This week the Democratic Party will make history by becoming the first major American political party to endorse both marriage and employment equality for LGBT people. That this position will be ratified in Charlotte, N.C., highlights a dilemma that is both political and moral in nature.
An emerging church in San Diego, Calif., has once again taken up the mantel of love this week and has become ambassadors to the LGBTQ community in North Carolina, letting them know that they are not alone and that God does love them.
While I understand that this is a natural response to the passage of such a discriminatory act, one that targets innocent North Carolinians for the worst of reasons, misunderstanding and bigotry, I'm asking everyone to take a deep breath.
I spent much of the spring working on defeating anti-gay Amendment 1 in North Carolina. It's been my habit, after major wins or losses, to reflect on what went right and what went wrong, and offer some thoughts. Here are some of those along with some analysis.
I would gladly never step foot in North Carolina again, and if it weren't for the fact that I do have relatives and a few friends there, I probably wouldn't. Why would I waste my money to support the economy of a state that clearly sees me as unworthy of any level of respect?
The battle in North Carolina also indicates that conservative strategists are beginning to target unrepentant, unmarried heterosexual couples, too. In a state that already prohibits same-sex marriage, Amendment 1 adds prohibitions against civil unions and domestic partnerships.
It is up to us to show the opposition that we are no different. We are all human, and love is love. Some people are scared of what appears to be different. If we truly step up and show that we are all the same, this world would be as beautiful as life itself.
Let's take a page out of Harvey Milk's book: if you don't mention "at least one old queer" in your campaign ads against an anti-gay initiative, you've already lost the battle. Perhaps the vote in North Carolina was a foregone conclusion.
On May 4 my partner and I took our two boys with us to vote early against North Carolina's Amendment 1. We were not prepared at all for the drama that we encountered as we approached the early voting location.
As of yesterday, May 4, my friend Dominique Beaudry and I are walking from the International Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro to the State Capitol, a four-day journey of over 85 miles, wearing sandwich boards that encourage North Carolinians to vote against Amendment 1.
It's a shame that when confronted with the choice between preserving his popular image as a venerable, unifying figure and mounting one last crusade against the LGBT community, Billy Graham chose the latter.