Ben and Jerry's, my favorite ice cream maker sold a new flavor to encourage passage of Vermont's "Freedom to Marry" law. They called it "Hubby Hubby" and featured a gay couple atop a wedding cake on the containers.
Earlier this year when the United Kingdom debated legalizing gay marriage, Ben and Jerry's stepped up again with a gay couple atop a wedding cake on the containers of a new ice cream flavor. They named the new flavor "Apple-y Ever After."
Ben and Jerry...we need a new flavor for North Carolina. Please. And soon.
In May, citizens of our State will vote for or against an amendment to the North Carolina Constitution. For the record, it will be Amendment One. It is commonly called (and it makes me sick to my stomach to even write it) "The Marriage Protection Amendment."
Essentially the ammendment states that MARRIAGE BETWEEN ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN IS THE ONLY DOMESTIC LEGAL UNION THAT IS VALID OR RECOGNIZED in our fair State. (The all-caps shouting is my own.) It is important for you to know that NC law already prohibits same sex marriage in North Carolina. It might also be of interest to note that for the first time in over a century, both the State House and State Senate are controlled by Republicans. I won't go into detail about how expansive and far-reaching this ornerous ammendment could be.
The House Majority Leader (Rep. Paul Stam) likens gay marriage to polygamy and even incest!!! County Commisioners and City Councils, particularly in the conservative mountain areas have issued proclaimations in support of the ammendment. Leaders of the Catholic Church are in favor of the ammendment and have written extensively in letters to Catholic Churches around the State. The most recent one is a four-page "FAQ" (frequently asked questions) with such explanations as the "fact" that the ammendent is needed for the children. "Marriage between a man and a woman protects and promotes the well-being of children by allowing the children to benefit from being raised by both their father and their mother," says the publication distributed in all Catholic Churches last weekend. Oh, and the publication denies that the amendment promotes any discrimination against the way same-sex couples choose to live. PULEEZ!!!
A well-dressed gentleman approached me in the grocery store yesterday and asked if he could give me a card. The laminated card urged a "Yes" vote for the ammendment. I gave the card back to him and stated that in fact, I planned to vote a resounding "NO." He then asked, "Are you married?" At this point I might otherwise have simply walked away, but I responded, "Yes, I have been married to the same man for forty years and same-sex marriage in no way threatens that." He said, "It might not affect yours, but what about your grandchildren?" I responded in an overly-polite tone of voice, "What I hope for my grandchildren is that they will have full and equal rights to marry whomever they wish whether that is a person of the same sex or a person of the opposite sex. And I hope they will live in a more open-minded society than the prejudiced bigots I see before me."
And I turned and walked away.
Much to my chagrin, as I drove home I wondered if I had been too harsh on the gentleman. But that was only for a brief moment. After all, he was the one who approached me. And I did use a polite voice.
Right there with you!!! I am appalled at the bigotry to same sex couples, the fear that it will 'harm' the institution of marriage, and that it is anyone else's business. Hoping there are enough 'NO' votes to put an end to it.
Oh bravo to you! I usually get so mad I can't be coherent :)
I guess Paul Stam forgot to look up the meaning of polygamy and incest. Those words actually mean something and same sex marriage ain't it. I think you did an awesome job speaking up for love and sanity.
Thank you for your post...this is one of those times that being a resident of North Carolina makes me embarrassed. It sickens me too that they've just arbitrarily changed Ammendment One to "The Marriage Protection Amendment" on all their posters.
I'll definitely get to the polls in May and vote AGAINST it.
Kudos to you - I would have been too flustered to speak as eloquently. I get depressed and discouraged when I think of the massive waste of time and effort and money some groups have put towards trying to pass this amendment. There are so many constructive and positive things that effort could be going to, but some groups seem so determined to put their efforts in the other direction.
On behalf of my friend Jay, who, along with his wife, has been campaigning tirelessly to raise awareness as to why North Carolinians should resoundingly vote NO on this amendment, thank you! From the legal historian's (my) perspective, this is at base a 14th Amendment issue: we are openly discriminating against same-sex couples in what is patently a civil, legal matter, not a religious one. From a religious point of view, I believe in committed, loving relationships, regardless of sex/gender, so in either case I'm with you! Not longer an NC resident, but we've got our own battles up here in OH. LOVE this post!!!
Glad you've been given the ability for quick and coherent retort in a gentle tone. I'm one of those who thinks of what I should have, could have said, --- about a week later!
As a fellow southern, I'm sure I'm going to be faced with a situation like this soon. I just wish I had the strength to respond as you did. You go, girl!
oops...that would be "southerner"
Good for you! You weren't harsh or wrong. You're within your right to speak your beliefs, and sister, I'm with you on this one.
Well done and proud of you for keeping a polite voice. Not sure I could have. Hope there are more open minds like yours and the admendment fails.
Good for you. We have the same vote on an amendment coming up in Minnesota this fall, along with one about voter IDs. I've read that people don't understand the amendment and the wording and some think yes is no and vice versa. We already have the law, as you do.
I think that each and every man and woman should have the right to marry whom ever they fall in love with, period!! Think it is so wrong for the government to say no you can't marry the one you love b/c they are not the right sex!!
I don't think you were harsh at all....and I wish that I had the wherewithal to think of your answer as quickly as you did! Kudos to you.
YIKES! I almost missed this one! Can you hear me stomping, clapping, and whistling?
Way to go! I am so proud to hear that you said that when face-to-face with a bigot.
I find it to be unfathomable that people are so bigoted in this day and age. Even in the liberal area where I live, some of my gay friends are afraid to come "out" because of possible repercussions where they work. It's so sad for them and for us.
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