On My Instant Reaction to Amendment One

This morning I wrote about Amendment One, a Constitutional amendment in North Carolina that was up for a vote on election day that would outlaw same-sex marriage and any heterosexual arrangement that wasn’t marriage. I implored people to vote against its passage, and I won’t recap what I said there; just read it for yourself if interested.

To my disappointment and disgust, North Carolina decided today overwhelmingly to enshrine homophobia and misogyny into their state’s fundamental charter by passing Amendment One. At this writing, it looks like by a twenty-point margin. I thought it would be closer than that, maybe 53-47 in favor.

I honestly wasn’t optimistic for the chances of defeat. North Carolina is trending liberal with enclaves like the Triangle, Asheville, and Charlotte, but even when North Carolina turns blue it will be the South’s Pennsyltucky. For now, though, it’s still a deeply conservative state, and there are counties where Amendment One passed by margins of over eighty percent.

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell wanted some instant reaction on Facebook. Here’s what I wrote in the comment thread:

A friend of mine who lives in North Carolina (where I lived until six years ago) posted a jubilant message on his Facebook wall about the passage of Amendment One. And he complained about amendment foes spreading “hate” on WRAL’s website in reaction to the loss. Here’s what I wrote in response to Michael:

Allow them their anger, Michael. The people who worked against Amendment One are disappointed that people would enshrine bigotry against their fellow Carolinians in the state’s Constitution. Everyone wants to think the best of their fellow human beings, and that’s difficult to do when the majority of the state’s citizens decided to declare to all the world that some of their neighbors, their friends, and their family members are second-class citizens at best. I’m not going to lie, I’m disappointed in you and anyone who voted for Amendment One. But I’m not angry at you and I don’t hate you. Just disappointed. I’m sorry to say that, but it’s honest.

I’m disappointed that the amendment passed with a 20-point margin. I wouldn’t have expected that, but when I saw that Wake County, a fairly liberal place, was close, I knew the amendment was going to pass. It took a century for North Carolina’s interracial marriage amendment to be overturned. Hopefully, it won’t take even half that long for this atrocity to be overturned.

To my friends who voted for this, I am not angry with you nor do I hate you, but I am disappointed in the lack of compassion you have chosen to show your neighbors, your friends, and even your family by your decision to declare some of them to be second-class citizens. Given a choice, you made the willful decision to put a selfish cruelty above caritas, and that, I am sorry to say, I cannot forgive you.

That’s my feeling.

Time to pound the keyboard. I have a couple of pages of copy to write. I just needed to share that.

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