Last night, an amendment passed in North Carolina banning marriage for same-sex couples. Some people decry this as short-sighted at best, and completely bigoted, hateful, stupid, dumb, and unfair in general. I am one of those people, for all the reasons I outline here and here and here.
Now, heterosexual marriage laws are pretty straightforward in North Carolina. In fact, things are so lenient that, In North Carolina, it's completely legal for first cousins to get married ("Double Cousin" marriage, however, isn't okay... Whatever that is). And it's super easy to tie the knot, too. Current state law states that all a couple has to do to be married in North Carolina is check into a hotel and register as married.
Not if you're gay, of course. It doesn't matter how much you love one another, how loyal to one another you are, or how much you want the right to share benefits, property, responsibilities or just proclaim your bond publicly -- you cannot go to a hotel and declare yourself married and be married, gay folks. I'm sorry.
But that's where the ease of being a married man and a woman, no matter how closely blood-related, end in that state. When first cousins marry in North Carolina, they face a whole new set of challenges. There are a bevy of strange state laws in North Carolina that are on the books today which limit the freedoms and rights of married first cousins across the state. Of course, they apply to married non-relatives, non-married relatives and non-married non-relatives, too. But for the purposes of this article, which deals with restrictions vs. freedoms of a particular type of marriage, I'll be discussing in terms of the perfectly legal first cousin marriage.
First-cousin marriages can be dissolved if one of the two people is physically impotent. And, given the demographics of the turnout for yesterday's vote (which was a Republican Primary), this renders the vast majority of the marriages of people who voted for that stupid amendment illegal. Love each other? So what. Have kids? Doesn't matter. If you can't get it up, you can't keep the marriage up. You'd think that this law would be repealed by the true believers of the GOP, since, given the ratio of limp dicks in the Republican party, it is statically likely that every single male in Cialis and Viagra ads is Republican.
Married first cousins cannot sleep in the same bed in a hotel. State law in North Carolina dictate that couples staying overnight in hotel rooms must have a room with double beds at least two feet apart. Now, non-couples can sleep in the same bed. North Carolina has no motel-room-related laws about rampant out-of-wedlock sleeping, cuddling, dry-humping or out-and-out sex. But when they do have sex, there are rules governing what can go down (or, not go down, so to speak).
Married first cousins cannot have oral sex. The state prohibits the placing of mouths, tongues or, for the particularly talented, tonsils on or around the genitals of another person. Which is completely contradictory, given how much Amendment 1 sucks.
First cousins cannot have sex in any other position besides the missionary position. I suppose this would necessarily include oral sex, since it defies even my vast imagination to try to think of how one would accomplish that particular feat.
Married cousins cannot have sex in a churchyard. It disturbs the good God-fearing Christian Klan members lighting fires to crosses.
Married cousins cannot drive through a cemetery for "pleasure." And you especially can't have non-missionary oral sex in the car while driving through a cemetery, since cemeteries are often located in churchyards. It occurs to me that the single most illegal act in North Carolina would be receiving a blow job while behind the wheel of a car being driven through a churchyard cemetery.
Married cousins cannot allow their dogs and cats to fight. It is against state law for dogs and cats to fight. Against state law. For dogs and cats to fight. There is a law prohibiting ubiquitous domestic animals of particular species from fighting. THIS IS A FUCKING LAW. North Carolina apparently has nothing more important to regulate than who can marry who and whether or not one of the oldest cliches in history can be proven true (or even allowed to happen).
Dogs can fight dogs. Cats can fight cats. But dogs and cats cannot fight. This makes this speech by Coastal Carolina coach Bennett Presser, discussing how his players need to be more like dogs while making strange, screechy cat sounds (and for some reason discussion screen doors) utterly illegal:
Married first cousins have to pay a three dollar tax on all white goods. State law dictates that there is a particularly ridiculous tax on goods that are white in color. This means it's not easy being a bigot in North Carolina... Not if you want to be properly dressed, anyway. Members of the Klu Klux Clan have to pay an extra three dollar tax on their robes (and ostensibly, also their hoods, since they're not all one piece). An average family of a husband and a wife (cousins, of course) and their 10 children (also cousins) has to pay an extra $72 to attend meetings in proper Klan costume. Of course, they can't actually start the meeting while everyone's dressed, because state law mandates that organizations cannot hold their meetings while the members present are in costume -- another perfectly sensible state law.
In other news, Halloween parties in North Carolina really, really suck. Not genitals, though, that's illegal.
Married first cousins cannot sing off-key. It is a misdemeanor and can result in a fine and/or jail time. This isn't a problem for Ben Folds, Nina Simone, James Taylor, Southern Culture On The Skids, Superchunk, or the Squirrel Nut Zippers. But it's certainly an issue for one of my all-time favorite bands, Archers of Loaf, who -- while being fantastic -- have trouble staying on key:
Married first cousins cannot use elephants to plow cotton fields. I don't like that North Carolina limits marriage to one man and one woman. I don't like that they don't allow couples (even married blood relatives) to sleep in the same bed in a hotel room. I don't like that they don't allow joyrides through cemeteries or let people who may just love to sing do so off key.
But not being able to use an excessively large, incredibly difficult to import exotic Asian land mammal to plow cotton? But this is where I draw the fucking line. Seriously, North Carolina: Fuck you.