The Day After in North Carolina
September 14, 2011 by Karin Quimby, Political & Education Director, Project One America
On Monday, when the North Carolina House Rules Committee jammed through the marriage amendment–with no public comment allowed– to ban not only gay and lesbian marriage by constitutional amendment, but also, in the most mean-spirited and reprehensible way, to also outlaw domestic partnerships and civil unions, I was furious and hurt. Having done this work for a while, I’m used to the setbacks, and usually can steel myself emotionally from the assaults. However, it was all I could do not to shout out to supporters in the room, in the kind of mournful angry voice one might use at a funeral for someone who was violently murdered: Why do you hate us so much!?
Today, the day after the Senate’s deciding vote to put this hateful amendment on the May 2012 ballot in North Carolina, I feel mostly sad that we will have to wage yet another ugly, public battle for our basic dignity. I am sad for those gay and lesbian couples who have been together for decades to have to endure this indignity, to our LGBT kids in school whose developing sense of self may be irreparably harmed, for those gay and lesbian families with children, who will have to explain the vitriol coming at them from the television, billboards, schoolmates, pastors.
But, I also know our community is strong and resilient. The legislative campaign run by Equality North Carolina with HCR’s support was the best I’ve worked on. And the growing coalition of partners in this fight is astonishing: faith communities far and wide, the NC NAACP, whose president issued a letter denouncing the amendment, students, parents, numerous progressive groups and a large swath of the business community have worked tirelessly with us and will continue to do so. HRC will be there with Equality North Carolina as we work to mount a campaign to win in May. After a day of rest, we begin again with vigor and commitment.
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