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North Carolina: On Gay Marriage And Civil Rights, They Have Issues.

by Benjamin Phillips on September 17, 2011

in Benjamin Phillips,Bigotry Watch,News,Opinion

Post image for North Carolina: On Gay Marriage And Civil Rights, They Have Issues.

North Carolina has a terrible record on the civil rights front, especially when it comes to treatment of their LGBT community and marriage equality.

What the hell is your problem, North Carolina? Seriously. What did we ever do to you? Nothing, that’s what. We were just minding our own business, trying to forget about how your high school graduation rates are 37th in the nation, or maybe trying to figure out how to find jobs considering that you have the 42nd highest unemployment rate out of all 50 states. We haven’t been running around spreading gay cooties in pre-schools, or trying to find new methods to bring about the destruction of your marriages, or whatever it is you straight people think we do. Here’s a fun fact you may find surprising: Gay people, for the most part, find your marriages painfully boring.

Yet, we have to be subject to this sort of crap:

Gay Marriage: North Carolina Senate Votes To Put Ban Before Voters

Another marriage amendment. This time, a ban on same-sex civil marriage that will get written directly into the state constitution.

This is why you can’t leave issues like marriage equality up to the states. Some of them will get it right, like New York and Iowa, but most of them will do everything they can to remain as ignorant and intolerant as possible, for as long as they can manage to hold out. Gay North Carolinians are out there quietly living their lives, not bothering anybody, just trying to scrape out a life for themselves that contains a little peace and dignity. They didn’t ask to be political footballs. They just want to be left alone. Instead, they find themselves the continual victims of bigotry, not just from their fellow citizens, but from their government.

Before we go much further, let me say that I’m sure many North Carolinians are decent, honest, free thinking individuals who have no interest in crusading against marriage equality or gay rights generally. But really guys, you can’t blame me. You picked these sociopaths to run your government, and to represent you in Congress, and if you dislike the negative attention they bring your state, feel free to do something about it.

However, as the rest of you have chosen to pick a fight, I present to you:

Things You May Not Know About North Carolina

  • Same-Sex unions are already banned by North Carolina law. Conservative lawmakers just want to make it harder to change things when public opinion finally does catch up with reality. This proves that the bigoted proponents of this amendment know that they are on the losing side of history. As the passage of time will only diminish their political influence over this issue, they have to act now while they can still get away with it. I like to call this asshole insurance.
  • Wanna marry your first cousin? Then North Carolina is the place for you. I suppose the Bible doesn’t have much to say about this, so it’s okay. The Bible doesn’t get into cognitive dissonance much either, for obvious reasons.
  • Oh, and bestiality is legal. No word on where North Carolina law comes down on sex with animals that are of your same gender. I assume that’s when this behavior becomes frowned upon.
  • If you are gay in North Carolina, things are already pretty dicey. North Carolina has no discrimination protections of any kind. Gays can be refused services, fired, or denied housing, and there is absolutely nothing they can do about it. This is a state’s way of saying “Hey gay people, it’s totally okay to hate you. You are not as human as everybody else.” LGBT people are second-class citizens in North Carolina, and the law is never on their side. I wonder if they have to pay the same tax rate? That hardly seems fair.
  • State judicial precedent exists that could mean losing custody of your children because you are gay. Right. Let’s examine this last item for a moment.

I want to draw your attention to the case of Pulliam v. Smith. This little gem from North Carolina judicial history involves the troubled marriage of Carol Pulliam and Frederick Smith. They were together for 8 years, and in that time had two children. They divorced, and an arrangement was worked out where Fred got physical custody of the children, and Carol got them for a couple of months in the summer. This goes on without incident for three years or so, right up until the day Mr. Smith’s boyfriend, Tim Tipton, moves in with him and the kids.

