in life

Because We’re Still Going Out of Our Way to Hate

Back in November, I asked:

“What, in history, was made better by discrimination? When did segregation work? When was bigotry applauded by the masses?”

The question is rhetorical. The answer is, of course, never.

But here we are, with another State not only denying equal rights, but going out of their way to do so.

North Carolina passed an amendment that will alter the state’s constitution to say that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.” The reality is, there was already a ban on same-sex marriage. This now bans civil unions, too. In short, it’s a slap in the face. And it’s pretty damn terrible, when you stop and think about it.

Once again, we’re mixing church and state. And once again, we’re going out of our way to hate. We’re denying equality. We’re ruining the lives of our people simply because we don’t agree with the lifestyle. Or don’t understand it. Or are afraid.

Afraid of change. Afraid of progress. Afraid of making things right. 

Look. I don’t have a dog in the fight. I’m straight. I’m married. I’ve got all the tax benefits and health benefits I need. But it boggles my mind that my mom, my gay friends, or anyone who loves someone who happens to be the same sex, can’t get those same rights.

It’s things like this that have made me severely question the faith I was brought up with. It’s this backtracking that makes me question progress. It’s disgusting and disheartening to see this kind of hatred still rampant amongst our population.

But for every setback, I do see something inspiring. I see my Twitter stream and my Facebook wall flooded with messages of positivity. People – white, black, gay, and straight, coming together and uniting in one simple idea: equality.

It’s a sign of a generation that thinks differently. That acts differently. That will change the way we look at and treat each other. It will take time, but change, real change, will continue to inspire our generation and the generations that follow us. One nation, indivisible.

I’ll close with something I said last year. Something I’ve been saying for years.  Something that every single person reading this should take to heart, and share with someone, anyone, everyone else:

“It’s not about changing your religious beliefs. It’s not about taking a different political stance. It’s about believing, whole-heartedly, that all men (and women) are created equal.”

And if that doesn’t settle, then I’ve got one more message for you:

“Wake the fuck up, America.”

Just because you don’t understand or are afraid of something or someone that’s different, doesn’t mean you need to go out of your way to hold us back from making progress.

Think about it…

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25 Comments

  1. I’m just gonna say it…this is totally like the reality of rape for women. It has nothing to do with not understanding or sex or deviance anything like that. It has to do with one human being having a sick need to assert their power and dominance over another. It turns my stomach. And like you, I have no dog in the race either.

    • I can’t say that I don’t agree. I cannot see any justification for denying equal rights. Religion isn’t an acceptable excuse. Faith shouldn’t continue to hold us back from equality.

  2. The interesting thing is that people didn’t realize how much of an impact this amendment will have on people, gay or straight. People were too busy trying to make sure that one minority doesn’t have equal rights. What about the kids that are on on person’s health insurance that isn’t their biological parent? They’ll lose coverage. Also, any heterosexual couple that isn’t married will lose rights, even if they’ve been together for 45 years. This amendment goes much deeper than the surface of the hate that fueled it. Same sex marriage is already illegal in NC! Ridiculous. This is totally an election year…

    • I could not agree with you more. I think I’m more sad that the zealots against gay marriage turned the focus of this amendment on just that, and thus ignored all of the other problems and victims that will come from this amendment. It is about gay marriage and equal rights, but it’s also about other civil unions and rights of children and families. It’s just a shame that the lack of understanding and acceptance for same-sex unions will not affect many more people.

  3. Matt,
    Dig this post ! Well done.
    To add to your constitutional thoughts, the folks behind this hatred are the ones so quick to whip out their copy and wave it around as they continue to derail the “pursuit of happiness”

    Keep it up.

    @JayShurling

  4. I’m embarrassed to say that my sister lives in NC and was on FB reminding people to vote and was the first I saw to say “Way to go, NC!” Matt, I love your posts because they always say rationally what I want to say but I’m so angry and brokenhearted I can’t. My kids were disgusted last night and I actually heard about it from my 13 year old son (I’m VERY proud that they discussed it at school yesterday!) and even my 10 year old knows the whole thing is bullshit.  They don’t know any homosexuals. They just know that laws are meant to help and protect people and this certainly does the OPPOSITE of that. 

