Kara Haney, left, and her partner of 8 years Kate Wertin, right, embrace in the Lobby Bar in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood as the Washington State Senate passes a bill that would legalize gay marriage in Washington State on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. Dozens gathered at the bar to watch the debate via TV on the senate floor. (Photo by Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)
America took several steps forward yesterday. Headline-grabbing national races aside, it felt like the biggest move among the electorate was not contained within any one party. Instead it seemed as though the good political grain of expanded liberties had triumphed against the chaff of party politics. The best gains were made for expand the institution of marriage in several states. At HonestNC, we had envisioned North Carolina as the point of inflection on gay marriage in the United States, a tide turning back a century of ignorance and repression on the subject. Continue reading →
This was supposed to be such a time of legitimacy for the religion of Mormonism, predicted years earlier by academics such as Harold Bloom in 1992 in The American Religion and later on in the New York Times. But little could we have imagined the subtle way the religion of Joseph Smith was to worm its way into our collective national conscience. After Bloom, critics imagined Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, two supremely intelligent, intellectual and well-meaning men finally staging a national election of which we, as a nation, could be proud.
The reality of the 2012 election season has been much less kind, watching both candidates dumb down and shift their message to please whatever portion of the voting electorate they were focused on converting. Of particular disgust so far has been the way Romney’s religion, maligned by both our government in the 19th century, and Christianity later on, has not become part of our knowing of Mitt Romney. Continue reading →
A referendum is being held in the state of Washington this coming election to decide if gay marriage will be allowed in the state. The bill was signed into law on February 13th, 2012, but is now being put to referendum to allow the public a say on the matter. Luckily, Amendment One was not the only governmental legislation dealing with the rights of gay people.
Several musicians include Ben Gibbard, Tegan and Sara and Macklemore are working together to form Music for Marriage Equality, a group that uses music to encourage voters to support equality. North Carolina’s referendum on gay marriage was held in a place of deep conservatism and old theology. Washington will likely speak with more of a progressive choice. Check out a video produced for the cause by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis “Same Love.”
For many North Carolinians, yesterday wasn’t easy. Despite nearly universal polling numbers that indicated widespread support for an amendment so hauntingly discriminatory and filled with exclusion, many people in this state thought they would wake up on Wednesday morning with their fellow citizens having made the right decision to extend love and care to the disenfranchised. The reality was not as kind. Continue reading →
Raleigh's first African-American mayor: Clarence Lightner
There was a small brouhaha in Raleigh this week when Bruce Lightner penned a note asking the city to not name it’s new courthouse after former N.C. senator Jesse Helms. This letter, coming from the son of Raleigh’s first African-American mayor, was rebuffed by the conservative voices on the Wake County Board of Commissioners, several of whom are seeking higher office. Continue reading →
Luckily, I am not the only one speaking out against the dangers and difficulty of the death penalty. It doesn’t take much investigation into the stories of Alan Gell or other innocent people wrongly sentenced to death or the multiple abuses by the State Bureau of Investigation to know that this is a kind of punishment which we are now moving beyond.
Besides creating an appeal system that costs more than any kind of incarceration, and its lack as a deterrent to crime, the death penalty is bad policy because it teaches us that taking life solves a problem of crime, that extinguishing a life mediates the horror of the first offense. This leads to a severe downward spiral, Continue reading →
Last week featured the release of an Elon University poll, which suggests that attitudes are changing about constitutional discrimination in the state of North Carolina. A wise political observer should never trust too much in the polls, a capricious and shallow understanding of the way political change moves forward, but they can be helpful to gauge the mindset of the populace, which is occasionally as wayward as the winds.
To make sure Amendment One does not pass into our state’s founding documents, it is important for us to keep in mind that North Carolina is a deeply conservative state with the old-fashioned rules of morality and religion very much in play. These are the social mores with which we are provided.
However, in order to defeat this amendment, it isn’t necessary for us to convince these people that civil rights must be openly extended to all. Obviously, that remains an aim, but the more important realization is that it’s better to drive the vote to the ballot, and ensure that the people with a clear conscience make their voice heard on May 8th. This is 2012, a time of truly engaged citizens imbued with the notion of inalienable rights. To be successful, all that must happen is reminding them of this when they go to vote.