Apart from going some distance toward explaining the collapse of the marriage, this change in living arrangements prompts Ms. Pulliam to sue for sole custody on the grounds that Mr. Smith is not only a homosexual, but one who has the unmitigated audacity to actually live as a homosexual. That is, and I’m not kidding here, the only basis for her claim.

And the North Carolina Supreme Court agreed with her.

What offenses were depraved enough to require the removal of the children? I turn to the judgement itself for answers. All of this comes right from the court documents.

  • That Tim Tipton and the Defendant often kiss on the check [sic] and sometimes on the lips in front of the two minor children. That Tim Tipton and the Defendant would often hold hands in front of the two minor children.
  • Mr. Tipton keeps in the bedroom he shares with the Defendant pictures of “drag queens”. These are pictures of men dressed like women. These pictures are not under a lock, and it is possible for the children to gain access to the pictures.
  • That Tim Tipton and the Defendant [had sex] while the minor children were present in the home. That the minor children share the same bedroom and the said bedroom of the minor children is directly across the hall from the bedroom occupied by the Defendant and Tipton.
  • That the Defendant and Mr. Tipton on at least one (1) occasion had a party for homosexuals at the home… That the occasion was an anniversary party marking the first year since the Defendant and Tim Tipton meet [sic] at a homosexual bar in Asheville, North Carolina.

What. A. Monster. How dare that gay man be gay. And like gay things. And have gay friends.

Let me reiterate: He got his kids taken away and returned to a woman who only three years earlier the court had decided should only see these children for two months of the year, solely because he had a boyfriend. That, and pictures of drag queens, which is a big deal here for some reason. I am not even doing this story justice. You really need to read through the judgement issued by the North Carolina Supreme Court. Really. Go read it right now. It is among the most insulting legal documents I have ever seen, and is not only morally appalling, but really gives you a good idea of bullcrap the LGBT citizens of North Carolina have to put up with. An actual journalist should dig into this little nugget, as it hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention.

This is the kind of bigotry that every citizen of North Carolina should find not only disgusting, but fundamentally unacceptable.

The good news for you citizens of North Carolina is that you have a chance to start fixing this. When the primary elections come around you can vote against this amendment and tell the world no, we don’t want to be the kind of state that would take a man’s children away from him simply because he gay. You have an oppertunity to right some of these wrongs. You do seem to be a little confused about the issue. While 61% of you feel gay marriage should be illegal, 55% of you would vote against the amendment. That’s something, but you can do way, way better. I have faith in you, though based on your record, I’m not sure why.

(Image: North Carolina’s Wake Up Church which pushed the North Carolina legislature to put a marriage equality ban on the ballot. You can buy the graphic as a yard sign for $7.00)

 

Benjamin Phillips is a Humor Writer, Web Developer, Civics Nerd, and all around crank that spends entirely too much time shouting with deep exasperation at the television, especially whenever cable news is on. He lives in St. Louis, MO and spends most of his time staring at various LCD screens, occasionally taking walks in the park whenever his boyfriend becomes sufficiently convinced that Benjamin is becoming a reclusive hermit person. He is available for children’s parties, provided that those children are entertained by hearing a complete windbag talk for two hours about the importance of science education, or worse yet, poorly researched anecdotes PROVING that James Buchanan was totally gay. If civilization were to collapse due to zombie hoards or nuclear holocaust, Benjamin would be among the first to die as he has no useful skills of any kind. The post-apocalyptic hellscape has no real need for homosexual computer programmers who can name all the presidents in order, as well as the actors who have played all eleven incarnations of Doctor Who.

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{ 1 comment }

Siddigfan December 22, 2013 at 12:24 am

I have a gay trans son in Michigan, which isn't a whole lot better.Too many folks in my neck of the woods support Phil Duck Dynasty person of whom I'd heard nothing till the other day….never even knew he existed….suddenly, all sorts of sleazy bigots are crawling out from under their rocks to support him. Scary!!! Looking forward hopefully to better days! BTW, I adore your bio! :-)

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