Living in the Chapel Hill area for the last two years has allowed me to realize the political leanings of the small university town, which is overwhelmingly towards the left. In addition, being a teacher and having received a degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, I can safely say that most of my acquaintances, former classmates, and fellow teachers oppose Amendment 1, the amendment that would recognize legal marriage ONLY as being between one man and one woman.
Not only have anti-Amendment 1 signs littered front yards and street corners for the past couple of months, but the commercials have been abundant as well. However, traveling into rural North Carolina, the location of my current job, reveals a much different North Carolina than the liberal-minded college town of Chapel Hill. On highway 64 between Pittsboro, NC and Siler City, NC, a hand-painted wooden sign has taken up residence. In obvious hand-made fashion, the sign urges motorists to vote for Amendment 1. Throughout the past couple of months, I assumed that this was an aberration from the norm, that perhaps a minority of North Carolinians had taken it upon themselves to stand up for their beliefs. In fact, I even commented to my husband that it was one of the only pro-Amendment 1 propaganda that I had seen thus far.
Despite my perceptions that North Carolinians have progressed past being concerned about excluding groups of individuals from certain rights, voters have cast their ballots in favor of Amendment 1. Clearly, my view of the political environment in this state is radically affected by the “bubble” that exists in Chapel Hill. I am shocked, as I am sure are others, that voters find this issue to be top of mind, particularly considering the desperate times in which we live (especially in such an economically-depressed state as North Carolina).
While I support each individual’s right to his/her beliefs, I have a difficult time understanding why individuals feel the need to define the institution of marriage in a way that purposely excludes individuals. I am a practicing Christian and have been for years, and I understand that religious beliefs often govern individuals’ political convictions. If this is the case, then how can one claim to operate under Christian ideals when intentionally leaving individuals who want to experience marriage out of the picture? To me, this is blatantly and unquestioningly against Christianity, and today I am disappointed in the citizens of North Carolina.