It’s been a week now and I’m still bummed about the passage of Amendment One here in North Carolina.

It seems counterintuitive to prohibit two loving adults–regardless of sex–from marrying.   Sheesh!   Put that energy toward preventing little girls from being promised to old men… toward getting rid of child pornography.   We’re among the worst in the nation in the number of children who suffer “food insecurity.”  That means they can’t assume they’re going to have food that day.  Or the next.  Thousands are homeless in our state.

I must tell you, I have never understood the threat of gay marriage and I can speak with some authority.  At one time, Dearly Beloved and I lived in a hip, contemporary urban neighborhood where, for a while at least, we were the only married heterosexual couple on the street.

The day after we moved in, we were welcomed with still-warm chocolate chip cookies from the two men who lived diagonally across from us.  We liked them immediately.  They watered my plants when we were away, Introduced us to their extended families, and invited us to their parties.  They are still a couple two decades later.

The two men next door to us moved in about the same time we did and their relationship is still intact today.   One confided to me that his mother told him she would never set foot in his house.  It was her loss, for they were intelligent, funny, kind, successful guys.

Here is the wording of the NC amendment:

[] For [] Against
Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized by this State.

This wording affects common law relationships between a man and a woman as well.  Already a local commissioner is at work to take away benefits for the families of any city/county workers, gay or straight,  who don’t conform to this definition.

Far wiser people than I have written about homosexuality.  I’ll stay out of that and so should Franklin Graham.  I can, however, report that during the time we lived in the gayborhood,  DB and I never once considered switching teams.

Perhaps our experience may reassure the professor of Christian ethics at Southeastern Baptist Seminary about two concerns he voiced during the pre-election debate.  Although I dearly loved my Akita, the late Howard Lee, it never crossed my mind to marry him.   Nor was Dearly Beloved inclined to wed the bowl of ice cream he ate every night.

I hope that puts the professor’s mind to rest.

Although I can’t remember the name of the book, a line comes to mind where one of the characters asked the other, “How can you possibly think that??”   Her friend answered, “I don’t have to think.  I’m Catholic.”  

Of course I have thinking Catholic friends.  The point is that too many of “the faithful,” whatever the denomination, let someone else tell them what to believe and I’m not talking Jesus.  

Despite all the fist-pumping preachers and the ecstatic red-suited middle-aged platinum blondes celebrating on the television news,  I can’t picture a jubilant Jesus high-fiving the passage of this legislation.

It feels pretty low here in the land of the moral high ground.

36 thoughts on “Stoned

  1. Birdie

    The following information is excerpted from the North Carolina General Statutes, Chapter 144, Section 144-2.
    § 144-2. State motto.

    The words “esse quam videri” are hereby adopted as the motto of this State (1893, c. 145; Rev., s. 5320; C.S., s. 7536.)

    don’t have your translator set to Latin? “To Be, Rather Than To Seem”
    The passage of this amendment strays far from BEING, and focuses on the seems to be, IMHO.

  2. Sandy

    Having gay friends, I don’t see the big deal. However, had I known that I could marry a bowl of ice cream, I might change my mind about it!!
    Seriously, if they want to make a marriage only between one man and one woman, that should preclude divorce and remarriages. Even for Republicans.

  3. Joe

    Mary, Very excellent comments. Thanks. Unfortunately, MN also has this constitutional amendment on the ballot for this November. With all the serious issues the state is facing, this is one of the few things the legislature accomplished this year. We now will be subjected to the wonderful ad campaigns to which you were subjected. As much as you might think MN is a bit more liberal than NC, I believe the amendment may pass, although not by margin it did in NC. I always enjoy your writing. Joe

  4. Linda Mitchell


    I believe marriage should remain as God intended: a sacred bond between
    a man and a women formed after a few weeks of heavy petting and sexual inuendos
    through an elimination contest on National TV for money! This union never lasts but it OK.

    Just weighing in here.

  5. Just another example of the appeal to emotions rather than information…”Defense of Marriage” Amendment, indeed! Puhleeze…If a marriage is good an strong, why would any other relationship threaten it? And, oh Mary, how I agree with your remarks on the really important things which are being neglected while this religious witch hunt continues. Moral high ground? I don’t think so.

