Today there are many people celebrating, and many people mourning.
To those celebrating the passage of Amendment One, I'm not sure I understand what you're celebrating. Gay marriage is now...what, twice as illegal in North Carolina? Wasn't it already not allowed?
To those mourning the passage of Amendment One (regardless of your sexual orientation), I'm not going to pretend that I know what you're going through. I feel for you, but I have no common frame of reference. I'm a white, straight, middle class, American male. I've never been denied a right that I can remember.
I understand why you're mourning the amendment's passage, and I don't fault you for it. But hear me out - I think you should take encouragement from the fact that it was even on the ballot. Can you imagine people voting on this 30 years ago? Of course not. Because the idea was ridiculous to most straight people thirty years ago. The fact that this amendment exists is proof that the opponents of gay marriage are scared.
This is a last ditch effort. A last stand. A doozy of a last stand, to be sure. But amendments can be changed. Remember Prohibition? Nope, neither do I.
An amendment makes a fine stronghold. So did the Alamo.
Each successive generation seems to grasp the concepts of equality, compassion, and grace a little more firmly than their ancestors did. The supporters of Amendment One will grow old and die. They will pass their ideas onto their children, and their children will carry on the fight, with a little less fire in their belly than their parents. And eventually, one generation will simply give up the fight.
I've heard it said that any idea is one generation from extinction. In most cases, I agree. But there are some ideas that we gravitate towards. They are a part of the human condition, as instinctive as the need to eat, or the need to breathe. Everyone, at a minimum, wants freedom for themselves and others like them. Understanding the need of others to be free is a short jump from there.
True, it's a jump that seems impossible for many. But it will be less daunting for their children. It will be within reach for their grandchildren.
I understand that it's easy for me to say all this. My rights aren't being infringed. I'm not saying that we don't need to teach our children these ideals. Selfishness is just as much a part of the human condition. And I'm certainly not saying the fight will be an easy one. Amendment One is proof of that.
I'm just saying that time is on your side. Take heart: this too shall pass.