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The Cultural Divide on Marriage

9:14 AM, May 9, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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The U.S. is divided on gay marriage, as on many issues. But the gulf of the cultural divide on this particular issue is striking.

wedding rings

North Carolina voted better than 3 to 2 yesterday for the constitutional amendment in defense of the traditional definition of marriage. But take a look at the county results. Orange (which includes the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and Durham (Duke) voted 5 to 1 and 5 to 2, respectively, against the amendment. Neighboring counties like Alamance, Person, and Granville were 2 to 1, or more, in favor. So there's a pretty considerable culture gap between adjacent counties in North Carolina. Yet life goes on, in that state as elsewhere, in a reasonably peaceful and civil way, and countless citizens routinely cross the county lines for commercial, social, and other reasons. The Madisonian republic lives.

But I can't resist adding the thought that I'll bet there's more tolerance in Alamance, Person and Granville for those who are proponents of gay marriage than there is at Duke or UNC-Chapel Hill for the opponents.

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