Thursday, May 10, 2012

Amendment One

I currently reside in North Carolina.  I have lived here for the past 22 years.  We moved here after my father died when I was a little girl.  After being here so many years I consider myself now a Carolina Girl.

I am also, by definition, a Christian.  I believe that Jesus is God's only son.  I believe he was born of the virgin, Mary, and was crucified and died for my sins; rising to life on the third day thus defeating sin and death.  I am not perfect.  Nor do I strive to be.  My faith does not expect me to be.  It just expects me to do my best.  My faith says I'm loved JUST THE WAY I AM. All this being said....

I voted against Amendment One.

As a Christian, yes  I do hold the belief that the "alternative" life styles of the gay and bi community are sinful.  I do believe they are against God's standard set forth in the "good book".  However, it is not for me to judge people.  That is not my job.  That's HIS job.  He commanded me in Matthew not to judge others.  In fact he told me to remove the plank from my own eye before worrying about the sawdust in someone else's.  (in short, I need to worry about my own sins before thinking I'm good enough to worry about what others are doing).  In fact, the whole message of Christ is not to judge others, but to love them.  I'm tired of people using the bible as a tool to condemn others, judge them, and bolster hate.  Do other Christians really believe that is what it's for?  *SMH*  (shakes my head)  It is a tool to help each individual on their own journey.  It teaches about love and forgiveness.  It tells us NOT to judge others.  Some people just really confuse me.

Growing up, I knew several gay people.  I loved them to death.  They are exactly the same as any other HUMAN BEING!  The look the same.  They laugh.  They cry.  They hurt.  They rejoice.  They bleed.  They have good days and bad days.  After being married we moved next to a gay couple.  They were some of the nicest people we ever met.  And in my neighborhood now, there is a couple (although I do not know them personally).   Never I have looked upon any of them with disdain or contempt.  I just see at as they live their life differently than I do.  So what.  They are still people.  And doesn't my faith command I love all people?  And as free people of these United States, shouldn't they be allowed the same freedoms as others (to inquire of the medical health of a loved one?  or Cover them in their health care policy?)

I am deeply sadden by the vote of the people of my state.  What I don't think many of them understood was the North Carolina already has a law saying Gay Marriage is not legal in this state.  This amendment really had NOTHING to do with that at all.  However, because of the wording of Amendment One, it has opened up a doorway for many potential bad things.

The only union now recognized in our state is marriage.  So I'm sorry if you have lived together for 20 years.  You may now no longer be allowed to be a part of the benefits your significant other has at work (no matter your sexual orientation).  Sorry.  Many are worried now that children of unwed couples will also lose health care.  Think I'm crazy?  One county (Mecklenburg) already has a councilman on the war path to start declining coverage for gay couples.  This is only the beginning.  If you do it for the "gays" you have to do it everyone.  Because after all, isn't it illegal to discriminate?  Isn't discrimination why we, The United States, exist to begin with?  Weren't we discriminated against?

I am so disappointed in the people of this state.  Their fear has gotten the best of some of them.  Others are so deeply rooted in religious piousness that they can't see or think straight.  They pick and choose which parts of Bible to follow (forgetting Christ commanded we love everyone).  Others had no idea what this amendment really meant.  They thought it was all about gay marriage.  It wasn't.  That was already illegal here.  Others were confused.  They thought voting FOR the amendment was voting for gay marriage rights.  *sigh*  I wish people with the right to vote would have done their homework.  Several news stations did stories on Amendment One.  There was stuff all over the internet.  You just had to sit down and devote the time to looking it up.  It wasn't fun.  I know.  I did it.  I wanted to be an informed voter.  Others did it.  And yet, so many were so misinformed.  And now many people are going suffer.

The sad thing is, I can already see this being the platform for our next election in November.  It's not going to be the budget crisis, or the economy, or jobs.  Nope.  I am so afraid it's going to come down to where you stand on someone else's choice on how they live their life.  Our president as come out and supported gay rights.  And of course, his opponent will not.   And many people will cast a vote based on this one thing.  What does that say about our country?  That people are so damn nosy that will vote for the candidate that judges others the same way they do?  That many will not vote on issues we really need answers and fixes too?

Men in Black said it best:  "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it."    I believe this wholeheartedly. 







