It’s good to see that the county government in Charlotte, my old hometown, is considering giving spousal benefits to same sex couples. Pam’s House Blend out of Durham has a great round up of the ins and outs.
Naturally, wingnuts are threatening recrimination at election time for Mecklenburg County Commissioners who support the move, but some of us remember that when GOP commissioners tried to de-fund an arts agency for putting up a few bucks for a professional theatre production of “Angels in America” they were the ones who were turned out by voters.
Charlotte, with a metro population of 2 million – and 4 million residents in a 100 mile radius – is the biggest city, by far, in the Carolinas. It is also the second largest repository of banking resources in the US. Both Bank of America and Wachovia Bank are headquartered there, among dozens of other banking, insurance and other financial institutions. As Pam points out, Charlotte-Mecklenburg was one of a handful (three?) NC’s 100 counties that voted for Kerry in the 2004 presidential elections.
The national Dems have long ignored North Carolina’s significance to the party, despite the fact that it is the 10th largest state in population – will likely move ahead of New Jersey in size in the next census (largely because millions of people from Jersey have moved there). NC has had Democratic governors for the past 24 out of 32 years and its legislature is controlled by the Dems. When we start to make inroads in the South, I predict NC will be the first GOP stronghold to fall.
(Btw, Charlotte is called the Queen City because it was named after Queen Charlotte, the wife of mad King George III.)