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Amendment One is the Result of Irrational Fear

Amendment One is the Result of Irrational Fear

Like many people, I am outraged by North Carolina’s passage of Amendment One, which defines marriage as an institution between a man and a woman.  What disturbs me most is what this says about our inability to learn from the past.  The fight for equal rights for same-sex couples is no different from the previous civil rights movements that sought equal treatment for women and minorities. The specifics change, but the ideologies do not. Those who oppose same-sex marriage do so because their patriarchal mindset tells them that the way of life they are used to is the best possible way, and anyone who challenges that is some sort of immoral heretic.

It is a mindset bred of fear – not prejudice alone.  It has been my experience that many (though of course not all) people who oppose same-sex marriage lead fairly sheltered lives, in which they are do not frequently spend time with people whose backgrounds are different from their own.  It is no wonder, therefore, that they are afraid of people who are different – it is natural to fear the unknown.  But it is their responsibility to open their minds and to try to empathize with their fellow human beings.  If empathy for his daughter can cause Dick Cheney to support same-sex marriage, then I find it difficult to believe that anyone whose mind is truly open could support legislation like Amendment One.

 

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Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke is a writer living in California. She is interested in organic food and green living. Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University, an M.A. in Humanities from NYU, and a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University. She has written for a number of publications, and she studied Pastry Arts at the Institute for Culinary Education. Her interests include running, yoga, baking, and poetry. Read more on her blog.

53 comments

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5:57AM PST on Jan 26, 2013

A neigh?

5:56AM PST on Jan 26, 2013

A cautious decision.

5:05AM PST on Dec 5, 2012

Well said, Winn.

7:24PM PDT on Sep 25, 2012

North Carolina laws are wrong on this. Marriage should be between two consenting adults. It does NOT matter if it's 2 men or 2 women or between 1 man and 1 woman. Discrimination is wrong.

1:50PM PDT on May 16, 2012

it is sad.. but we are making changes. in 30 years this will be a distant regret

7:36AM PDT on May 15, 2012

Gee, I lived in Kansas when they decided not to teach the Theory of Evolution in school. Now I live in North Carolina where a majority decided to support Amendment One! Where should I live next?!?! Is there any place where people aren't afraid?

3:26PM PDT on May 14, 2012

Marriage is a covenant, a religious contract between God and people. A governnment contract would be a civil union.
First amendment is just that, religious freedom, from being told how to practice their religion. North Carolina is just practicing their first amendment rights.

1:47AM PDT on May 14, 2012

I don't see marriage as all that appealing to "straight" people, it seems like it's a gay issue now, the right to marry. And why not if you want to marry-marry, you want to divorce-divorce. Just be true to yourself and to your partner!

11:39PM PDT on May 13, 2012

Dorothy H, I find your comment offensive. You are living in the past, or in the land of the closed-minded. No, I am not gay. However, I have had friends of both sexes who are and they are some of the most wonderfully positive people I've met. Many marriages do not produce children, some quite intentionally. Many children are born out of wedlock. So marriage = procreation doesn't cut it. So kids need loving homes, gays want to adopt these kids. Laws written in this country have certain language, so the word marriage, happens to occur in hundreds of our laws. Therefore, it shouldn't be a problem (for anyone) that two people of the same sex want to be married, especially when children are concerned. This isn't going to hurt you personally in any way. It won't undermine marriages in general. Are you not secure in your own? Are you really trying to say what happens in some/any state will ruin what YOU have? Are you advocating for UNequal rights? Are you saying your way is the only way so we all should obey what you think? How about, you should obey what they think?
I hope by now you begin to see how completely rediculous this conversation is. You don't get to tell others how to live anymore than they can tell you how to live. Just let people be free to do what they wish, at least for now, until this country is no longer a "free" one.

12:56AM PDT on May 13, 2012

North Carolina's Amendment One is on the wrong side of History. Consider the huge number of divorces, domestic violence: battered wives and children, far too often leading to murder. Consider the huge amount of adultery, fathering children out of wedlock. Consider the consistency of same-sex relationships - long standing (some 35-45 years of total devotion). Consider surrogate or adopted children raised with love and wonderful values growing into upstanding, productive, caring, loving people - almost all heterosexual. Imagine that! Consider the limitations imposed by a narrow interpretation of religion. Jesus is shamed by those who sully His intent through fear mongering. Thank you, President Obama, for another example of your bold leadership in speaking out on behalf of true equality for ALL Americans, protecting the vulnerable, the less fortunate, and affirming the real meaning of the words "Acceptance" "Compassion" and "Love.."

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