11 comments:

  1. Very well written piece. You are an intelligent & articulate young woman. I was informed & voted "FOR." Jesus taught love the sinner, not the sin. If you search the scriptures you can find references throughout that argue "both sides" of this debate as to it being perverse, unnatural, etc. It's about condemnation & sin. Then in the New Testament it's all about love & forgiveness... but again, it's love the sinners, not their lifestyle. As for the ramifications & media hype against it....ALL people are protected by law from assault & battery. It doesn't matter if it's 'domestic abuse' or not. If someone assaults you, call the law! All children are protected by law against neglect or abandonment. An unmarried couple w/ children has legal obligation to support them or else the "state" will. A deadbeat dad (or mom is a deadbeat dad no matter the marriage amendment. Wage garnishment & incarceration can result from financial neglect. Company benefits for employees are a PRIVATE contract (business agreement) between the employer & the employee, not a government benefit. If a PRIVATE company wants to provide benefits for people living together they can!The government can't stop them anymore than they can force them to provide benefits. State "estate laws" vary but private policies like life insurance & financial accounts have beneficiaries named by the owner of that policy or account. As for end of life or health care decisions, you should have a Living Will & a Health Care Power of Attorney to state what you desire & who has the decision. Even if you are married you should have that. Look at Terri Schiavo, she was married & her PARENTS & HUSBAND were fighting over end of life decisions. Nobody was gay in that fight. It's done, get over it. The people have spoken. Don't assume you know more than the people who voted or assume they were ignorant of the facts.

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    1. Thank you for your response. I am not assuming. I am going on what I have been told by others. People I know were confused. People I know didn't understand some of this.
      I do believe children will be okay as far as coverage. But people who do not believe in marriage and are together for years may no longer be able to cover each other (benefit wise). I find that sad. I may not agree with their life style (gay or straight) but I don't believe that they should certain rights stripped away. People in government jobs (ex. police) can have these rights taken away if that is what is decided. Private companies can choose to do as they wish. And now they can discriminate legally (in my eyes). IMO, it's sad.
      I do believe Power of Attorney is a great thing! Just as you.
      I understand that this was a very heated issue and that each of us has a different opinion on the subject. I was just stating mine and what I knew to be true from comments made directly to me. I wasn't assuming a thing.
      Thank you for your comment and opinion.

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  2. I feel ya on some of your frustrations. But really the agenda was a whole lot more than you may realize... this is a Spiritual Battle. You can have compassion for the lost with out giving them permission to live in sin. They are not loosing anything. They still have contractual rights. They just can't mis-use the term "marriage". God defines Marriage. Being an institution created by God it should be protected from perversions of all kinds including bigamy an polygamy.
    Bless You.

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    1. Agreed. Marriage is sacred. And in NC it was already illegal to have a gay marriage before this amendment. I agree with much of what you say. I do. I just wish (personally) that the whole amendment would have been worded differently as to not open the doors for discrimination.

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  3. Very well done, Noelle. I agree with you 100%. Your "anonymous" commenter may not have read it all the way through. He or she still thinks it is their place to sit in judgment.

    Why is this a spiritual battle? There are SO many faiths represented in this great country, and they don't all believe what Christians believe. So, why is it that the Christians feel that they get to make all the laws? Why do they get to sit in judgment and dictate how everyone else lives? It is the worst kind of arrogance and I think it would truly disappoint Jesus Christ if he saw his people acting as they are. Being gay is not a choice any more than being straight is a choice. At what age did you "decide" that you were straight? I know I was born straight because I have never felt any attraction toward my own sex. And don't give me that "hate the sin, not the sinner" line of BS, either. This is a cliche, go-to line that people use to hide their hate behind their religion.

    I know two gay couples who have been together longer than I have been on this earth. How these two people wanting to be married hurts the "sanctity" of a union that straight people abuse every day is a mystery to me. There are straight people who get married for tax purposes, to get more student loan money, and to become citizens. Why is that not wrong, but marrying someone you love who happens to be the same gender is abominable? It isn't. And it isn't anyone's business who marries who. People just love to stick their noses in other people's business. They have to have a say in how other people live their lives or they just aren't happy.

    The fact that this amendment contained so many other damaging factors has escaped a lot of people. Yes, the law WILL protect you if you call them AFTER someone has attacked you. That's not very useful if you are dead, is it? You should be able to get a restraining order against ANYONE who poses a plausible threat to you, not just a legal spouse.

