08 May 2012

Letter to my Grandparents

This is an email I wrote to my grandparents last night in regards to Amendment One. If there is a shadow of doubt in your mind, just vote NO - there are unforeseen consequences of this legislation that harm thousands if not millions of people.

I’m writing this email because I’ve wanted so long to talk to yall about this, either in person or on the phone, but I just couldn’t ever bring myself to do it. I didn’t want to – create an odd atmosphere that could possibly spill over into other aspects of our relationship. The three of us know that we are all very vocal about how we feel that this country and state should be run. Granted, both of you and I have opposing views on the matter, I think that we do have a good time picking on each other – it’s almost like a State/Carolina or SC/Clemson rivalry.

I will say this though, I’m writing to you today about the proposed Amendment One. I have never been more scared of being marginalized or made inferior than others by a piece of legislation in my life.

Biblically, I know (and you know that I know) what the Word says in regards to the way that I live my life. I maintain that I was born this way, and that God makes no mistakes in the way that he makes his creations (I think that this is proven in the fact that homosexuality occurs in 1500 species, and is well documented in over 500 of them). I believe that God knows the condition of my heart, and he knows that I pray to Him daily, seeking his guidance and intersession on my behalf. He knows that I read his word, and that I seek Him, but he also knows that I am gay, and I have been so since I was a child. In my opinion, the parable of the sheep and goats (Matthew 25) proves that the Lord will watch over me and will judge me based on my actions, heart, and life – not with whom I fell in love.

I feel that Amendment One seeks to judge a certain group of people. I also believe that we are commanded to not pass judgment on others, and to live harmoniously with others. This viewpoint that I have I feel is corroborated numerous times throughout the New Testament in the following Scripture:

Matthew 7:1-2,
John 7:24,
Luke 6:31,
Luke 6:35,
Luke 6:37,
Galatians 5:14,
Titus 3:2-6,
Romans 12:16,
and 1 Corinthians 10:31-32
(there are more, as the list does go on).

Amendment One I feel contradicts the Word of the Lord by setting aside one group of people, and favoring another. “Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody” and “… give none offense, neither the Jews, nor the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.” I know we will probably stand on different sides of the fence in regards to the Scripture I’ve used, but I still stand on it resolutely. I feel this way, namely because for hundreds of years, people used the Scripture to support slavery and unjust treatment to people who were different than them.

What I take from the New Testament is this: treat everyone kindly and justly and God will take care of you. Anyone that is against Him will be judged by Him, and not by anyone else.

I also oppose Amendment One on Constitutional grounds. The Constitution of the United States of America is a living document that has been amended numerous times to create or disestablish laws for our nation. The North Carolina Constitution is the same way, however it promises to not contradict the federal version and if it did, the federal version would win out. The 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution states that, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” In my opinion, proposed Amendment One blatantly goes against the 14th Amendment and denies any person within the jurisdiction of North Carolina the equal protection of the laws and also deprives many people life and liberty. Amendment One is to me, the epitome of something un-American as it flies at the face of everything that our country was founded on – “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (Declaration of Independence – 1774).

I also think that Amendment One is redundant. In an uncertain economic climate, the General Assembly used up necessary funds to create a referendum that is entirely redundant and much too broad in scope. North Carolina already has a law against same-sex marriage (NCGS 51-1.2), which was enacted in 1996 and hasn’t been challenged in a court of law. The General Assembly spent well over $1 million dollars to create this referendum, and will utilize even more of the state’s time and money to enact it. Shouldn’t we be utilizing that money to create more jobs, improve infrastructure, and ensure our rights as citizens of this state are protected? Shouldn’t we have given that money to increase teacher salaries (which haven't been increased in years) or improved education?

I know that we differ a lot on opinions in regards to politics, but I hope that if anything, you can see my side of the argument. I hope that you can see that this doesn’t really change anything you have and created for yourselves if Amendment One passes or fails. I still can’t get married (despite really wanting to at some point), if it fails. No one is granting me that right (yet). No one is also going to require you to accept religiously a matter that is exclusively reserved for the State.

Marriage has always been, and will always be a civil matter, for the State to decide. I don’t think that the Church or religion should play a role in it, and as such, if you take religion out of the equation, Amendment One is just unfair.

I’ll end with this, and I do not mean it to be sacriligeous or inflammatory. When an elected or appointed official takes their oath of office in this country, they place their hand upon the Bible (or other religious text of their choosing) and swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States (and in NC, the Constitution of the State of North Carolina). They do not place their hand upon the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.

 I love you, and I will forever respect you and your opinions. I just hope you can see my side of this.