In regards to civil rights, North Carolina has decided to take more than a few steps back rather than forward. The GLBT people of NC have endured more out loud discrimination recently due to voting on Amendment One which happened May 8th. The people of the state voted for Amendment One, which in turn amended the state constitution to say that marriage was between one man and one woman. It has also opened up the doors, to make both GLBT and Straight civil unions illegal.
Currently there is some confusion as to how the Amendment will affect any unmarried couple in the State of North Carolina. The day after the vote took place, some politicians around the state wanted to remove domestic partner benefits from county benefit plans. One of the politicians who is said to have asked that the benefits be changed is Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James Long. The email in question, where he asked if revoking the benefits would happen soon, circulated the internet the day after the vote. With commissioners like this chomping at the bit to get rid of any benefit that may or may not affect GLBT folks in the state, it is no wonder that people assume North Carolinians are ignorant bigots.
North Carolina has a long history of being a good old boy state. While there is nothing wrong with people having similar beliefs, there is something wrong with determining the civil rights of humans being by popular vote. Civil Rights are not a popularity contest; it just does not work that way. If we break down Amendment One, we can see that the state already had mandates that made it impossible for GLBT folks to enter into a same-sex marriage.
Another instance where attacking and singling out GLBT folks has become popular is the latest rant by Pastor Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church. Pastor Worley decided to preach a sermon that would make any racist or bigot proud. He said that GLBT people needed to be isolate and imprisoned, inside a fenced compound so they would die out. Pastor Worley’s’ idea of imprisoning the GLBT people can be seen as a Nazi-like concentration camp idea. Although he did state that he would drop in food, his idea that the GLBT people would just die off is absurd.
Some of the biggest misconceptions that people have about GLBT people are that they are not worth anything because they do not procreate. The people, who believe that statement, do not take into account that many GLBT people adopt the children of straight couples. There are straight couples who are drug addicts, too young or just too overwhelmed to care for their kids. Without these valuable parents, the children may not have had someone to take care of them. The foster and adoptive care systems are already beyond capacity. Why are they picking on GLBT people? Is it because they are secret closet homo’s or they just do not want to face the truth which is horrible people come in every shape, size and color, including white and republican.
Have the small minded bigots ever thought that God possibly made GLBT people in order to care for those children who have no parents? It is a theory, and it should be left up to us to decide what we believe in. Just remember that people’s beliefs are sacred only to themselves and even the bible says that only god can judge. In addition, I’m guessing that the bigots also never realized that most of the GLBT people come from heterosexual parents themselves? Corralling the GLBT people is not going to kill them off, heterosexuals will continue to have gay babies!
It is easy for us to point to Pastor Worley as the epitome of what is wrong with North Carolina. We also have to remember that there are several more citizens who support the GLBT people in this state. It is sad that even in 2012; we have people who think that other human beings are lesser than them. They weigh the value of a person based on who their heart decides to love instead of just valuing them as a human being. There are good and bad people in every corner of the world. There is not a single group of people who can be classified as perfect. We all should be looked at as individuals who come from the same bone and everyone’s bodies die off just the same.
One thing the GLBT people of North Carolina have been able to benefit from in all of this is bigotry is now at the surface, instead of hiding in the deep end. In the past, gay bashing, gay suicide and other forms of gay issues got swept under the rug. GLBT people have now been shoved into the spotlight, and their families are on display for the world to see. Large retailers such as JC Penney are now showing that GLBT people exist by using them in their advertising.
There used to be an old joke that gays helped out the economy because of all the extra income they had from not having kids. While we’d like to hope that was true in some sense, the truth is we are struggling just like any other group. We procreate, we adopt, we work, we live, and we do the same things as heterosexual people do. The only thing lacking, is the fundamental civil right that says that we are not to be discriminated against for being a certain sex when we apply for a marriage certificate. Recently the federal government stepped in and said that DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, is unconstitutional. This is a step in the right direction, and it should give all GLBT people around the United States some hope that one day we can be seen as equal human beings.
For now, we will just have to continue to fight against the discrimination we face and help educate people in regards to how ignorance and bigotry has no place in the land of the free.