Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Haters gonna hate, but they shouldn't legislate

Just before I started writing here I read the news that North Carolina has passed a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. They already had a law that bans gay marriage. I guess that wasn't enough though. They needed for some reason to encode their religious beliefs in their constitution too.

Shame on you, North Carolina. Shame on you. I never say that to anybody except myself, but I say it again. Shame on you, North Carolina.

Maybe I shouldn't be surprised. Marriages between black and white citizens were illegal there until 1971. Marriage between first cousins is legal though--as long as the cousins aren't gay, of course. (Or is this a loophole?)

Maybe we shouldn't let people who live in states where first cousins can marry make decisions like this. Decisions that promote hatred and bullying and worse .... because this isn't about love. Make no mistake: this is about hate.

I recently performed in a reading of The Laramie Project, followed by a discussion with the audience. Our local community college is gearing up for a production, and they asked community groups of actors to do readings to get the word out about the play. If you haven't seen it, you should. It's the heart-breaking true story of Matthew Sheppard, a young Wyoming man who was tortured, tied to a fence, and left to die because he was gay. We were crying during our practice read-through. It's a powerful piece of literature.

What happened in North Carolina today is the very reason young men are still being lynched in this country. Just like Matthew Sheppard was lynched. I don't understand how that many people voted to pass such a shameful piece of governance.

I had such naive hope when the high court in my home-state, Iowa, ruled that such laws were unconstitutional. Common sense in the heartland! I was never so proud to be from Iowa as I was the day that news broke -- except the day a few months later when I officiated at my cousin's marriage to her wife. (Note that I often joke that I married my cousin, but it doesn't seem very funny tonight. Besides it's not OK to marry your cousin in Iowa -- not like that.)

What the fuck do the people of North Carolina -- those who voted for this amendment --what the fuck do they think this will accomplish? Do they think all those scary gay people will suddenly wise up, find Jesus, and marry their first cousins instead of each other? Do they think men will stop falling in love with men and women will stop falling in love with women even if that's the way they're wired? I can't think that's the reason, because that isn't reasonable. Who would choose to be gay in North Carolina?

I truly do not understand it. I'm not being disingenuous. It blows my logic circuits. I just don't get it. What the fuck am I missing?



  1. I wish I could answer. I live in NC (okay, I also live in the county that voted the strongest against it so I feel like I live in this little bubble), and I have no idea what they think this will accomplish.

    1. MLight, I have in the past tended to judge people from North Carolina (not that it's my place to judge, but bear with me) by the liberal, artsy old hippies I'm friends with there. Even the dad who shot his daughter's computer didn't change my mind, mostly because I thought he was from Texas and I couldn't let go of that.

      But I realize now I probably don't know the average North Carolinian. Which makes me grateful for the friends I do know there. Good luck with your appeal. We're still fighting here in Ohio too.

  2. Wow, I love what you wrote. I'm in West Virginia, where FORTY PERCENT of the Democratic primary voters chose a convicted, incarcerated felon over a sitting President. I think we've got stupid covered here pretty well. In fact, I think we're slightly - just slightly - more stupid than North Carolina.

    1. Thanks, Debbi. I've driven through West Virginia a number of times. The place I like passing the most is the parking lot that's shared by a Pentecostal church and an adult toy store. But I can imagine every state has its small pockets of sanity where. I hope you've found one for yourself.