N.C. Amendment One reactions (part 1)

A lot of smart, sharp, wise, kind and thoughtful reactions today to North Carolina’s vote for an amendment to its state constitution barring same-sex marriage and civil unions. Here’s a sampling.

Bruce Garrett:Notice

I can appreciate that some people have deeply held religious beliefs. What I don’t appreciate is some people turning my hopes and dreams of love into their stepping stones to heaven. I can appreciate that some people have had a hard life. But only a runt uses that as an excuse to inflict pain on others. I can appreciate how it is to feel your peace and security threatened by forces you don’t understand. That has never once made me want to become that force against others. I have always wished you peace. You will need to let me have mine too though, because that’s just the way peace works.

David R. Henson:Amendment One and an Angry Lament of a Native Son

Right now, as the state of North Carolina codifies hate speech into a constitutional amendment, apologies don’t begin to cut it.

As a native son of the Deep South and of North Carolina, tonight, I am ashamed, and angry.

… And, as a Christian, I think it is time to admit who bears responsibility for atrocities like Amendment One and all other anti-LGBT legislation.

It’s Christianity.

I might want to say I’m not like those Christians over there who stood for Amendment One and other such legislation. But they are my brothers and sisters in the faith, no two ways about it. I might want to say those Christians don’t represent what Christ stood for. But I bet they would say the same thing about me. I can try to split hairs and divide the Christian community so I don’t have to think about the hate my faith tradition has spawned and let loose in the world like a legion of demons.

But I can’t say any of that with a shred of integrity.

Tonight, Christianity is to blame.

Morgan Guyton:Sixty Percent

Sixty percent is a supermajority,
who took time out of their busy schedules,
who needed to make a statement,
who wanted to leave a legacy,
who knew exactly how and where lines must be drawn.

William C. Lindsey:When Christian People Celebrate Humiliation of Others: Dealing With the Ugly

Paul Brandeis Raushenbush’s advice to the churches who keep getting themselves caught in the oppression-repentance cycle: how about just breaking the cycle?  Why not just stop, once and for all, oppressing targeted minorities in the name of a Jesus who stands absolutely against such behavior, and whom you ludicrously misrepresent when you break the lives of those you define as evil in their nature and constitution in order to make yourself feel better about yourself — in order to earn a big sweet cake of self-righteous celebration of you and yours.

Andi Cumbo: 50 Years Ago and Yesterday: Prejudice in America

We can’t even admit our wounds and scars about race; how will we ever begin to see how we wound and scar one another about sexual orientation?

I am sad today. So so sad.

Chris Ayers:These Are the Names: A Labyrinth Reflection

There’s nothing theoretical about this amendment. It will damage people I know and love on a daily basis.

… These are the names:  Sam, William, Greta, Jim, Patrice, Michele. …

The Egyptian oppression will soon be over.  Amen, and amen.

  • Charityb

    I still think it would have been a fairer fight if they had held the Amendment 1 vote during the general election, rather than during the Republican primary when the electorate would be skewed against it.

  • http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com/ mr_subjunctive

    Well, no doubt. But fairness doesn’t appear to have been the point.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    There is no way possible for human rights to be voted on “fairly”. They are not something that is granted by the largesse of the majority — they are something we are born with. 

    That Christians regularly oppose both human rights and love is nothing new. It’s shocking when they don’t. This is shocking:

    I am ashamed for being too understanding of my homophobic brothers and sisters in Christ

    And I’m happy to see it.

  • AnonymousSam

    I would like to believe that one day, these people will have to explain their mistakes to their children. Unfortunately, at this point, I firmly believe that our children will be too busy scavenging in nuclear fallout zones to care about the injustices their parents wrought, only that, at some point, one of them pushed the launch button in the name of peace, family, justice and a better tomorrow.

  • Hawker40

    The last time North Carolina mentioned marraige in thier state constitution, it was to outlaw inter-racial marraige.
    The more things change…

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

    Just another unpleasant reminder that; primary and midterm elections matter people.   The other side needs no reminder of that.  They are in a permanent state of apocalyptic crusade. (and they are never going to wonder how this is possible.  Because Real Christian Americans are just that damn important.)  There’s no need to match their level of motivation.  Just be dogged.    Take the time to sift through the half-empty ballots for county weed control board.  Show up at your neighborhood poll for every election without exception; and I’m telling you that together we can take the air out of a lot of these ‘wedge issues’ very quickly. 

  • Harry Harbo

    But fairness doesn’t appear to have been the point.

    Which is the scariest thing about this whole process.  This is not government making tough choices, or trying to deal with serious problems.  This is government as a blunt instrument.  A weapon  deliberately used to punish a group of citizens who have lives, hopes, pay taxes, etc.  There was no need for any of this; this was not the result of a grass roots movement petitioning action by their legislature.  This was  government trying to pander to one particular group of citizens by throwing another weaker  group under the bus.  It’s almost as if they came to work one morning and said “Well, what can we do to make ourselves look good today?  Hey, let’s screw the gays!”.

    So certainly Christians have (or should have) some qualms of conscience about the outcome of the vote. But there never should have been a vote in the first place.  They should remember those qualms when it comes time to evaluate the group that made that decision.

    This event angers me.  But that anger is being replaced by fear – fear that the next target will strike even closer to home.  When government decides that its appropriate role is to punish and deliberately make lives more difficult, who’s next?  Who else in my circle of family and friends goes on the chopping block as the next sacrifice?

