On love and God and being a North Carolinian

05/10/2012 at 8:59 am | Posted in me | 24 Comments

I realized it halfway to work on Tuesday morning. Smack in the middle of one of the biggest intersections in town.

I forgot to vote.


So I turned around and drove to my neighborhood polling site.

It was pretty empty. I scuttled past the campaigners, got my ballot and filled in the little circles next to my candidates of choice. But I was really there for the last item on the page. Amendment One.

I read it. Re-read it. Scribbled furiously in the circle next to “AGAINST” and triple-checked that I had done it correctly.

And then, about 12 hours later, it became abundantly clear that I was in the minority.

The thirty percent of our state’s citizens who turned out to vote on Tuesday passed a constitutional amendment that declares heterosexual marriage to be the ONLY legally recognized union in North Carolina.

As I watched my Facebook and Twitter feeds explode with anger and grief that night, I sat stunned. I’m still stunned.

I simply can’t believe that equality for all is still so out of reach.

Women receive less pay for equal work. Our county school system is under threat of segregation. And now gay and lesbian couples can’t get married here. On top of that, Amendment One harms ALL couples joined in domestic unions outside marriage AND their children.

It strips people of their rights.

How is this still possible? It’s 2012.

Will my generation ever see equality? Will my daughters’ generation witness it?

I never, ever discuss politics or controversial issues on the internet. And my blog is one of the most benign out there. On purpose. But my heart is so very heavy. And I’m afraid of what Amendment One means for the people I love and all the people I’ve never even met.

I believe that God loves us all and wants us to treat each other fairly, with equality and respect, regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender or creed.

I believe that my daughters deserve a future in which they will be granted equal rights, whether they choose to marry men or women or not marry at all.

I believe that my state made a mistake, and I am hopeful for change. I love North Carolina.

I believe that the government and the voters govern our state and our nation. Not the Bible.

I believe that religion is very personal and very diverse. And it transcends law and politics.

I believe in kindness and respect and helping your fellow human being.

I believe that love is love.




RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. Thanks for this. 🙂

  2. Thanks for this. I wrote about it yesterday too, so I understand how difficult it is to put words to something that makes you want to cry and tear your hair out. North Carolina is better than this. And in time, she’ll prove it.

  3. Amen. I’m still so sad about this.

  4. Well said, friend! I have always felt the same way, but had a moment about two or three years ago that confirmed it for me. Riding to daycare one morning with Laney, she was talking about getting married. She, of course, wanted to marry Daddy. When I informed her that Daddy was taken, she decided she would marry her best friend, Grace — would that be all right? All I could say was, “You can marry someone you love, yes.” And then suddenly I realized how strongly I really did feel about the subject. She should have the right to marry the person she loves, whomever that is.

  5. so sad for your state. 😦

  6. Posts like this are why I love you. I know so many people feel defeated right now, but the tide WILL turn. Right now our government is still run by a very different generation of people than you and I. It won’t last forever. Our kids will see the day that our State recognizes that Love is Love.

  7. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I am happy to be part of the 39% of those against Amendment 1. Of all the devastation and grief splattered across my FB page at its passing, I find it odd that those who voted for it weren’t on FB bragging about it’s passing. Could there be some shame on the part of the 61%?

    • Joette, I saw plenty of celebrating on FB! My DH’s family was ecstatic and there were several that gladly posted “majority won, get over it.” It was all I could do to not de-friend them all!

  8. You couldn’t have said it more perfectly sis. I’m SO proud of you for putting yourself out there, even against the tide of the majority. I’m surrounded by wonderfully open-minded, creative, intelligent and loving people…such as yourself…so I was ignorantly thinking this was in the bag. It’s a good wake up call as a parent and as a fellow human being….I want to make sure that Carter and I are living our lives focused on being good people and loving & respecting everyone…Olive’s watching and listening.

  9. Great post San. Love is love is darn right. Seems pretty absurd to have rules and laws that govern it. It makes me sad. Oh, but Kim Kardashian’s wedding was okay to celebrate right?

  10. Agree 100%!

  11. suzanne! thank you so much for writing this! my heart has been breaking since the vote- i really thought amendment one would be defeated. but i do have hope because of you and all the other amazing people in north carolina. love you so much!!

  12. Thank you for this, and I’m sorry you are getting grief 😦 If you don’t mind, I’d like to include it on the post I am writing about the passage of Amendment One.