    You suggested that the state would provide medical coverage for children of unwed parents. I don't want my tax dollars going toward this. These people are able to and want to provide insurance to their children, but because these parents are not married to each other this idiotic piece of legislation says they can't provide it. Oh, but it's ok if they are divorced? I smell a hypocrite. I thought conservatives wanted to get away from dependence on government programs. What do you think Medicaid is?

    If you don't like gay marriage, don't get gay married. Don't attend a church that performs same sex marriages. But don't tell everyone else that they can't because it's against YOUR beliefs. Thats like me getting mad at you for eating a donut because I am on a diet. It's ridiculous.

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    1. "You should be able to get a restraining order against ANYONE who poses a plausible threat to you, not just a legal spouse." ...stupid statement. People get restraining orders all the time against 'stalkers' (strangers) not just spouses. "These people are able to and want to provide insurance to their children, but because these parents are not married to each other this idiotic piece of legislation says they can't provide it." .....Says who? How does this stop people from taking care of their children? You misread or misunderstood my saying the 'state' will take care of these children. My statement was that the law insists that parents take care of their offspring (court mandated child support) or they will intercede (wage garnishment, incarceration) or by taking custody of these children (think foster care if neglected or abused). Where does this legislation say unwed parents cannot provide benefits for their children? All parents, wed or unwed have a legal (and moral) obligation to provide support. This amendment changes nothing. There are many unwed parents. Gay people can still live together just like heterosexual people can live together. This amendment changes nothing in that regard. As for being hateful towards others.....who's judging who? I am of the opinion that gay people are born gay. I have gay friends, some in partnerships & other single. I don't judge their lifestyle. To each his own. I just believe marriage is between 1 man & 1 woman. What about polygamy? Do you support that? I've been married to the same person for several decades & we didn't marry for convenience or insurance purposes. We got married to have children & raise a family...in that order. Without laws or standards we become uncivilized. Do we let pedophiles prey on children just because 'they were born that way?' Do we let siblings or 1st cousins marry one another just because they 'love' each other? Where does it stop?

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  4. I do appreciate all the comments. I love that our country allows us the freedoms to speak what is on our minds. And we all aren't going to always agree.
    Each of you have made good points. And each of you have made statements I do agree with.
    It is the fear of some that children will not be covered. I honestly don't know how that would be possible, but hey. I just know it's one many people had.
    Thank you all for your comments. God Bless.

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  5. "Anonymous", I never called you stupid, and I never personally judged you. However, you turned this into a personal attack by calling me stupid. I run into this a lot with folks who just plain don't like what I have to say.

    You said that you believe people are born gay, but that you still think it's a sin. Can you elaborate? Does that mean that someone who is born with any other type of social abnormality or dysfunction also deserves to not have the same rights as the rest of us? And yes, the state of North Carolina DOES allow you to marry your cousin. Along with MANY other states who also oppose same-sex marriage.

    YOU believe marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman. That is fine. But what gives you the right to impose YOUR beliefs on anyone else? YOU may have married for love and YOU may have been married to the same person for many decades, but more than 50% of STRAIGHT marriages end in divorce. I think that statistic is more of an affront to the sanctity of marriage than two people who love each other wanting to be married who happen to be the same sex.

    The "where does it stop" argument is a strawman. People said the same thing when there was a debate about whether blacks should be allowed to marry whites and whether or not women should be allowed to vote. Polygamy is legal in some places. Again, if you want to have TWO or MORE spouses to deal with, more power to you. Doesn't really bother me much. Polygamy was huge in the bible. And do you HONESTLY believe you can compare gay marriage and legalizing pedophilia? Child molestation is a crime. Being gay isn't. That might be the most misguided statement I have heard all day.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect that yours is different than mine, but I can't respect anyone who wants to make personal choices on behalf of people they don't know about things they don't understand.

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  6. That is a joke, even in my country a children of the unwed parents, single mothers do have a better help from the government.
    In fact, the one who are wed are in trouble with benefits, social help and all the other state thingies ...

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  7. I really should have clarified the insurance with children thing. Parents can insure their children, wed or not. Where it now gets tricky is in scenerios like this:

    woman and man marry and have kids. Horrible accident, and the husband dies. Woman is now a single mom. She finally meets someone new. They are in love, but she's not sure about re-marriage. The new man wants to insure the woman's children, and now can't. Even if they've been together for years. See the issue? (and I do know people in this situation).

    I do apologize for not being more clear!

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