North Carolina is pretty awesome, specifically Charlotte. It’s pretty. They have several Cook-Out locations. Gas is only priced at half past ridiculous. My mom lives there, and my niece is only an hour or so away. But it seems like someone sneaked a couple bigotry roofies in everyone's sweet tea.
North Carolina is often viewed as a “purple state” because it is home to a fair share of both Democrats and Republicans. In 2008, North Carolinians voted for President Barack Obama and went Blue for the first time since Jimmy Carter’s administration. But yesterday, the country was reminded of just how red North Carolina can be.
North Carolina residents were offered a referendum on same sex marriage, and on May 8, 2012, they voted to add “Amendment 1” to their constitution. To give you some background, North Carolina state law already defines marriages as “between a man and a woman.” But Amendment 1 goes a step further and states:
"Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.”
This means that civil unions are not recognized; it also means that “common law” and other heterosexual domestic partnerships are not “recognized or valid.” For gay rights advocates, this was a presumably expected yet still disappointing blow. As interesting as this news was, the general public had no idea that we were in for a historic surprise the following day.
On Wednesday, May 9, 2012, in an ABC News interview, President Barack Obama, following Vice President Biden’s lead a few days prior, stated matter of factly, that he supported same sex marriages. In an email to his supporters, he affirmed his thoughts with the following:
“I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry… What I've come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens.”
*in my Presidential voice* Let me be clear:
I’m a Christian. I’m a liberal. I believe in the separation of church and state. I don’t think using “the good book” as a reference point for any type of legislation is a good idea.
However, I recognize that marriage is indeed a religious institution that should be honored and respected (marriage by the way is present in more than just the Christian faith). So I believe that the best solution is that we begin the tedious but fair process of removing the divisive, controversial term “marriage” from the law books.
All couples, heterosexual or homosexual, who would like their union to be recognized, should be entitled to a strong, legal civil union. Rights currently extended to domestic partnerships and married couples should be extended to all committed couples who enter into a civil union. For those couples who would like to be “married” in the traditional sense, they can be... in a traditional ceremony by their house of worship. In this manner, “marriage” is given its rightful place… outside of government and in the places where people believe it is defined, but we also maintain that all couples have equal rights.
But this will never happen, because people are selfish. I expect hate from groups who have never been discriminated against. Sometimes, if you don’t get it… you don’t get it. But, I’m most disturbed by marginalized groups who have spoken out against gay rights. Do you not realize how hypocritical that is?! I’m sad to report that Black Americans, particularly self-righteous ones, are egregious offenders in this regard. Blacks will pick up a hoodie and march but when someone else needs something, many are often nowhere to be found.
Do people not realize that prejudice is prejudice? Do they not recognize that when we fail to speak up on behalf of undocumented citizens, gays, and other persecuted groups that our silence is just as damning as the persecution itself? And when your cause is on the chopping block, wouldn't it be nice to have some supporters outside of the ones who have a clear personal vested interest?
Is the Bible really a fair go-to source for denying gays the right to be married?? You're basically saying “I don’t support your lifestyle because MY religion doesn’t agree.” Think about that. How would we feel if Muslims invoked their holy book in suggestions for a law? Not so great, I imagine. How dare you invoke the name of Christ to satisfy your self-serving, prejudiced ideas on how other people should live their lives!
Furthermore, what’s the gain?!? What do we get out of telling people what to do in their households? What do we get out of telling gay couples that they can’t welcome a child who needs a home into their loving home? What do we get out of telling gay people that they can’t visit each other in hospitals because “Jesus [allegedly] said so.” Does your heterosexual marriage suffer because gays can be married? Who really wins here?? Consider this; Georgia bans same-sex marriages. And yet, let's just be real; Atlanta is a clear example that anti-gay legislation does nothing to affect the incidence of homosexuality.
While you think on that, why don’t you chew on this nugget my pal shared with me. Was Gandhi talking about you when he said,
“I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”
When considering issues that affect someone who doesn’t look like you, love the way you do, or worship the way you worship (or at all), here’s a philosophy that may help:
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Must have read this in a fortune cookie or something)
That's my word or three. What's yours?
P.S. Sometimes I write in other places. Check me out!
Also, my pal Panama wrote about Obama’s stance on Same-Sex Marriage over at VerySmartBrothas.com. Read it here.