North Carolina’s Amendment One, Same-Sex Marriage, & Me

Some may be familiar with North Carolina’s Amendment One to the state constitution, which is stated to explicitly state that same-sex marriages are to be illegal in the state of NC. I don’t claim to know everything about everything, but as I understand it; same sex marriages already WERE illegal in NC. Now I have been accused of being a great many things; all-around jerk, dangerously ‘heterocentric’, and a few thousand other things that I cannot recall to type into this paragraph. One thing I am not, however, is a bigot, willing to allow my own preferences dictate who and who should not be treated fairly. I see no real reason, if we’re respecting the proper separation of church and state, that same-sex marriage, SHOULD be banned or illegal, but apparently “they” prefer to only bother with separation when it is convenient to do so. No need to put moral issues such as this up to a vote.

Not to mention the conversation between my graddaddy with my twin and I when we were (maybe) 10 years old. We were out with him and there were a couple of gentlemen who were, um… ‘together’ and my brother and I started making jokes at their expense… My granddad explained that they had done nothing to us and, in such, were due AT LEAST the respect due to any other human being. He started the lesson (which was surely longer than the above sentence) with “boy…” which meant that he was not pleased with our behavior. Needless to say, that approach has followed us on into adulthood. Sure, we’re macho men who still get our hands dirty, drive manual transmissioned cars and raise (somewhat) traditional families, but we allow people the personal respect to at least be indifferent to how they live their lives, so long as they play us the same.
Sure, my brain-to-mouth (or keyboard) filter often errs to the ragged edge of couth or politically correct or even mature sometimes, but dammit my intentions are usually good.

Anyway, looking deeper into the amendment, it not only carries the redundant banning of something that is already illegal, but goes on to remove legal recognition of domestic unions/partnerships. The language I am seeing used in support of the amendment is to “protect the union of marriage from activist judges,” which again is striking up a fight that shouldn’t need to be fought in the first place, but why in the hell are we needing to cut off the lines of benefits/support for (yes, even heterosexual) unmarried couples WITH this? Healthcare benefits, right to make emergency room decisions, childcare, domestic violence protections and more stand to be lost on people if this amendment is passed.
I actually got into it with a friend-since-12 on Friday over this one. He is a son of my churches former pastor, and is now a pastor himself and he went into this one with blinders fully on. When called on it, he never changed direction or even addressed any other issue than the gay marriage thing. I wound up leaving the conversation.

With the vote coming up on May 8th and knowing that I would be at work, and not wanting to take a 10 month-old out to the polls, my mom and I went to early voting on Saturday morning. She tagged along not because she wanted to vote or particularly even understood the measure, but when I mentioned Friday’s discussion with my friend (whom she knows as well) on the way home from work, she started with “yeah, I’d been meaning to ask you about that” and I explained the measure and what it attempted to accomplish on its surface, what it would mean to people around us, and what it would ACTUALLY accomplish in the name of claiming something that already exists anyway. Her response? “well, that’s fucking wretched! What time are you going to vote tomorrow?”

To be totally honest, I gave about a damn about ANYTHING else on my state’s primary ballots this year, and I do not even feel bad about that. With an incumbent president for whom I already planned to vote, I had no real plans to even VOTE in the primaries. I make no qualms that I randomly pushed buttons matching names I saw in my neighborhood on the way to the polling station only 2 miles away until I saw the “AGAINST” on amendment one; and as a black Christian male, I proudly voted against it. I was very much, in spirit and intentions, with the Triad People of Faith on this one, to the point where if anyone had offered to put one of their signs in my yard, I would have gladly and graciously supported it. Perhaps giving more clarity to my “Jesus was a Liberal” post from before, there is literally ZERO amount of out-of-context scripture that I would then or will from now allow me to vote for anything as damaging to families as NC’s Amendment One would be.
In the end, bigotry and zeal won out and an amendment that will conspire to screw a lot of people after people voted with their preacherman and his cronies instead of their informed consciences, but I know how I voted and I am vocally proud to say it.