My Convertible Life

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Heartbroken

I really believed it would all end differently.

Kind of in that way that I believed Pippi would arrive naturally a week before my due date, that Carolina would win the NCAA tournament every year, that every piano contest I played in growing up would net me a superior rating.

But it didn't. And North Carolina broke my heart tonight.

Maybe I shouldn't be surprised -- North Carolina is still a very rural and religiously conservative state. My view from the state's urban areas where I've lived isn't the life that most North Carolinians see every day. Even though the "Vote Against" signs dominated in my neighborhood, apparently we're not as representative of the state as I believed we could be.

So I'm finding solace in the fact that Wake (Raleigh), Durham, Orange (Chapel Hill), Buncombe (Asheville), Mecklenburg (Charlotte), Watauga (Boone) and Chatham (Pittsboro) counties voted down the amendment. I'm focusing on the more than 800,000 people across the state who made their voices heard in opposition on the ballot. I'm remembering the small pleasures of discovering unexpected people who were voting against.

And I'm thinking how, years from now when my children are part of the movement to repeal this ridiculous mess, I'll tell them about tonight and how I believed, how I continued to believe. Then they'll wonder aloud why it took so long. And I'll smile and simply thank them for finally setting things straight.

Pun intended.

Editor's note [May 9, 6:56 a.m.]: Had to adjust the list of counties based on updated vote tallies after I went to bed last night. Sadly Guilford, New Hanover and Forsyth counties swung for the amendment once all votes were counted.

4 comments:

  1. This sucks. Really, really bad. But, for every state that acts like a moron, there's one that ends up legalizing something that should be legal already. In order to not go crazy about this kind of thing, I try to remember that one day these kind of laws will be struck down at the federal level. If history has taught us anything, it's that this kind of inequality cannot last forever in our society.

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    1. You're totally right. And yet I'm terrified of all the quotes I've seen in our paper over the past week from people suggesting that we should amend the US Constitution to define marriage now that 31 states have already done so. Ugh.

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  2. Winston Churchill once wrote: "The Americans will always do the right thing...after they have exhausted all the alternatives." We are obviously still working our way through the alternatives for dealing with the complexity of a real world, made up of real people. Tonight, North Carolina; this fall, it will be our turn in Maryland to see if we can align our social and legal institutions with reality. Your work and passion for a just outcome makes me proud to have you both as a relative (however distant!) and friend. Don't lose heart -- once the legal implications of what has just transpired starts to be realized, the 800,000 may discover they have more company.

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    1. Thanks, Bob -- love the Churchill quote. I'm counting on Maryland to make up for NC this fall!

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