When I first created my Ten Things List as a blog theme, the listing of “voting in local North Carolina elections” held little significance to me. Well, perhaps that’s a bit of an understatement- allow me to clarify. Last year when elections first came around for this newly-legally-aged citizen, my absentee ballot arrived too late for me to actually vote. It was a bit of bummer, as I had marched all around campus declaring that my right to vote was one women had been imprisoned, tortured, marginalized, and otherwise harmed for me to have. Regardless of the fact that I was not particularly invested in last year’s candidates, my right to vote was a right I had fully intended to act upon. Snail mail and poor planning, however, prevented this.
Thus, when brainstorming activities appropriate for me to complete before the conclusion of 2011 it seemed only natural to include voting in the local NC elections. I had an elaborate post planned in my mind that entailed references to Susan B. Anthony and Iron Jawed Angels, a publication praising the road feminism has bravely trod thus far and what joy (even in the smallest and seemingly unimportant choices) I should take in using my political voice because of the sacrifices made by my foremothers. And while this all remains ringingly true, something occurred yesterday in the North Carolina House of Representatives that has both infuriated me as an active supporter of universal human rights and a legal, registered voter in North Carolina.
I am speaking, naturally, of the Referendum passed by the House actively banning the natural human right for same-sex couples to wed.
The first amendment in the North Carolina Constitution that would restrict, inhibit, and otherwise encroach upon human liberty. While state law already deems that marriage is defined as a legal union between a man and a woman, amending the founding legal document to the state utilizing this homophobic, irrational, and bigoted language to cement an already legalized violation of principle human rights is disgusting. The referendum, passed by an overwhelming majority in the Republican-dominated House, went on to the Senate today where the referendum was, yet again, overwhelmingly passed.
This means that, come May of 2012, North Carolina voters will choose on the ballots whether or not the state constitution should be amended to legally define marriage as a union between a heterosexual couple, thus banning gay marriage. North Carolina currently is the only state in the southeast of the United States to not have a legal ban on gay marriage.
I am repulsed. I understand that according to the laws of democracy, the majority vote is deemed the most important and applicable to the people. I get this. But when the majority stomps out the minority’s opinion an opinion not to be invalidated simply by the incomparable numbers the foundational principles of democracy itself are jeopardized. Democracy is meant to ensure liberty for all of its participants, and an amendment that deliberately seeks to undermine and exclude members of this legal social contract ensuring those very people’s right to freedom is an abhorrent disgrace and blatantly disregards the foundational principles of the government. And when these pillars of the fundamental social contract by which all American citizens abide begin to crumble, the government no longer is doing its job.
If you don’t like gay marriage, THEN DON’T GET ONE. The right to marry someone of the same sex whom one Loves does not encroach upon your liberty. Seriously. And to those who claim being gay, lesbian, queer, transgendered, or otherwise identifying as something other than a Kinsey 0 on the spectrum of sexuality is something sinful ,I have three words: The Establishment Clause. Your beliefs of what defines the parameters of “sin” (which, by the way, aren’t we all sinners according to the Bible, ye fundamentalist Christians?) are religious, and the people who wrote the Constitution of the United States made it explicitly clear that religion and politics are to remain in separate spheres. I simply cannot fathom how you explain to yourself the legality of banning a human right.
And by the way, nowhere in the Constitution does it say that marriage is only for a man and a woman. In fact, it does not mention marriage at all. This is the document that governs our nation, not the Bible, or the Qur’an, or the Bhagavad Gita, or any other sacred text.
So needless to say, members of the House and Senate who voted to put this on the ballots of my home state, come May I will be voting against this amendment, and come your next run for office I will not be voting for you.
current jam: ‘fly’ rihanna & nicki minaj