I’ve never shied away from politics on this blog. However, I haven’t said a lot about North Carolina’s “Amendment One” for the simple fact that most of my readers aren’t from NC and don’t have a say in things. I’ve spammed my Facebook for weeks though. But now with the primary election upon us, I figured I should say something here as well.

The so-called Amendment One is an amendment to the NC state constitution defining marriage as only the union of a man and a woman. The anti-gay groups have been pushing this pretty hard, and the bill was purposefully written as vaguely as possible, so as to allow any rights that can possibly be taken away to be taken away with ease. In addition to prohibiting gay marriage (which is already illegal in NC) the amendment also takes steps toward banning civil unions and generally makes things pretty murky when it comes to issues like child custody and domestic abuse. The bill was written by an avowed hate group, and the wife of one of the co-sponsors made several bigoted comments to the press, including something about preserving the Caucasian race. Whenever you bring any of this up, groups in favor of the bill say that you’re taking things out of context and that the amendment won’t actually change anything. Those of us who are campaigning against it are called sensationalists and accused of spreading propaganda and being part of the “gay agenda.”

Plain and simple, the amendment harms ALL residents of North Carolina, gay and straight alike. For starters, the government should not be in the business of legislating religious beliefs, and one is hard pressed to find a reason against gay marriage that doesn’t invoke the name of some creator god. As I said before, there is already a law on the books keeping gays from getting married, so a constitutional amendment is not needed. The purpose for this proposal was to spread hate and bigotry, and to extend it to anyone the framers of the bill disagree with. The only real propaganda is that which is coming from those in favor of the amendment, claiming it is necessary to legislate their version of morality for the good of the “institution of marriage.” The fact that they intentionally left things very vague opens up the door for all sorts of interpretations, many of which could be harmful to heterosexual couples. And if all of that wasn’t bad enough, they snuck the vote on this bill into the primary election, knowing that most moderates wouldn’t be voting, and giving them the opportunity to charge up the conservative base. As someone who is registered independent, I pretty much never vote in primary elections. But I made certain to do that this year, this issue is too important.

In short, this bill is a bad thing for the entire state of North Carolina. This sort of thinking sets us back by at least a century and harms everyone it comes in contact with. If you are a resident, please vote on this amendment. If you are unfamiliar with the text of the amendment, it is available online in its entirety. Even if you are against gay marriage, seriously think about the implications of this, should it become law. Gay marriage is already illegal, so if the amendment doesn’t pass you lose nothing. But if it does pass, who is to say where the lines could be drawn. You may one day find yourself on the opposite side of the law, having your rights stripped away by the government. Ask yourself if that’s what you want for you and your fellow citizens. Don’t give in to the politics of fear, hatred, and ignorance. Stand up for the rights of all people (even those you might disagree with) and vote against Amendment One.

Come on North Carolina, you made me proud four years ago when you went blue. We’re counting on you to make us proud again. Don’t let us down.