Homophobia in the Home State

I am not from North Carolina but I did spend a couple years there in my early twenties. And I loved it. It was a heavy red sun slanting through the pines, forests with rivers and giant rock falls, and front porches. I learned to eat greens twenty-five different ways, I learned to drink tea (both iced sweet and smoky hot), and I met some first-rate people. There were readings, independent movie theaters, tea shops, great music, and even gay bookstores. So don’t let people tell you that North Carolina is full of homophobic assholes, because it isn’t, entirely.

There were plenty of churchy people who voted against Amendment 1, which banned not only gay marriage (which is already illegal in the state), but also defined legal couples as a married man and woman. This means that if you are unmarried, and of any gender, you can’t get legal protection from domestic violence. It probably means you won’t have visiting rights in the hospital if your partner is sick. My heathen friends voted against Amendment 1. My married friends voted against Amendment 1.

The man who introduced the amendment pretty much confessed that its extreme wording was influenced by white supremacists.

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

When was the last time anyone in North Carolina introduced an amendment about marriage? Oh yeah, it was in 1876 and it banned interracial marriage.

The photo below was gleefully stolen from Wikipedia, but it makes me sad. I remember my time in North Carolina as springlike, like the mountain laurel. I moved there full of hope and optimism. It was an adventure. And I hate to see it as a place of hatred and limitations; a place where queer men and women and all unmarried couples will feel trapped and people who consider themselves righteous blindly reject things they don’t even try to understand.


13 responses to “Homophobia in the Home State

  1. It never ceases to amaze me, the hidden prejudices people carry around. I had lunch with some people at the office before I left, and the sweetest little old lady (the receptionist) said that most Spanish-speaking people understand English but pretend not to. She also said something about gay men being more “frail” than other people. A well-known fact, in her mind.

    I just sat there with my veggie wrap and thought, who ARE these people? I could not get out of there fast enough.

  2. Over the last few days I’ve been feeling pangs of frustration for the open-minded residents who are being humiliated by their state. Thanks for reminding us of them. Disgraceful.

  3. I don’t know which is worse, the people who openly are homophobic or the people who think they are open-minded but use qualifiers. Probably the latter frustrate me more as they can’t see it.
    Just the fact that equal rights of any kind is an issue with wars going on, bombs going off, children dying of starvation…it makes my head want to explode.

  4. Such a great post, Indy Clause. I feel the same about my home state of Missouri. Last time I visited there I came home to CA and told my husband, “The landscape comforts me, it feels like home, but the people, my own people, scare the livin’ daylights out me.”

    On another note, a friend just returned to the U.S. after a long deployment to Afghanistan. We spent the better part of a day discussing the Pashtuns, and how the men have young boys as lovers but don’t consider that pedophilia or homosexuality. It is out in the open. It is a sign of prominence and power and wealth. These same men show up at American clinics and ask for instructions on how to impregnate their wives, and when told how to do it they are sickened. Women are so very filthy.

    It’s a crazy world.

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