Welp, North Carolina is partying like it's 2004 and poising for a referendum that could put a ban same-sex marriage into its constitution.
It's really too bad, not only because of the inequailty involved, but because I love visiting North Carolina. Indeed, my partner and I have talked about moving there in the future. Yet, if this ban happens, we certainly will no longer be visiting, or spending our money in, the state. In addition to the slap in the face of explicitly enshrining discrimination into a constitution, I view it as simply too dangerous to voluntarily travel to states that view my partner and I as legal strangers to one another.
Should something happen to me while in a state that refuses to recognize even legal same-sex civil unions (let alone marriages) performed in other states, there is no guarantee that my partner would be able to visit me in the hospital, be recognized as my next-of-kin, or be able to make medical decisions for me. I can see it now- hospital administrators ignoring my partner and instead calling up my mother who, honestly, knows very little about my medical wishes. And why? Welp, some Totally Friendly Christian Honchos think it's acceptable to ban same-sex marriage on the grounds that "anal sex is icky" folks!
After having a taste of equality, it feels unbelievably regressive that putting a ban into a state constitution is even a viable strategy in 2011. I refuse to go backwards, even if the backwards places have amazing views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
And yet, I think most reasonable people, despite what they believe about marriage or the ickiness of certain sexual practices, would agree that my partner and I should have certain rights with respect to one another. I question how many "marriage defenders" even realize that a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is overbroad, that same-sex couples can't "contract" for all rights associated with marriage, and that their decision has not only financial consequences for their state but potentially heart-wrenches consequences for real people.
Unfortunately, the anti-gay forces trying to convince The People how dire and necessary this amendment is aren't exactly embiggening the discourse by sharing such trivial facts.