February 5, 2012
Alicia Keys is Right - No One!
I hoped to communicate to all those other people out there who are not personally directly affected - or rather who think they are not personally directly affected - by this Amendment that passage of such a thing denigrates us all and adds North Carolina to the sad list of states willing to deny, rather than protect, the rights of all its citizens. I wanted to pass along anecdotes about friends whose loving examples of union define and uphold the sanctity of marriage in ways everyone in North Carolina should cherish. I planned to talk about the real damage North Carolina will be doing to itself by trying to strip away the rights of loving and devoted couples and their children - because, make no mistake, a vote for Amendment One is a vote against families, not in "defense" of them.
And what I realized is this - if you are here, and you are reading this, you already know all that. You know that Amendment One represents a cynical and unpatriotic attack against a minority population. You know that Amendment One is a thinly veiled act of bullying taken straight from the grade school playground into the state house. You know the people whose rights of citizenship will be marginalized were this Amendment come to pass. You know the families who will be faced with the terrible decision of staying in North Carolina and being mistreated for who they love, or taking their talents and their children and moving to a state that recognizes the value and legitimacy of a union between two people without putting undue limitations on the partners.
You already know Amendment One is wholly wrong, and that North Carolina will be much reduced if its constitution bears such an ugly mark on its constitution. You already know how important it is to make sure the huge group of people who either haven't made up their mind, or who have barely made up their mind, know how important it is to Vote No On One. You know that group of Not Quite Sure People is formed of a diverse set of backgrounds, and that therefore diverse messages are required to allow them to fully understand the importance of Voting No On One.
Some will need to be shown examples of loving couples as the core of tremendous families. Some will need to see partners living in union and practicing their faith without reservation. Some will require highly intellectual arguments stemming from the modernized universality of Jefferson that states that, "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among people, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
Some will need to battle generations of prejudice and hatred cultivated in their own communities and families to see how important it is to Vote No - they will need your guidance and your patience, as unfair as it is to ask even more of you through this unjustified trial.
It is truly reprehensible that the men and women elected to positions of representational authority have abrogated their duties to protect the rights of all their constituents against any notion of the "tyranny of the majority." It is damnable that they have instead taken a pass on personally upholding the principles of the republic and instead allowed rights to go to a vote. This country and this state stand for more than that, but in this particular instance, those who purport to serve as the instruments of the state have failed. It will therefore be important to remind those in power that we expect more of them and that we reject their attempt to reduce the rights of any of our fellow citizens.
We must Vote No On One.