North Carolina, Gay Marriage and Action

(CC) Flickr user eivindw

I’ve seen the posts, the comments, the reactions, and everyone’s indignation. Just stop.

Take your memes and someecards and put ’em away.

Anyone who knows my politics knows I support gay marriage, but you need to stop talking and start doing. I get it, I too am a “a lily-livered, bleeding-heart, liberal, egghead communist” (West Wing) and it’s much easier to talk than do.

But seriously, did you expect this to go any other way?

Let’s consider:

  • North Caroline is part of the south – the traditional home of conservative values.
  • There are 30 other states with similar measures – did you expect that NC was going to break out and swing far left?
  • NC has approximately 9.6 million people.  The two largest cities (and large cities are usually where lily-livered liberals flock) only have 731K (Charlotte) and 403K (Raleigh) in them.  Those two concentrations (assuming they run liberal) weren’t going to swing anything in a vote on a topic such as this where the conservative die-hards have been rallied (not Raleigh-ed) by the interest groups.
  • Notwithstanding the large young population centered around the big colleges (UNC and Duke) – the students there are frequently out of staters (i.e. not entitled to vote in NC elections) or even if they are non-local in-staters they would’ve needed to get absentee ballots to vote for a non-presidential voting (I don’t know what the stats are on that, but I’m guess it’s pretty darned low).

So, for anyone who was surprised, caught off guard or actually had any hope this wouldn’t pass – get over it – you were fooling yourself the entire time.

Now yes – I (certainly) know there’s a difference between a constitutional amendment and a law and this is much more severe than a law, but honestly most people don’t know the difference between criminal and civil court or a felony and a misdemeanor. And even if they did know – the voters who voted for this wouldn’t care – they aren’t (or don’t think) they’re going to change their minds.

You can b___h and moan all you want, but if you want to convince people, speak with your actions and money – not words in two ways: To the state and the more important one – to your friends.

What do I mean, well that’s pretty simple – figure out how you can influence the state (or the large (i.e. financially or politically influential organizations within the state)) and tighten the screws.  Theoretically nothing can be done at this point, but that doesn’t mean you need to continue supporting the state and beliefs you (seemingly) hate so much.  You want examples – ok:

  • Don’t watch (or participate or attend) any collegiate sporting event involving Duke, UNC, or any other NC college or – I know, it’s not their fault and they may have been on the right side of things, but once tax dollars from ticket and apparel sales stop flowing in, someone will take notice.  Can you imagine a Duke/UNC game without a packed stadium or outlandishly high ratings?
  • If you’re a UNC or Duke grad (or have their apparel notwithstanding) – cut it up, send it back, burn it on video and post it to YouTube and don’t buy a replacement.
  • Going on vacation to NC – well don’t. There’s plenty of places elsewhere in the region that are lovely I’m sure.
  • If you’re driving through NC – don’t stop and buy anything – fill up on gas before you cross the border and buy a Coke at the same time then then drive straight (no pun intended) on through.

But you want to make a real difference – to make sure it’s only 31 states that stay on the books with these types of laws – take action against your friends.

Yes – I mean it.  We’ve all seen the word-of-mouth marketing stats and know the premium friends place on the opinions of their friends.

Next time you get a wedding or anniversary celebration invitation (or any you’ve got pending) – ask your friend “Where do you stand on gay marriage?”  If they answer wrong then it’s a simple matter – stand up for what you believe in and don’t attend, or pussy out and realize that your shock and indignation is nothing more than bandwagon jumping.

If you need to be polite, try something like,

“I wish you and ____ all the happiness in the world and will get you a nice gift, but the gay marriage issue is very important to me and I won’t be able to attend.  I’m standing up for those who can’t stand together and make the same commitment you’ll be making. I’m sure you’ll make a beautiful/handsome bride/groom”

or replace part with “I can’t let myself celebrate your union when you wouldn’t be willing to allow, much less celebrate, the union of two other people who love each other.”

It’s people who vote on these measures – if it’s important to you, let your friends know that and do something about it so that there isn’t a 32nd state. If not – STFU and get off the bandwagon.

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