11.04.2006

Vote NO on homophobia

Like folks in eight other states (including our beloved Tennessee), South Carolinians will be voting Nov. 7 on a homophobia amendment, which will be Amendment 1 on our ballot. You can read the full text here. This amendment will change the SC Constitution to say that the only valid family unit in South Carolina is one man married to one woman, and no other family unit of any kind will be recognized in any way.

This amendment is so broad that it will harm single parents, common law marriages, etc. But the obvious real targets of this amendment are same sex couples.

When I was a kid, I remember learning about the Civil Rights movement and thinking about all the folks who worked for it, as well as the folks who opposed it. I remember wondering which side I would have been on, if I'd been alive at the time. Of course we all want to think that we'd be on the side of the Civil Rights activists rather than being among the angry faces in those photos of white mobs, but I recognized that the side of justice isn't necessarily as clear when you're in the moment as it is in hindsight. And I remember hoping, hoping, that I would know which side to be on if any issue like that emerged in my own lifetime.

Well, LGBT rights is that issue. This is one of the most important civil rights issues of the early 21st century. History will look back on what we do now--school kids will say, "What was wrong with those people? Why did they think that two women marrying would hurt heterosexual marriages? That doesn't even make sense."

Denying full civil (and human) rights to gays and lesbians is irrational and indefensible. It's bigotry, no matter what kinds of justifications the bigots use to try to pretty it up. I don't know if Amendment 1 will pass in South Carolina, but I know that the tide is turning on this issue, and the bigots will eventually be proved wrong. As MLK said, "The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice." I just hope it doesn't have to be too long, because people are being harmed every day that our country doesn't provide equal protection under the law.

You can read an interview with some of the activists working against the amendment that I wrote up for the Women's and Gender Studies magazine.

3 comments:

Kenneth said...

Amen, sister.

Trey said...

This issue was the main reason I made it a point to vote in this election. I usually only vote in presidential election or if I know the person I'm voting for personally.

christiemckaskle said...

As a married straight (and, yes, Christian) woman in Tennessee, it is disheartening to me that an overwhelming majority of my neighbors voted to discriminate against gays on the issue of marriage. I have a personal stake in this, as do ALL married people. When a body of people agree to let the state legislate which consenting adults can marry each other, then that state may decide that YOUR marriage is somehow not acceptable. There are some denominations of Christianity, for example, that still consider divorce and re-marriage "sinful." If you marry a divorced person, do you want your re-marriage ignored or outlawed just because some people don't believe in re-marriage? This type of interference is what should be feared, not the marriage of gays.