A gay conservative speaks out on Amendment One


An excellent post from my friend Chris Barron, co-founder of GOProud (Cross-posted from Pam’s House Blend):

My North Carolina ties are deep. I grew up in Goldsboro, North Carolina. I attended undergrad at UNC-Greensboro and East Carolina University and got my law degree from Wake Forest. Both of my brothers still live in North Carolina with their wives and children. I will always consider North Carolina home, which is why I am passionately urging every North Carolinian – whether liberal or conservative – to vote against Amendment 1.

I am lucky enough to be legally married to my partner of 10 years under the laws of the District of Columbia where we live. However, you don’t have to gay or in favor of gay marriage to oppose Amendment 1.

Amendment 1 not only bans gay marriage, it is also so broadly written that it bans civil unions, domestic partnerships and threatens to outlaw any benefits offered to same-sex couples. While I support marriage equality, I understand that the country is still debating this issue, and that different states are coming to different conclusions and that will continue. This debate is healthy, and reflects the best our democracy has to offer. There is simply no reason to end this debate for all time with a Constitutional amendment.

The law in North Carolina is already clear. Whether I like it or not, marriage is defined as between a man and a woman.

What is really motivating this amendment, is what makes it so dangerous for my home state. What really motivates this amendment isn’t about protecting “traditional marriage” or making sure every child has a mother and father. No, what motivates this amendment is simple bigotry – and North Carolina is better than that.

While I grew up in North Carolina, I was born in Maine, and much of my extended family still lives in the northeast. Growing up, I was constantly trying to convince my family up north that North Carolina wasn’t the place they thought it was. I would tell people – and still do – that North Carolina was a place of great natural beauty, the banking capital of the south, the Silicon Valley of the east coast. It was a state with colleges and universities that afforded educational opportunities that were second to none. It was a place with charming small towns, amazing urban centers, and more culture than just the Andy Griffith Show. Most of all, it was the people of North Carolina that made it great.

This amendment tells the rest of the country that I was wrong about North Carolina – it sends the absolute worst message to the rest of the country about who North Carolina is and what her values are. It tells big businesses and entrepreneurial start-ups that North Carolina isn’t where you want to do business. It tells aspiring college students that North Carolina isn’t where you want to get an education. It tells young professionals that North Carolina isn’t where you want to raise a family. Most, disturbingly, it tells gay people that North Carolina doesn’t value you.

I know North Carolina. I love North Carolina. I have faith that the people of North Carolina will prove the doubters wrong and reject Amendment 1.

This isn’t about politics. It doesn’t matter whether you are for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney or Gary Johnson. This isn’t about ideology. It doesn’t matter whether you believe in big government or limited government. This is about doing what is right.


  1. Tim Peck says:

    Is anyone else waiting for the theocrats to propose an amendment to the NC state constitution legalizing the stoning to death of non-virgins on their wedding night? (Deuteronomy 22:20-21)

    “Dan Savage discusses bible at High School Journalism convention”

    And here are some more nifty ideas for religious legislators:

    Murder in the Bible

  2. Dixiegirlz says:

    Hmmm, just wondering if only female non virgins were stoned…or if males were punished the same?

  3. TJ says:

    Well, D., you know the Bible story about the woman brought before Jesus to be stoned for adultery?

    I always found it interesting that the leaders had the woman, but, how do you “find” her in adultery if no one is with her? Since the way old days, the woman is punished and the man is just considered “one of the boys.”

    Of course, Jesus didn’t stone her, but His “followers” seem more than ready to do that these days.

  4. TD3 says:

    We aren’t ignorant here in NC–we would be content to leave you alone, but why do you want us to give up our beliefs for yours? I haven’t asked you to do that. Are your beliefs more valid than mine? I thought everyone’s beliefs were equally valid. After reading how civil union votes (which I would have previously supported, since it doesn’t involve a church) have all led to lawsuits on the “separate but equal” decision, I see that there has to be a place that it stops(marriage was defined by the Bible as between a man and a woman). If you don’t like that it was defined by the Bible, then why do you want a marriage? I respect your decision to live your life the way you want to, but you can’t force me to approve (and why do you want me to?).

  5. shadmarsh says:

    I thought everyone’s beliefs were equally valid.

    No. That fallacy is how we end up with this and this.

  6. RHS says:

    “I see that there has to be a place that it stops(marriage was defined by the Bible as between a man and a woman). If you don’t like that it was defined by the Bible, then why do you want a marriage? ”

    In the Bible, Abraham, Jacob, David, and Solomon all had multiple wives. So when do the theocrats propose their constitutional amendment to legalize polygamy?

    In Luke 16:18 Jesus says:
    “Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”

    So when do the theocrats propose their constitutional amendment to ban divorce?

    When do we get to vote on those?

  7. arrington13 says:

    But you have asked me to give up my beliefs for you. My choosen church and doctrine have no problem with civile unions or same sex marriage. Why does one faith tell another faith that their beliefs aren’t valid? By your own argument, are you beliefs more valid than mine?

    You mentioned “we would be content to leave you alone…” But you didn’t. See this Amendment was never about putting same-sex marriage in the constitution. There has never been an attempt by the LGBTQ community to do so. Only attempts to prevent the possibility that some day, someone might decide to ask. A fear. A fear of an unknown. A fear of someting that was different. So, no, you (and I mean it ina group since) weren’t content to leave us alone. You instigated this battle.

    There are a million reasons that one could want to get married. In fact, I ask people all the time why they married the person they did. A majority of the time, it’s because that person is sweet, supportive, has a good heart, is a care giver, etc. Very rarely does someone say, because the Bible instructed them to.

    Mark 7:13 “And so you cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition. And this is only one example among many others.”

    Maybe the argument is more about the differences in faith/doctrine instead of the definition of marriage.