The South gets a bad rap. It’s easy to say that the South is a place of intolerance. I choose to say that the South is a place that is just extra tolerant of the past. The South has got a troublesome permanent record: low literacy, last to allow interracial marriage, no states that have even the scarcest protections for LGBT folk, and then there’s the whole Civil War thing.
My friends from the South, when they’re not rehearsing in their jug band, love to flip the script on me and decry my own intolerance of the South.
“We have great music, great barbecue, et cetera et cetera.” No one accused you of not having good decadence.
“We have great manners!” Like what? Opening doors? Who gives a fuck? You’re oppressing people.
If I sound worked up, it’s because I, you know, am. Tomorrow is May 8th, a voting day in North Carolina, the “Buckle on the Bible Belt” for the presidential primaries. The prestigious North Carolinian Congress has passed an amendment that puts a very special vote on the ballet tomorrow. This vote is called AMENDMENT 1, A1 for short (hey, A1! Steak sauce! Barbecue again!).
Our opponents would say that this vote is just to amend the state constitution that a marriage is between a man and a woman only. ”Shitty enough,” you may say, “but how is this different than all the other shitbag states that have done this before? And why are you giving the South such a hard time?”
First of all, you’re being really bossy with all these questions. I’m getting to that.
Second of all, it’s odd that the North Carolina statespeople would go out of their way to craft this amendment to ban same-sex marriages because…same-sex marriages are already not allowed. Nor are civil unions. Sooooo…
Someone has slipped poison into this shit sandwich! If A1 passes, it rips away the only thing we had: existing domestic partnership laws. But guess the fuck what? According to the 2010 census, 223,000 couples were domestically partnered in North Carolina, but only 12% of that number are gay couples. The North Carolina congress, overcome by their desire to procrastinate creating jobs, is determined to smack a pathetic Red Riding Hood basketful of legal protections from the hands of 27,000 gay couples. It’s a shame they had to screw over the cohabiting straight couples to do this, but you can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs.
And what kind of omelet does North Carolina hope to cook here with this? A boot-on-neck omelet.
This amendment is arrogance that has a whiff of Mint Julep about it. It is a majority with a will to dominate the smallest of minorities. It doesn’t have any goal other than to wound. Although, not if you believe the co-sponsor’s wife, Jodie Brundstetter, who was stumping last week for Amendment 1′s passage and got herself into a bit of verbal stickiness with an African-American man:
There’s no way to prove that Mrs. Brundstetter said that this amendment was to encourage the growth of the caucasian race. It’s illogical that this would have that effect, anyway; such a statement is not only racist, but baffling. It’s also likely that Mrs. Brundstetter, unpracticed in political etiquette, said this to the compassionate woman probably with the misconception that they were two conspiring old white ladies, and she was just one more vote for the locking. By the way, Mrs. Brundstetter didn’t need to worry so much about her horrible onset of heatstroke as she currently enjoys her husband’s government health benefits as part of being his legal wife.
However, I shared that video not as a juicy bit of scandal, but as a reminder that race is still a big deal, and that the South is covered with broken bones that weren’t set right and never fully healed. I bring this up because I believe that North Carolinians will pass this amendment. It’s in their cosmic destiny. If and when A1 passes, North Carolina will join 10 other Southern states, the Complete Confederacy, in having constitutional amendments that ban gay marriage. The South has made good on their claim to rise again. When the day comes that all states have equality, you can bet your sweet tea the last holdouts will be in this section.
If you’re a proud resident or former resident of this part of the South, you have less than 24 hours to speak up and vote. When this amendment passes, the next day the rest of the country will shrug and dismiss this as unsurprising news. They’ll say you were always hillbillies. Disgraced in history, again. For what? For this?
Everyone is surprised that Iowa has gay marriage and California doesn’t. Three Iowa justices that were chucked from their seats for allowing gay marriage are about to be given the John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Award. The award will be a sterling silver ship’s lantern, representing a beacon of hope. Courage can happen anywhere, just as cowardice can. When this passes, our opponents will celebrate, as we would if we won. But their celebrations are so quiet and ugly. Brian Brown of NOM challenged It Gets Better’s founder Dan Savage to a debate on homosexuality in the Bible. Savage got back to him in a day and said “You’re on.” (Actually, he said ‘You’re on, Motherfucker.’) That’s been 3 days, and no word back from Brown. That’s because Brian Brown is a gutless yellow turd.
Brown knows he’d debate Savage as well as an old townsperson would debate a werewolf from eating his lungs. But Brown will soon be too busy celebrating and smelling his own farts to care making good on his proposed debate.
You control how this turns out. But, if I may get personal for a moment, I think you will let this happen. I don’t think you have the guts to change your heart. Prove me wrong, please.