It is very rare for me to be ashamed to be an American. I love this country and would not want to live anywhere else. But after seeing Amendment 1 in North Carolina pass on Tuesday night, I can say that at this moment, I am ashamed that I live in a country in which we continue to deny equal rights to all people.
I lived in North Carolina for two years before I moved to Washington, D.C. It is a great state with great people, especially in Raleigh, where I lived. But right now, North Carolina is the face of everything that is still wrong with this country. Citizens of North Carolina (and 30 other states prior) told gays and lesbians that they do not deserve the same right that everybody else is entitled to simply because they choose to love someone of the same sex.
Maybe I am missing something, but isn't this 2012? After the travesties of slavery, segregation, and denying women the right to work and vote, hasn't this country learned its lesson? And make no mistake, the issue of gay marriage is exactly like slavery, segregation, and woman's rights. It is the denial of basic rights to people just because they are different. It is ignorance and bigotry at its finest.
The main argument against gay marriage is that it violates the traditional “sanctity of marriage” between a man and a woman. This argument drives me absolutely insane. Anti-gay marriage conservative Rush Limbaugh has been married four times, another “sanctity of marriage” crusader Newt Gingrich has been married three times and had affairs on his first two wives. And these are the people telling gays and lesbians that they are going to ruin the sanctity of marriage? Pot, meet kettle.
I do have one question for people who are opposed to gay marriage. Why does it bother you so much? What exactly do you think is going to happen if they are allowed to get married? Is everybody in the world suddenly going to turn gay? Are happy heterosexual marriages suddenly going to end? Are asteroids going to fall from the sky and end the world? Please tell me how you can look yourself in the mirror and be proud that you are opposed to giving basic rights to people that you don't even know just because they have a different lifestyle. And please answer without quoting God or Jesus or some other fictional character.
I have yet to hear a good answer to that question. And I suspect that I never will.
This vote is a travesty. I can only hope that as more young people become active voters, the shameful results in North Carolina, and all across the country, will be reversed sooner rather than later.