in bed with the likes of McCrory?

It’s time for Perdue and Foxx to come out of the closet and speak honestly about this draconian measure. Any less betrays every sense of justice and Perdue’s and Foxx’s service to this great state.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.

2 replies on “The waffling threesome: Perdue, Foxx and McCrory”

  1. bigotry on the ballot. and even democrats do not care. pathetic. NC is still the bible belt and although the bible is not the state constitution it might as well be. during the civil war preachers used the bible to justify slavery . but now our black citizens will be one the largest groups voting for discrimination because of their religious beliefs and the sermons from their pulpits. when a democratic govenor will not stand for justice and equality, where does the LBGT community turn for reason? unless there is a miracle, the constitution will be altered. welcome to NC!

  2. I agree that as odious as it may be…there is a rationale for McCory’s slight hedging of his bet.

    Foxx’s dance is cowardly, recent local elections have shown that candidates have not been punished at the polls for being LGBT supportive. Unfortunately the phantom fear and political homophobia is still strong.

    Perdue is loathe to be perceived as too progressive. The NC Dem Party seems to be split between a small but growing progressive wing and the traditional moderate to conservative side represented by Perdue.

    The Gov may have signed LGBT inclusive legislation but it was done quietly. And it will be deafening silence and no public support in the fight against Amendment One from her.

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