The absurd travesty of justice that is North Carolina's Amendment One is coming to a vote this Tuesday and all of us are watching, semi-hopeful and fingers crossed. While I have not weighed in on the subject of Amendment one, allow me to correct that this week by giving some of my thoughts on what I see as a ridiculous effort on the part of conservatives lawmakers to not only shut the door against gay marriage forever, but also nail it shut and then burn the house down with themselves inside. I know that I am holding my breath until the vote is over this Tuesday and I thought I would take a moment to discuss the Amendment and why I think it's adoption would ultimately be North Carolina shooting itself in the foot....pull up a chair and a steaming cup of whatever you like and join me...
Just because I have not covered Amendment One doesn't mean that it isn't being talked about or analysed down to the subatomic level by bloggers and pundits more informed and seasoned than I, most notably Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend...being North Carolinian has been absorbed in reporting on Amendment One for months and what has emerged from all the coverage is a sad tale of lawmakers afraid of the approaching tide of social change....again. As polls shift in favor of allowing gays and lesbians to marry and more states accept it, the more nervous conservatives become and so here we are, not fighting for marriage equality but fighting not to ban it's eventual possibility at any point in the future....ever.
The amendment sponsored by Republican Senator Peter Brunstetter has come under criticism for...well, a ton of reasons actually...but one headliner is its vague wording which aims not only to ban same-sex marriage but also any chance at domestic partnerships or civil unions for anyone. The amendment as it reads states:
"Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts."
That's it...they want to make sure that same-sex couples get no recognition for their relationships at all....zero...forever and always...and they don't care who else they hurt in the process. In their zeal to block LGBT's from legal recognition they did not exempt other heterosexual families from the ban. Therefore, ALL civil unions and domestic partnerships will be banned regardless if the participants are gay or straight. Furthermore it creates a very narrow legal definition of what constitutes a family in the eyes of the state. This creates a much larger problem for family law as Amendment one's rather narrow definition of a "family" as "one man and one woman" in a marriage can be interpreted in its narrowest sense to strip the rights and benefits away from unmarried families and their children. Among those protections now at risk are health care benefits and prescription drug coverage, custody and visitation rights. It could also prevent hospital visitation between unmarried couples as well as threatening domestic violence protections for unmarried women....all to stop the radical gays from ruining their
So, in their rush to make sure the gays don't get marriage and thus unravel the fabric of the universe as they see it, they are willing to sacrifice the protections of anyone(gay or straight) who does not fit their religious view of what constitutes a legitimate family and they are more than willing to put children in harms way because they can always blame their parents for being unmarried rather than their witch hunt.
But...among the stranger details of the genesis of Amendment one is the impetus for its creation which has it's roots in nothing but irrational fear and old fashioned racism. Recent weeks saw the story break regarding Jodie Brunstetter's statements that one of the reasons for the creation of the bill is because the "Caucasian race is diminishing" and her reasoning seems to be connected to those same Caucasians not having babies because of same-sex marriage......./facepalm...
Check it out for yourself:
So were exactly is the protection here? As it is abundantly clear, proponents of Amendment one are not out to protect anyone except those who are Caucasian, married, and Christian goes without saying. So much for "all men are created equal". The more that emerges from Amendment One, the more it appears as if they are raising the drawbridges and readying the boiling oil for the invading hordes that haven't even yet appeared at their door.
So many people from celebrities, politicians, faith leaders, and legal experts have spoken out against amendment one that it boggles the mind somewhat that they outcome is still uncertain....yet polls and predictions still tell us that is passage is likely due to it's deceptive wording and lack of awareness on the part of the average voter. As long as proponents can continue to frame the bill as a gay issue, that's all many people will view it as when in the voting booth, not seeing the implications to themselves or their own families...not to mention the gay or lesbian families they will harm in the process.
Early voting has already begun, but the official vote takes place on Tuesday. As the day approaches I will be keeping North Carolina in my thoughts and prayers, hoping that Wednesday will be a day to celebrate. But in order to see that day we have to keep talking about Amendment One and keep shining the light so that others can see what a hurtfull, ill-thought out, and destructive measure it is.
To learn more please visit: www.protectallncfamilies.org
or join their facebook page at: www.facebook.com/ProtectNCFamilies
Until next time dear readers......