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
Local

'Five Star': A coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang…

'Five Star' tells a coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang culture at the Tribeca Film Festival.

National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

NYPD detective shoots partner: DA

A New York City Police detective was arrested early Thursday and charged with driving under the influence while on the clock.

Local

Judge strikes down NY limits on donations to…

A federal judge on Thursday reluctantly struck down New York's limits on donations to independent political action committees as unconstitutional, potentially ushering in a new…

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

Movies

'A Brony Tale' documents men who are into…

Ashleigh Ball, a voice actress on "My Little Pony," speaks to us.

Movies

Tribeca: Nikki Reed on going funny for a…

"Intramural" star Nikki Reed talks about being the straight person in a broad comedy, spending time in Austin and how "Thirteen" was a "miracle."

NHL

Rangers unlikely to change lineup, Steve Mason in…

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault wouldn't say much, but don't expect any lineup changes.

NBA

Jason Collins named to Time's 100 Most Influential…

Jason Collins was named to the list after coming out as the first openly gay player to appear in an NBA game.

NBA

Nets excited for Brooklyn fans to bring the…

Kevin Garnett has definitely used profanity while trash talking or in practices, but never to describe an entire borough.

NHL

Rangers turn up shot blocking in Game 3…

Game 3 of the Rangers-Flyers opneing round series was not a return to John Tortorella hockey.

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.