Join the chorus of those opposing Amendment One. Join the broad spectrum of business, faith, community and political leaders opposing Amendment One. Join the chorus of North Carolinians who have RISEN UP to fight AGAINST Amendment One.
This is a guest article from Chris Brown, a freelance writer from North Carolina now based in Georgia.
I was 13 the day I found out my uncle was gay. He told me at a fast food drive-thru, though in fairness I was too young to fully grasp the concept. I went back home and talked with my mom about it and asked her why he wasn’t married.
“He can’t get married,” she responded.
“Why though,” I asked, “If a man and a woman can get married, why couldn’t two men get married.” I remember the puzzled look on her face as she walked away, dismissing the question but running it thorough her mind.
At that moment, it seemed so simple. I just assumed everyone was equal, there was no difference, though I now know everyone isn’t equal, it still seems just that simple.
The arguments on the other side just make no sense. What about equal protection under the law for all citizens is wrong? Has history taught us nothing?
What the LGBTQ community wants is not to be accepted by institutions that fundamentally disagree with who we are. We want to be treated equally under the law, and accepted as a part of not just the ‘Gay Community’ but the community as a whole. Why that is so objectionable it should be constitutionally banned is heartbreaking and frustrating, enough so to serve as a call to action.
We cannot let this pass. At a time when almost every county in the state is facing massive budget shortfalls, teachers are out of work, people are struggling, state lawmakers are focusing on restricting rights to ensure life remains difficult for so many.
I realize there are religious debates to be had. I realize people don’t understand what being gay is, and likely don’t want to. I’d like to think that most everyone, though, can appreciate the idea that everyone deserves equal treatment under the law. Let’s have a debate on an equal playing field, where everyone feels that even if we agree to disagree we can go away feeling our voices were heard equally.
What’s just as frustrating to me is that Republicans could gain a good amount of momentum by supporting the LGBTQ community. As a voter I’m more than willing to listen to every side of the coin and make an informed decision, however I will not support a candidate who supports an anti-gay agenda. It limits the pool, and yes in some ways makes me a single issue voter, but with bills like this one republicans are missing an opportunity to capitalize on that.
Only one state has successfully blocked such a ban, and two years later voters in Arizona changed their mind. North Carolina voters have a chance to stand up and say we are a state of inclusion, a state that values all of its citizens equally and respectfully.
There are few times in life when you have an opportunity not only to see history in the making, but to be a part of it. This is one of those times. Vote No on banning Same-Sex Marriage, and say yes to equal rights for all.
If you live in North Carolina, register to vote and strike down the discriminatory Anti-Marriage amendment in May 2012.
In response to the proposed amendment banning same-sex marriage, a new coalition has formed. Protect NC Families is serving as a counterpoint to similarly-named anti-gay groups, such as the American Family Association, the Family Research Council and the Family Research Institute. At their website, you can gain information pertaining to the specific language of the bill and some of its logical effects on child custody laws, domestic violence protection, civil unions and the domestic partner benefits offered by local (city) governments.
The section I found particularly useful allows you volunteer to spread the word. It’s important for voters to understand exactly what the language of this amendment entails; how it’s inclusion into the NC Constitution will have immediate and direct effects on the lives of citizens across North Carolina. Remember, same-sex marriage is already disallowed in NC. This amendment will codify the discrimination while introducing a whole slew of auxiliary harmful effects to non-traditional couples.
Join HonestNC and thousands of others at our rally/march on the capital on March 15th, and join Protect NC Families in their effort to spread awareness.
The link is here.
It’s important to remember that gay marriage is already illegal in NC. While I would like to see that change, voting NO on the proposed amendment is simply a vote to maintain the status quo and not codify discrimination.
Gosh, I love North Carolina. Fall’s here, and those first few leaves on the tips of trees are already turning bright red or yellow. In Raleigh, that is. Two hours to the west, around the high lakes and towns of the Appalachian Mountains, the season’s in full swing and people are flocking to the Blue Ridge Parkway to drink in one of the prettiest sights in the country. Two hours to the east is a different world, as the ocean helps to keep temperatures moderate for a few weeks more. Those fortunate enough to be on the inter-coastal waterway during sunset get to watch the bi-annual exodus of watercraft and yachts making their way from northern climes to the still-balmy temperatures in Florida.
Coupled with the State’s natural variety is the diversity of its people. I’m from Waxhaw, a small town south of Charlotte. A walk through the graveyard (not that spooky) will reveal whole sections devoted to a single family name, where generations of founding Waxonians have lived, loved and been laid to rest by their surviving members. Those same names appear on mailboxes throughout the town, right alongside northern transplants who have realized that rural North Carolina is the friendliest setting in the country. Our cities have been voted some of the best places to live nation-wide; largely because they are peopled by a wide range of cultures and credos, all of whom have decided that NC is the place to be.
I don’t think I stopped smiling as I typed those last paragraphs; one of my favorite pastimes is reflecting on the natural beauty of my State and all it has to offer. That rosy glow is tempered, however, when I am forced to reflect on its recent past. A few months ago, the NC General Assembly passed a bill to de-fund Planned Parenthood in North Carolina; an organization whose only function is to help ensure the familial success of the residents of this State by providing information, materials, and counseling for men and women navigating the joys and perils of sex. Occasionally, Planned Parenthood helps women with no other recourse to have an abortion if they should so choose. Fortunately, with State funding withdrawn by the majority in the NCGA, donations have been pouring in from across NC and Planned Parenthood has been able to function almost normally. This is a shining example of a harmful NCGA policy being mitigated by the warmth and reasonable nature of the people of North Carolina.
It seems that Planned Parenthood was just a warm-up, however, as the NCGA now seeks to circumscribe the rights of NC citizens in the form of a constitutional amendment. If the State legislature has its way, there will be an outright ban on homosexual marriages (not to mention all forms of domestic partnership) written in black and white in our State Constitution. Let me rephrase. The legislature would have our governing document explicitly single out a class of taxpaying citizens and deny them rights. It doesn’t matter my personal feelings on marriage, or that I have gay friends whom I love dearly; this is abhorrent. This is discrimination. How dare the NCGA attempt to ratify such an ugly, backward piece of legislation in my wonderful state.
Thankfully, it’s not up to them. An amendment to the constitution must be ratified by voters in May, and the opposition is vocal and state-wide. Polling already shows that at least 56% of North Carolinians would vote against this amendment to the constitution, no matter their feelings on gay marriage. Protests are springing up, and a giant march on the legislature is being planned for the Ides of March, a month before the vote.
Coincidentally, the vote occurs alongside the NC primary elections, in which a high number of Republicans will participate, since Democrats have the presidential incumbent. A cynic would say that this increases the chances for the amendment’s ratification, but I say that the issue transcends party affiliation. North Carolinians, Democrats and Republicans alike, will not let this pass. We will not allow discrimination to ooze into the language of North Carolina’s founding policy. Keep an eye on http://www.honestnc.com for more information, and make your voice heard on May 8th, 2012.