Killing Love in North Carolina

Congratulations, North Carolina. You have become the 33rd state to write discrimination into your constitution, ensuring that gay men and lesbian women cannot enter into this esteemed institution you call marriage. You have guaranteed that two men or two women cannot protect their relationship with the force of secular law. You have ensured that two men or two women cannot protect their children by forming a contract between themselves and their government designating each other as the guardian of the children they are raising together.

Congratulations, North Carolina. Welcome to the 16th century.

Take voter Joe Easterling’s twisted and tortured logic for voting in support of the amendment:

“I know that some people may argue that the Bible may not necessarily be applicable, or it should not be applicable, on such policy matters. But even looking at nature itself, procreation is impossible without a man and a woman. And because of those things, I think it is important that the state of North Carolina’s laws are compatible with the laws of nature but, more importantly, with the laws of God.”

Sigh. Again, a straight person who misses the entire point of marriage. If you’re going to make it about procreation, then stop being a bigot about it and outlaw every single marriage that doesn’t produce children. No kids? No marriage!

This voter also shows an appalling lack of understanding when it comes to nature. There are plenty of instances of homosexuality within nature — hence, it is quite natural. Interestingly, the same God that made the heterosexual animals made the homosexual ones too.

One more important point, Mr. Easterling: we live (for now, anyway) in a secular society. In those societies, no, sir, we do not need to conform ourselves to the laws of any God. Instead, we must conform our society to the laws of justice, the laws of equality, and the laws of equity. Any society that wants to claim that it is civilized will do these things – they will form laws that benefit most of people, and laws that will protect the minority from the tyranny, and utter capriciousness, of the majority who may be prone to blaming God for their own small-minded bigotry.

I understand that some people who don’t understand homosexuality vote against us because of the “ick” factor — because straight people can’t seem to stop thinking about gay sex, for some odd reason. So, we’re subjected to the prattling on of moralists who call gay and lesbian people perverts — so because of our perversion we should not be allowed to sign a legal contract between ourselves and our government — free from the meddling of any church body or religious believer.

The fundamental unfairness is underscored by one blogger who wrote:

” … married couples don’t have to be saints to get all the state based benefits of marriage. They can be quite the contrary. They can be drug addicts, adulterers, spouse beaters, convicted felons, verbal abusers, bigots, atheists, agnostics, and the list goes on. Law-abiding, committed, same-sex couples, some of whom are deeply religious, are out of luck in NC when it comes to marriage, and if this amendment passes, they will be out of luck when it comes to civil union domestic partnership opportunities.”

The likely consequences of this now approved amendment are well-documented. Laws against domestic violence, child custody, partnership benefits, wills, trusts, powers-of-attorney all become endangered by this new law — all in the name of some form of God who apparently vomits whenever two men kiss.

It’s all just a bump in the rocky road to marriage equality for gay and lesbian people. I had hope for North Carolina, since it did go for Obama in the last election. But, overcoming any sort of bigotry in the South is hard work. As a born and bred Southerner I can assure you that our region will always be the taillights, and never the headlights, in the march for anyone’s equality.

While the religious right will crow over this victory and shout how it again shows that people will stand up for “traditional families” — what it really reveals is that they will stop at nothing to utterly destroy gay and lesbian people — all in the name of “love,” mind you.

But here’s a note to the religious right: the number of days you have left to use the lives of gay and lesbian families as a political football are numbered. The polls are overwhelming that when Americans truly understand the lives of LGBT people, they support their rights.

What happened in North Carolina is that a broadly worded amendment was bum rushed through the voting process before anyone really had time to educate the population about what it would do. Once people knew the harm it will do, they opposed it. The religious right knows that if people learn the truth about LGBT lives — the truth that we work, play, pay our taxes, and yes, fall in love just like every other human being — people realize we’re not much different — and that God can indeed bless our lives just like God blesses anyone else.

If the religious right thinks this win is another nail in the coffin of gay rights — think again. Instead, this amendment of pure meanness is one more desperate breath in their last gasp before they lose the whole war. Gay and lesbian people will, one day, win their right to marry and their right to exist. Religion has been misused in the bigoted fight against other minorities, and each time it has been defeated. This religiously abusive effort will follow that same path.

So, enjoy your victory, amendment proponents. But, it will be short-lived. You can nail love to a cross, kill it and bury it, but as your religion teaches — resurrection always happens.


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