    • Exactly. Fortunately, they’ll have parents like us that will inspire them to treat everyone, gay or straight, with respect and dignity. Change won’t happen overnight, but it WILL happen. Obama openly endorsing gay marriage today is a huge, huge step forward for America.

  5. I’ve heard two arguments for bans on same-sex marriage and neither hold up under scrutiny.  The first is the classic “this is against my religion.”  To that, I respond that eating pork products is against my religion (Judaism).  Should I work towards a nationwide ban on pig products being used for food?  It would certainly make my life easier if I could order eggs without worrying whether the griddle had some bacon frying right next to it.  Of course, I wouldn’t do this because my religious beliefs are for me to follow, not for me to impose on everyone else.  If you are religiously opposed to gay marriage, then don’t marry someone who is the same gender as you.  Simple as that.  But don’t try to force other people to obey your religious beliefs.

    The other argument is the “gay couples don’t procreate and marriage is for procreation” argument.  Like the first argument, though, this falls down quickly.  After all, “marriage is for procreation only” implies that couples with fertility issues, couples who have vasectomies/tubal ligation, couples who decide not to have kids, and elderly couples (past child bearing age) shouldn’t be allowed to marry either.  After all, none of these couples is likely to produce any offspring so they shouldn’t be allowed to sully marriage with their non-procreating ways, right?  Perhaps all marriages should be considered to be on a probationary basis at the start.  If no child is conceived in the first 12 months, then the marriage is automatically dissolved so the people can go knock up/get knocked up by someone else.  After all, marriage is just about popping out babies and not about two consenting adults loving each another and wanting to spend their lives together, right?

    The only solace in this whole NC mess is that the younger generation were overwhelmingly opposed to the amendment.  So the Amendment One supporters might have won this battle, but they’ll eventually lose the war.

  6. Great piece.  I have had several discussions with our 13 yr old daughter about this.  She cant wrap her head around how people can treat others like this.  She thins (rightfully so, thank goodness) thats its crap & everyone is equal!

    • Because everyone IS and should be treated equally. Keep spreading this message to your children. It’ll be up to us, and the generations that follow us, to bring about real change in our culture. Cheers!

  7. Matt, I’m glad you wrote this post. And I think the issue is even deeper than this. Not only have a group of people decided to impose their religious views and actions unto a whole state, but they have also harmed many “innocent” others along the way. This ban harms many children and families who will no longer be eligible for certain benefits since only unions between a man and a woman will now be recognized by the state.

    This goes beyond simple “I don’t believe in gay marriage, so I don’t want gay people to get married.” This is people stomping on the rights of many just to make the point that they don’t like gay marriage.

    • Rebecca Denison. How the heck are you? It”s been WAY too long. 

      And I agree – this is a deliberate slap in the face. It’s pretty damn sad. I can’t believe 60% of the voters in NC honestly believe this is the right thing to do. Insane. I’m still waiting to hear some justification from someone, anyone, who would vote in favor of BANNING gay marriage…

  8. Amen. I just wrote on my Facebook page today that, back in 2008 when I was holding “No on Prop 8″ signs, an interracial couple was crossing the street holding hands and yelled, “Yes on 8!”  I don’t understand how even the very people who would have been affected by this kind of discrimination less than 50 years ago could be part of those who are doing the discriminating now. It’s sad to me that people want to bring others down rather than build one another up. Thank you for this post.

    • It is sad, but, as much as I’m disheartened by ignorance, fear, and hate – I’m inspired through the response here and the conversations that these types of posts will ignite and spark within our communities. Good things are on the horizon – even if it takes a lot of hardship for us to (finally) see the light…

  9. Loved this. Well said Matt. I totally agree. It’s not equality nor a free nation if it excludes other human beings. Thank you for being YOU. xoxo

  10. Amazing post! I hope that 40 years from now, our children will look back and think ‘Remember how stupid it was when gay people were denied basic rights?’ I hope it is viewed in the same way we now think of segregation.

  11. This article is a proof that not all intelligent people are wise. They are easy to be convinced. They are easy to agree with something that is rationally explained. Everyone can make a reason for something. That’s why we should have a standard. And I’m talking about God’s standard. Don’t be deceived by this article. Keep the faith!