North Carolina, Kansas or Arizona: Which state is taking more rights away?

North Carolina voters passed a same-sex marriage ban this week.

It’s easy to be caught up in the drama of national politics: The name-calling, the horse-racing, the gaffe-spewing. But this is a distraction. On a federal level, government is so hidebound and slow that it doesn’t make sense to worry about it; nothing is going to get done there, ever. What you really need to worry about is politics at the state level, where a relative handful of people can pass far-sweeping changes without anyone really noticing until afterward.

In recent weeks we’ve seen a rush of horrible state laws and amendments in Arizona, Kansas and North Carolina. Which are the worst? Let’s run down this cornucopia of misguided ideas and see.

Arizona

Old terrible laws: Turning police into immigration officials with the “Show me your papers” law; banning any ethnic studies classes that might make white people uncomfortable; banning teachers with accents from teaching English; suspending teachers for swearing or having sex in their personal lives [proposed].

New terrible law: A bill proposed in the Arizona legislature would change the definition of “pregnancy” to start on the first day of a woman’s last period, which would mean that women would be deemed pregnant weeks before they actually conceived a child. Essentially, in Arizona lawmakers’ eyes, all women are pregnant until they are officially proven otherwise.

Kansas


Old terrible laws:
Banning the use of mules to hunt ducks; stirring up anti-Muslim sentiment by banning an imaginary effort to implement sharia law.

New terrible law: Whatever your feelings on abortion, you’d probably agree that politicians should not require doctors lie to their patients. But a new law in Kansas would do just that, requiring doctors to warn women that abortion causes breast cancer. To put it plainly, this has not been proven. As the American Cancer Society says, “scientific research studies have not found a cause-and-effect relationship between abortion and breast cancer.” But why should doctors have to limit themselves to facts when they’re talking to women?

North Carolina

Old terrible laws: Banning bingo games that last over five hours, unless they take place at a fair; banning alcohol at bingo games.

New terrible law: Voters in North Carolina yesterday overwhelmingly voted to amend the state’s constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman, essentially writing gays’ second-class citizenship into the very fabric of the state. The amendment also bans unmarried couples — gay and straight — from civil unions and domestic partnerships. “Separate but equal? No thanks, that’s too radical for us,” said every person in North Carolina.

The lesson is clear: If you are gay, Hispanic or a woman — for God’s sake, stay in the Northeast! (And, as one of our readers points out, even here it’s not so great.)



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Local

Sharpton adapts adversarial style to de Blasio's New…

It was not the first time the Reverend Al Sharpton made his way to City Hall in a fiery mood to scold a mayor about New York City police officers…

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…