Today, the state of North Carolina will decide whether to add an amendment to its constitution that will, among other things, declare that the only legal union is between one man and one woman.
It is an attack on many different types of families – families where both parents are of the same sex, obviously – but also an attack on single parents, an attack on couples that are not legally married, and an attack on healthcare for children.
It is a bad law – not because I disagree with it (although I do) but because laws should protect rights, not take them away.
I am, it should surprise no one who knows me, voting against this amendment. Many “progressive” people of faith join me in this, and I am very proud of the faith communities that have taken aggressive stands on promoting the “Vote Against” cause.
But I have a word for the people of faith of North Carolina.
We may not be victorious today. It may be that the voters of North Carolina decide to pass this amendment, despite our best efforts to educate them as to why they should not.
What do we do then?
We vote every day of our lives, by our lives.
- We vote for equality when we notice that everyone who sits at our table as a guest is of the same sexual orientation we are, and we work to change this.
- We vote for equality when we notice whose voice is not being heard, and we call attention to that.
- We vote for equality when we ask why our church has no one in a position of authority who is not a straight male.
- We vote for equality when we decide to not attend conferences where all the speakers are of the same gender, race and sexual orientation.
- We vote for equality when we realize that equality is a fact to be lived into, not a right to be granted by the state.
If this amendment passes, it will be a tragedy for the people of the state of North Carolina. So, if you can vote in this election, I really, really hope you will.
But whatever the outcome, it will have no bearing whatsoever on my responsibilities as a follower of Jesus to love my neighbor.
And loving my neighbor means, among other things, treating my neighbor as if my neighbor is my equal.
Because they are.