As we embark on a new year, the North Carolina Family Policy Council is excited about the work that needs to be done to continue to make North Carolina a better state for families. We are looking forward to a year full of hard, but fruitful work. As is the case in odd-numbered years, we are preparing for the work that will need doing at the legislature in Raleigh, and taking Ben Stein’s words to heart—“The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.” This issue of Family North Carolina is very much a product of that decision process. We have decided what we want out of the new General Assembly, and we are prepared to do the hard work and heavy lifting to make those priorities a reality. You will find in these pages a discussion of many of the issues we know are important to you and your families, and which deserve attention from our representatives.
This issue’s feature article addresses a topic about which you have likely been hearing more and more—privatization of the state’s Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) system, which owns, operates, and regulates the sale of hard liquor in North Carolina with the goal of limiting the availability and consumption of a product that brings steep social costs, while providing revenue to state and local governments. With the state in one of the worst budget crunches in the nation, the Governor and legislators are considering every option for balancing the budget, including possible privatization of this system, which has been successfully in place since before Prohibition. I know you will learn a tremendous amount from this piece, as our whole office did.
As we look toward the new legislative session, a bill that has often been filed and just as often ignored is one that would offer justice to those unborn children who are killed as result of violent crimes committed against their mothers. Attorney Dorothy Yeung, who serves as the vice president of North Carolina Right to Life, provides a clear and succinct history of this bill and why it is so important that it finally receive a fair hearing in 2011.
My piece looks specifically at the items that the new Republican-controlled legislature has indicated it will tackle during a tough legislative session that must include balancing a difficult state budget situation and redrawing legislative and congressional district lines in light of the 2010 census. Additionally, I highlight some of the issues you can expect us to be working hard to bring to the forefront of debate from a Marriage Protection Amendment to Woman’s Right to Know legislation and a removal of the state’s arbitrary cap on charter schools. Still, my piece can only scratch the service of the very different agenda we anticipate on Jones St. in light of the historic midterm elections of 2010.
Dr. Patrick Fagan offers an important comparison of two competing societies—the monogamous married family and the serial sexuality of polyamory. The degradation of so many elements of society are directly linked to a loss of the benefits brought about through strong monogamous married family structures in exchange for an increasing acceptance of serial unattached sexual encounters.
This magazine has often published pieces on the importance of marriage. Now Alysse ElHage looks at the other end of the spectrum—divorce. She specifically explores the legal status of no-fault divorce and how it has decimated the family and society by introducing and protecting the idea that the quick and easy unilateral dissolution of society’s preeminent social institution—the married family—is good public policy.
Courts in North Carolina and across the country have been busy issuing decisions related to the right of citizens to define marriage in their state constitutions, the military’s recently rejected “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and video gambling. Attorney Jacqueline Schaffer provides a concise and helpful update on the legal frontlines of these and related issues.
Do keep the NCFPC and our staff in your prayers as we embark on this new and exciting year with a vigorous proactive agenda to make our state better. You are on the front lines of many of the same battles we will face at the legislature and we thank you for reading Family North Carolina and supporting our efforts to educated legislators on the issues contained in these pages. As usual, remember to share this issue with your relatives, friends, pastor, or the next waiting room in which you find yourself. We are all in need of more sources of good information.