  13. Well written Suzanne. I could not agree more. There is a meme going around that says something like “when Jesus said love your neighbor, he meant no matter who your neighbor is.” And it is true. No one should be denied these rights. You rule and keep up the good work.

    Most shameful is that only 34% of NC voters even voted!!

  14. Suzanne–
    Thank you so much for being who you are! I was very, very upset with the results of the vote and voice such on Facebook and our blog…..but what *does* make me feel better is knowing that I have friends like you and Laura and all the others in the state who *do* believe in equality and voiced themselves as such. I feel heartbroken about my home state and while it has happened in many others, it just felt more personal to me this time around. I want for our boys exactly what you want for your girls and I know that we are the people that can make it happen! So, if anything, I now feel re-energized to be as vocal as I can be and to share with the world that my family is no different than anyone elses…in the meantime, thank you from the bottom of my heart 🙂 As it’s ben said above, you rock!

  15. I love this! THANK YOU! I can’t even put into words how devastated Daniel and I on Tuesday night. Even though we live in Iowa now (where our marriage was performed and is legal), we still lived in North Carolina for 7 years and adopted both of our children there. Tuesday night gave me this overwhelming feeling of “you are not welcome here.” 😦 How would those people who voted for this amendment feel if they were on the other side? Now I know that LOTS of people voted against it, and I appreciate every single one of those votes, but the fact remains that it did pass and it’s heartbreaking. I also hope the day will come for our children, Jackson and Peyton, to see full equality for their dads. It’s going to happen, just not tomorrow, even though I REALLY want it to not be an issue anymore… equality is coming, Suzanne! 😉

  16. Well said Suzanne! For those of you that voted for Amendment One and disagree with gay marriage, I have advice for you: don’t get gay married then. But don’t tell those that want to marry the one that they love that they can’t. If gay marriage somehow harms your hetero marriage then you may want to look at your marriage and find the problem hidden within. Constitutions are supposed to expand and protect rights. They are not supposed to restrict them or give rights to some people and not to others. This country stands for fairness and equality (See US Constitution Amendment 14). By the way, the U.S. Constitution gives people the right to practice their religion. But you can’t force it on others. It explicitly forbids the state from forcing religion on others. Of course these amendments are written not referencing religion so it passes. But use common sense, does this seem like a religious belief is being forced on a group of citizens?

  17. A letter from our pastor captures the true meaning of the question raised in our recent election in light of how emotional abuse against women and the sad reality of infidelity, separation and divorce happen inside and outside of marriage. The first question is not the definition of marriage, but rather is how to improve and how to strengthen human relationships as Jesus Christ taught — to love one another as he loved us. This is not a Republican or Democratic issue: Dick and Lynne Cheney, the parents of a gay daughter, were asked about gay marriage on TV in September 2011, and Dick Cheney replied, “Freedom means freedom for everybody.” He then noted the state province on making marriage decisions, saying, “Different states are gonna come to different conclusions.” Finally, as to his view, he said, “But, I certainly don’t have any problem with it.” The Obamas and the Bidens repeated this same belief yesterday. Like other caring parents, we raised Suzanne and Laura to follow Christ’s teachings by loving their “neighbors” — all of them. We taught them to celebrate our similarities and respect our differences. This was our way of making a difference in the world, as Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “We can do small things with great love.” We are proud of our daughters, sons-in-law and the example they are to our granddaughters. At the end of life, the question asked of all of us will be “How have I loved?”

  18. I too am sad for our state’s people. In our constitution is now an amendment that LIMITS rights of its citizens. The constitution should GIVE rights to citizens, not take rights away… from some!!! I am proud to live in one of the few counties where AGAINST was the majority, I just wish it was enough. Love is Love.

  19. […] On Love and God and Being a North Carolinian […]

  20. Great post. You have a pretty awesome mama too. 🙂

  21. Suzanne, although you wrote that you do not normally comment on political issues I think it is wonderful and appropriate you write a comment on THIS important issue. It is so heart wrenching to see people voting against equality for all. I look forward to the day when this is a non-issue and any two people who love one another and wish to dedicate themselves to one another CAN, no matter what their sex is.
    I also enjoyed reading all of the comments that followed your post as well. It is great to hear sanity in, what sometimes feels to be, an insane world.

  22. Beautifully written Suzanne. I applaud your courage for writing this from the heart. I couldn’t agree more with you.

  23. Suzanne, your girls will grow with great love in their hearts and openness in their minds because of the beautiful example you set for them through things like this post. They are lucky to have you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: