I should be grading. I should be finishing the semester. Instead I’m printing flyers, organizing volunteers. I’m fighting against Amendment One.
I shouldn’t have to do this. This proposed constitutional amendment shouldn’t be on the ballot. Hate shouldn’t be recognized, shouldn’t be something we vote on, shouldn’t be part of the democratic process. Hate shouldn’t be encoded into a state constitution.
In 2000, I voted to remove the interracial marriage ban from the Alabama state constitution. That night, as the world watched the contested presidential election, it also saw, on the continuously running CNN ticker, that Alabama’s interracial marriage ban had been removed from the state constitution, but barely — 60-40. It was a shameful moment, a disgrace.
I love North Carolina. My family has adopted this state and it has lovingly embraced us. I don’t want my son to go to the polls 20 years from now and have to vote to remove a constitutional amendment of hate that never should have been there. I don’t want him to feel embarrassed about his state.
For months I’ve been working with Neighbors for Equality, the grassroots organization founded by two recent Gardner-Webb University alums, Collyn Warner and Tyler McCall. I’ve edited letters, written blurbs on the history of marriage, attended meetings, marched in downtown Shelby, drawn signs, printed flyers, campaigned at the Board of Elections. And the whole time, I’ve been afraid. Afraid of losing my job. Afraid of what people will say or think. But hearing the hatred, hearing the wrong-headedness of the “pro-marriage” people, has galvanized me. What makes hate okay? Why is love of ALL people wrong?
Hate is not okay. Love of all people is right.
I am no longer scared of losing my job or of having someone yell at me about my stance on this amendment. I am no longer afraid. I am angry. I am sad. I am bewildered. But I’m going to fight like hell to see that this attempt to write hate into the constitution of a beautiful, loving state doesn’t succeed.
Be on the right side of history. Take a stand on the civil rights issue of our time. Vote for all families, for all people. Vote against Amendment One.