Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Moment on my Soapbox

I swore to myself I wouldn't use this as a forum to air my own personal issues, and I mean to keep that promise. I have a LOT of issues, and if I turned this into a bitch/rant blog, that's all it would be.

Having said that, there are certain issues too big for me to let pass me by. They make me angry. They make me sad. They make me cry in my car all the way home from work despite a blinding rainstorm.

I'm talking, dear blogledites, about Amendment One here in North Carolina. There are a lot of things I love about my state. We went for Obama in 08. We're hosting the DNC in a few weeks. We're home to one of my personal heroes, Maya Angelou. Obviously we're not the "Deep South" that people are so afraid of.

But painful ignorance still holds far too much sway here, and yesterday's vote made that obvious. They called it "the marriage amendment," and it was, but not in the way people thought. Yes, it banned gay marriage -- something that was already against the law in this state anyway -- but it also banned gay civil unions. AND it also banned heterosexual civil unions. Now, in North Carolina, the only way your union can be legally recognized is if you're a MARRIED heterosexual couple. Also, civil unions are not even recognized in NC. So if you were civil unioned in Virginia, say, and you're driving through the fair state of NC and get into a car wreck, and your partner is in a coma -- sorry, you have no legal rights in this state, no matter how legal your union is.

Does that sound right to you? It sure as hell doesn't to me. What gets me is how Republicans are always bitching about the government getting into their lives. "Don't tell me I have to buy healthcare -- I'm a free American and should be able to choose!" Right. Okay. But the government has a right to tell you you HAVE to get married in order for your union to be legally recognized? Sorry, y'all: you didn't just invite big government into your home, you ushered it straight into the bedroom and gave it a seat right beside the bed.

The hypocrisy of this is staggering to me. The "sanctity of marriage" line is BS. There are maybe five people left in the continental US who actually believe in the "sanctity" of marriage. But now, because of ignorance, bigotry, and hypocrisy, kids all across NC will lose access to healthcare.

How? you might be asking. I listened to two ladies outside my polling place yesterday mocking those of us against Amendment 1 for believing...well, the law. You see, before this new law passed, a stepparent could carry health insurance on their non-biological child if said stepparent was in a civil union with the child's biological parent. Now, of course, such unions are illegal, so if the biological parent is unemployed (and NC has the 5th highest unemployment rate in the US), the child loses healthcare. Unless, of course, the parents get married. And naturally the government has every right to sashay in and tell these two people that they MUST GET MARRIED or face the CONSEQUENCES!!

And what about seniors? Many widowed seniors specifically choose not to get married, because the social security benefits they're receiving as a widow/er are their only source of income. NOT ANY MORE, old people! GET MARRIED or get CUT OFF!

I think, dear blogledites, that you can sense my anger here. I'm furious and hurt and upset. I'm a straight woman, and I support my LGBT brothers and sisters in their right to love as they choose, and to marry the person they love. I also support my fucking right to marry or not as I bloody well choose.

The last amendement to the North Carolina state constitution made interracial marriage illegal. My only hope is that one day, in the not-too-distant future, North Carolinians will look back at Amendment One and shake their heads at their forebears' ignorance and bigotry, just as we look back at that last amendment with disgust.

Now let's get this shit repealed.

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