  • christopher_young

    I quite like Chris Clarke’s piece on this. But then I like a lot of his stuff.

  • http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com/ mr_subjunctive

    Any women in your circle of family and friends? ‘Cause there have been, y’know, rumblings.

  • guest

    Boy, today wasn’t the day…I happened to stop in at the Leeds Cathedral–I like to have a look at cathedrals when I have time–and the first thing I saw on the ‘welcoming table’ was an informational paper urging people to sign a petition opposing the government’s plan to extend ‘marriage rights’ to same-sex couples, and to call MPs to give their opinions.  I don’t remember exactly what they were, but the ‘reasons’ they suggested people mention were that ‘this would affect their marriage too’ and ‘it decoupled marriage from childbearing’ and ‘it reduced marriage to a connection between two people who cared for each other’ and other pretty nonsensical things.  I couldn’t bring myself to deface or destroy the petition (which only had four names on it), but I did write over the words under ‘what can I do?’ ‘Love your neighbour–support marriage for all people’–then left.

  • Harry Harbo

    I think that’s a matter of when, not if.

  • http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com/ mr_subjunctive

    It’s arguably more a matter of then, not when. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alan-Alexander/502988241 Alan Alexander

    Looking at that picture of that smug, entitled bitch holding a heterosexual marriage cake, I feel … hate. Just utter hate. I don’t even know her name and I hate her. If I read an obituary that described how horribly and painfully she died, I would laugh. If it showed footage of her family and loved ones weeping over her closed casket, I would laugh harder. That’s how much I hate that evil smug bitch. And I hate her most of all for making me hate her like this.

  • Charityb

    There is no way possible for human rights to be voted on “fairly”.
    They are not something that is granted by the largesse of the majority
    – they are something we are born with.

    That’s true, and a very good point. Still, I feel as if controversial legislation like this, even if it was not related to human rights, should not be held at the same time as a political primary. They selected a date where conservative voters, who are more likely to be pro- Amendment One, were already mobilized, in what feels to me like an obvious effort to skew the turnout and maximize their margin of victory. To me, it’s another entry in a long line of attempts to manipulate the outcome of elections by arranging it so that the other side can’t show up. It’s not as blatant and offensive as the voter ID laws but it’s up there.

  • Tonio

     I’ve suspected for a while that many SSM opponents are wedded to the idea that “husband” and “wife” aren’t just gender-specific names for spouses but actual roles in marriage, specifically the ones under the sexist doctrine of “male headship.”

    But I also wonder if these are the also the type of people who butt into other people’s personal lives. A huge reason I support SSM legality is because an individual’s choice of marriage partner shouldn’t be subject to community veto – I wouldn’t want that veto power even if it were offered to me specifically.

  • Lambert Heenan

    Considerably less than 50% or
    registered votes in NC actually voted for this amendment, probably less than 25% in fact.. There were a
    total of  2,136,176 votes cast (http://results.enr.clarityelections.com/NC/36596/80768/en/summary.html) and
    (in 2008 http://www.factcheck.org/2008/04/ncs-african-american-population/)
    there were over 5.8 M voters in the state.

     

    Some great standards for passing a constitutional
    amendment in NC. Using those standards, if 49 states declined to vote on a US
    Constitutional Amendment then the one remaining state could do the
    ditry.

     

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    I also wonder if these are the also the type of people who butt into other people’s personal lives. A huge reason I support SSM legality is because an individual’s choice
    of marriage partner shouldn’t be subject to community veto – I wouldn’t want that veto power even if it were offered to me specifically.

    There exist individuals, and classes of individuals, whose choice of marriage partner I would veto, given a chance, and feel my community ought to veto.  For example, individuals whose preferred marriage partners do not consent to marrying them, or are incapable of meaningfully consenting to marriage. For another, individuals who abuse, injure, or kill their marriage partners. (I might make an exception to the latter if their partners are willing to be abused, injured, or killed; it depends on particulars.)

    Which perhaps makes me one of those people who butts into other people’s lives. I’m OK with that.

    I support SSM legality (and, more broadly, equality) because I see no reason not to, and I feel equality ought to be the default condition.

  • Tricksterson

    That Amendment 1 passed isn’t a surprise but reasons for hope:

    Over a thrid voted against it in North frikkin’ Carolina

    As CharityB mentioned it was “controversial” even in the Deep South.  That there was controversy, that there was more thana token effort to defeat it is good.  When Utah did the same thing a while ago, I for one didn’t even hear about it.

    Obama just openly came out in favor of SSM.  The timing is surely not a coincidence

  • P J Evans

     All the counties where it lost are counties with universities, with a lot of people who have college educations, and a lot of people who know people who aren’t like them and don’t have a problem with it. They may be a minority now, but they’re going to be the majority sometime.

  • http://www.nightphoenix.com Amaranth

    “I’ve suspected for a while that many SSM opponents are wedded to the
    idea that “husband” and “wife” aren’t just gender-specific names for
    spouses but actual roles in marriage, specifically the ones under the
    sexist doctrine of “male headship.” 

    Well, yeah. All one has to do is look at the word “husbandry” to figure out what they think the man of the house is supposed to be doing :P

  • Tricksterson

    So what does that say about animal hunsbadry and farmers?

  • Jamie Bowden

    It’s very wei


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X