Bass Ackwards

This is not a picture of me. And while the hair color looks somewhat like my mother’s, it is not a picture of her either. The young boys are not related to me. The woman of color in the background is not kin to me. The lady to the left in the ill-fitting suit does not share my blood. We did not bake a wedding cake. My family is not celebrating today.  For most of the day, I have gone about my “business” enjoying the freedom of a calm day. I taught an exercise class this morning at 6 am. I packed lunches, made beds (not really but I should have) walked the dog, ate breakfast, and showered. I dropped my kids off in their classrooms and sat chatting with friends in the gymnasium. I videoed my kindergartener singing about her first year in school and welcoming the soon to be new students. My oldest daughter sat on my lap as we spotted friends across the room and on the stage. I stopped at a friend’s house to admire her poison ivy and empathize with her pain. I met a friend to watch professional tennis and eat lunch. All in all in the 9 hours I have been awake and interacting in the world have been enjoyable and fluffy. And I feel a bit guilty about it, particularly today. Yesterday, the state where I live, North Carolina got 15% of the registered population to vote. Of that minority, 60% voted to doubly re-define that marriage is between one man and one woman.Not sure what that does to divorcees or widows but I am sure that will be revealed somewhere down the road. I think if we look to Leviticus (which is frequently sited as the source of this type of “law”) I think the widows are banished and the divorcees stoned…to death I mean.

According to my math, the people who chose Amendment One are less than 1% of the people living in North Carolina. People simply did not show up. That is depressing. Isn’t 99% of life showing up?  Alas, we are left with a disgraceful mess that -when grouped with the Wake County Public School board fiasco- has me embarrassed to live in this state. To be honest, it is what I thought about North Carolina before I moved here. It is what I thought before I made many, many friends here whom I love. Before I saw the beautiful beaches, cool mountains, or Redneck hockey (The Hurricanes). My experience has taught me even though there are low talkers here, what they have to say is often worth slowing down and listening intently enough to hear the stories. I have come to love hearing “ink pin” instead of “pen” because natives do not say Es and Is differently. I love the state I live in -but I am free to do that. People have welcomed me despite my northern pace and outspoken style. But I wonder if all that would go away if I were gay. I know many will defend their stance with biblical scripture or phrases like “I love the sinner, hate the sin” or “everyone is entitled to their opinion”. But I just don’t buy it. The only way I can explain how I feel is to use this analogy: “There is a new amendment on the books -all people 5’3″ and under are not allowed to marry.” That leaves me out of luck because I am the way God made me…short. But it doesn’t make me anything else. It does not make me love my children less or my partner more. It does not make me further from God or less necessary of Salvation. It does not make me a sinner. What does is not treating people -all people- as my equal. Like Amendment One does.

I wonder how many people who voted for Amendment One think they know a gay person. I believe it is a very dangerous practice to judge others based on one “fact” or characteristic about them.  Many of my non-believing friends think religion is a crutch…and a corrupt one at that. But I don’t think they have spent a lot of time with church goers proving their hypothesis.  I am fighting my own instinct to judge the people in this picture as naive bigots. If we have to be judged at all it should be by our actions. The ones that are mentioned in the Bible over and over and over again. Loving our neighbor as ourselves. Loving our God with all our heart.  Won’t they know we are Christians by our love …like the song says?

I disagree with Amendment One for many reasons. The most important being the need for separation of church and state. But I am also tired of having my God put in a small box and having people hide their prejudices behind it. I believe the only things which will matter in the end are how much we loved one another. And that is harder to do today because of Amendment One.

14 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by LCM on May 10, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Love it!! Very well said. And I also love when I get into your blog!!

    Reply

  2. Amen, sister!

    Reply

  3. oh, yes, my friend. (and ps i love u b/c of all of those things u said u r!)

    Reply

  4. Posted by Allison A. on May 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Thanks for stating so well what I am feeling yesterday and still today. Thinking of all those who did not a stand at all and more frustrated by that than by those who voted for…but not much…

    Reply

  5. Bless you. I moved to the Eastern Shore of MD in 1973 from North Carolina, but on so many levels, I’m a Tarheel. I was sad all day long yesterday, wondering “how long, Oh Lord, how long?”

    Reply

  6. Posted by Patricia Abrams on May 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Thank you for saying just what was in my heart.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Anne Lane Witt on May 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Thank you so much for this. I am heartsick that another “majority” codified discrimination.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Robert Marshall on May 10, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Love this. I’ve been out of sorts for the past two days because of this. It’s all I can do to stay calm when I drive by (and not into) the yards of people with signs that say they are “FOR AMENDMENT ONE.”

    Reply

  9. Posted by Ashley H on May 10, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    I’m really disappointed too in the outcome, and I wholeheartedly agree with your post. What I didn’t realize is that there was such a poor voter turnout…wonder if it might have been different if just 2o% voted!

    Reply

  10. Posted by Jen on May 10, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Thanks for writing this. Very well said. I too am disappointed…….. but hopeful. Especially knowing that only 15% of voters showed up! I somehow missed that important piece of information, so extra thanks for the new info. Proud of the triangle area (Wake, Durham, Orange and Chatham County) for voting AGAINST! Change in our society happens in excruciatingly small increments …….. but change will indeed happen :)

    Reply

  11. Posted by Anon NC resident on May 11, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Not that this changes your points – which are all great! – but voter turnout was actually a good bit higher than just 15%. There were 2.1 million votes cast on Amendment One, which is about 34% of the close to 6.3 million registered voters in North Carolina (which has a total population of about 9.7 million) – and means the Amendment was passed by about 21% of registered voters, or 14% of the total population.

    The really good news, though, are the changing demographics of the state – and we should all be encouraged by the fact that the Amendment was soundly defeated in the Triangle and in Mecklenburg, Buncombe, and Watauga (and even Dare!) Counties, and passed only very narrowly in the Triad and in New Hanover County. It’s just a matter of time.

    Reply

    • Thank you for the math corrections. I was pretty sure my numbers were early when I originally wrote the piece. My sentiments however are still the same but I guess I am not as disappointed in so many people. Thanks for reading!

      Reply

  12. Posted by Lisa Meadows on May 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    You said it all!! Beautiful post for which I’m extremely grateful……thank you!!!

    Reply

  13. Posted by France's on May 12, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Thank you for this – you said it perfectly. It was a sad day and one I only hope we see fewer and fewer times as we truly learn to love one another as God would have us do.

    Reply

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