After using underhanded tactics over the weekend to sneak discussion into today’s session, the House and Senate of my home state put SB 514, now known as Amendment One, on the May ballot. Amendment One is the latest attempt to add a amendment codifying hatred to a state constitution, by redefining marriage as a heterosexuals-only right. Because if history has proven anything, it’s that allowing the majority the power to take rights away from a minority always results in the best decision.
Similar amendments have already been added to the constitutions of 30 states. Here, in this Southern state, let’s break bigotry’s back.
To many, it’s going to seem like a lost cause. This is North Carolina, a once-Confederate state that gave us Jesse Helms and Billy Graham. But it’s also the state that gave us the sit-in movement. It’s a state that turned blue in the 2008 presidential election, where the governor is almost always a Democrat. If we can beat it anywhere, we can beat it here.
Others will argue that fighting is pointless, because it won’t change anything – gay marriage is already illegal in North Carolina. That’s true, but this is about the future – a constitutional amendment will add yet another stumbling block on the road to equality, one more thing we’ll have to challenge and overthrow down the road. And if we can beat it, it will be a huge slap in the face for a movement that’s not used to losing. It will send a huge message – North Carolina is one state that’s determined not to stagnant in the mires of fear and hatred.
It’s going to hinge on awareness. This is a state with a huge college system and three major urban centers. We’ve got the votes, we’ve just need to mobilize them. In the coming months, I’ll do my part. I’ll auction art, post downloadable flyers for you to print and put out… anything I can think of. I’ll raise funds for Equality NC, to support their efforts to raise public awareness of the true costs of codifying hatred.
Many of you reading this don’t live in NC, but you can still help with your donations. Remember, if we turn the tide here it will send a powerful message. A majority of Americans support gay marriage and the hateful minority have relied on deceit and apathy to gain 30 victories. Now that they’ve weaseled it onto the ballot, they think they’ve already won.
Prove them wrong.