This is probably the most political thing I will ever post on this blog, but in spite of the fact that it was inspired by a recent political debate, this isn’t actually a political post. It’s actually about people, and how we respond to these sorts of polarizing political debates.
As you may know, I live in North Carolina, which until last night was the only state in this region of the country not to have adopted a constitutional amendment permanently banning same-sex marriage. North Carolina law already states that “marriage” in the eyes of our state is only between a man and a woman, so the general sentiment seemed to be that there was no need to go further and amend our state constitution on this polarizing issue.
But times change, and after the election two years ago brought about a change in which party had local power, an amendment was put on the North Carolina ballot to permanently enshrine the state’s opposition to same-sex marriage in the constitution. The proposed amendment was known as Amendment One, and if you’ve been watching the news, you already know that it passed last night.
There’s been a ton of moral outrage about this on all sides, much of it from outside of the state. This latest political fight came to symbolize so much about the culture war for folks on both sides, that it almost seemed irrelevant that this was about North Carolina.
So as a lifelong North Carolinian who is also one of the most outspoken gay Christians on the internet, I have something to say about this.
First of all, it shouldn’t be any surprise that I opposed the amendment. I think same-sex couples should have the same legal rights as other couples, and even if I didn’t, many experts have argued that the wording of this amendment is dangerously vague, not only banning same-sex marriage and civil unions, but also affecting heterosexual couples, children’s health insurance, domestic violence victims, and other important issues—all to ban something that was already banned to begin with.
Maybe you agree with me; maybe you disagree. But that’s not the point I want to make.
After last night’s vote, I heard a disturbingly large number of my friends, national commentators, and others suggesting that this vote just proves that North Carolinians (or at least a giant percentage of us) are bigoted, homophobic, backwards people who are so filled with hate that we oppose equality for certain groups just because we can.
And see, that’s just not the case. Yes, I voted against the amendment, as did many of my friends and hundreds of thousands of other NC residents. But I also know people who voted for it, and I know that they are not simply bigoted, homophobic, backwards people. It’s way more complicated than that.
For the rest, which is worth your time, click HERE.