Yesterday, an upsettingly large proportion of my fellow North Carolina citizens voted to amend the constitution of our state to forbid a subset of loving, consenting adults from enjoying the legal benefits of marriage. Today, I am ashamed.
As a human being that loves my friends, my family, and my fiance, I am ashamed that other members of my species are incapable of recognizing that same love in others, just because it is superficially different from their own.
As an American who believes in the founding principles of a country that was built on ideas, not historical divisions, I am ashamed that my fellow citizens would choose to codify into our state's constitution laws that would deny the basic freedoms that are the birthright of all Americans--life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
As a resident of my adopted state of North Carolina, a state that, over the last 10 years has become my home, I am ashamed that a state I found so welcoming could be so unwelcoming to others.
As a libertarian who believes that expanding the influence of government into the personal lives of its citizens is rarely a solution, I am ashamed that we would choose to codify an amendment which does nothing but oppress one group of Americans and allows the state to decide what is and is not a family--as if there were ever a reason to give the state control over our private lives.
As a speaker of the English language, I am ashamed that our lawmakers would write such a poorly-worded, imprecise piece of legislation which at best is illegal and indefensible and at worse, will strip citizens of domestic protections.
I am saddened by those whose faith is so trivial that they think "sanctity" equates with "government bureaucracy".
I am saddened for my friends and colleagues who had to watch the deeply misguided debate whether American citizens deserved the same rights as American citizens.
I am saddened by the number of people who think there is only one way to be a family.
But I am also heartened by the response from friends, colleagues, and strangers, who share in my disappointment, my sadness. North Carolina is greater than the worst of us.