  6. My Odd Family

    Very Sad. But over the course of the last week, I have also thought about how far we have really come on this subject. When I was growing up my parents had a couple of gay friends but it was never talked about it and the fact that my riding instructor was gay was hush hush. Now Cole talks about “two moms” or “two dad’s” like it was yesterday’s news and attends a school where it is the norm. Evolution in this area has happened fast–I can’t imagine my grandparents considering the idea that someday two men or two women would marry or even my parents 20 years ago. Religion has no place in this conversation but for many it is the community they go to when they are confused and trying to make heads or tails out of something they do not understand or were not brought up with…they need someone to tell them what to believe. My hope of-course is that the bill is approved everywhere and all families can enjoy the same rights….Soon,

    1. I agree that younger people are much more accepting. This amendment goes backwards, so we’re losing ground. We’re setting a group of people apart and saying, “You are less of a citizen than we are.”

      You’re right about the church community and if they don’t want to allow gays, non-members, or ice cream cones and dogs to have ceremonies in their church, that’s okay. They just shouldn’t be able to say “You can’t do it anywhere.”

  7. I don’t even know where to start. But, here goes. First, we need to understand that such legislative measures are coldly calculated. They are introduced to produce precisely the Pavlovian response it got. Get a ballot measure like this, and it’s like throwing red meat in front of the wolves. That way, the electoral turnout will vote for conservative candidates which keeps skewing the country further and further to the right.
    Did you read the New Yorker article on Art Pope? And the Red Map strategy. Well, here it is in action.
    I can’t envision where this all ends–except to fear that what we are witnessing is the slow steady diminution of our country as the land of free. My only solace–history is cyclical. The medieval concept of the great wheel of fortune–those trampled down today will rise to the top tomorrow.

  8. Arkansas Patti

    Perfectly stated on a serious subject yet you still managed to make me laugh in spots. I have never looked at Mighty dog with lust though a man with Mighty’s qualities just might bring out the lust.
    We can only hope this nonsense is not contageous to other states. Someone really needs to get out the young vote. They have much more sense.
    As someone we all know said, “I feel your pain.”

    1. Mighty MAN would be a stud muffin for sure, Patti.

      We could certainly use a course correction. I hope that we will have young people becoming involved in the coming election.

  9. You said it all and the right way MaryLee. I think, in part, your friend stated the reason quite well: “I’m (Catholic.) I don’t have to think.” Unfortunately, too many people don’t research about important items and acquire their own opinions; they simply follow what they’ve been told by others.

    1. Actually, that quote was from a book. Before the vote, I saw one church that had so many signs FOR the amendment that they almost formed a fence around the property. I suppose that was pretty accurate, now that I think about it.

  10. Thank you for a great post, Mary. If the Republicans want so badly to maintain the “dignity of marriage,” they should outlaw divorce. But that would hit them where they live (see: Newt Gingrich, et al.) It’s much easier to tell other people how to lead their lives when the “rules” don’t apply to you.

    Brava, Mary! Well done.

  11. I am so glad we seem to be a little more enlightened in the UK. No wonder there are still people around elsewhere who consider the US governed by the religious right.

    Valley’s End and the surrounding hills are a ‘hotbed’ for gays and lesbians, they’re just part of the community like everybody else. There is no need to ever refer to them as ‘different’, because they aren’t.

  12. I will do my best to stay off my soapbox… What you have put to words here is beautiful. As a Catholic lesbian *gasp* I cannot imagine the Jesus I believe in encouraging people to treat each other in this manner. Love is love. My partner and I have been together for nearly 19 years. We have 2 amazing boys who constantly ask why we aren’t married. It makes me ashamed of this country when I have to explain the “rules” to them. They are wise enough to know that the laws are ridiculous. I too was saddened by North Carolina. I’m not understanding the threat that people feel. Sadly if I married MY bowl of ice cream I’d likely be more widely accepted… You are a lovely person for sharing this Marylee. My family thanks you.

    1. How anyone who reads your blog and recognizes the loving care and support you give your awesome boys– especially your sweet special needs child–could ever think of your family as somehow undeserving of the same rights as any other, is beyond me. You have written some posts that have wrenched my heart for you and the exhaustion you must feel sometimes.

      I wish your family well. . . and yes, I think that a loving Jesus would, too.

  13. People are ignorant, they create fear when there is none. I too, cannot imagine not providing the same rights to same sex couples as we would anyone else. If a church does not want to marry a couple, that’s fine but to create a law that prohibits same sex couple the legal rights that are provided under a legal marriage (ugh). Everyone is entitled to be happy and we should just get over ourselves and recognize that not everyone is heterosexual, and move on.

    Great post Marylee! You do me proud.

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