Hop Against Homophobia, Day One!

Day one of the Hop Against Homophobia!  Contest details below, and be sure to check out all the other blogs by clicking on the hop logo.  And yeah, we’re here in part because we love M/M fiction and we want to celebrate it, but we’re also here because we want to raise awareness of the fight against homophobia.  It’s not just about supporting the genre (although that goes a long way to getting rid of homophobia), it’s also about getting the word out there that homophobia is just as bad as racial discrimination, and discrimination based on sex or religion. 

Ironically, the day after North Carolina overwhelming voted in favor of a state constitutional amendment  banning gay marriage was the 20th anniversary of my heterosexual marriage.  For someone like me (a transplanted northern liberal whose parents are at least as liberal as I), the issue of gay marriage was a complete no-brainer.   And in liberal Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina, it’s a no-brainer for the majority of folks.  And yet, on May 8th, North Carolina (which has already outlawed gay marriage in statute), overwhelmingly voted to add insult to injury and outlaw gay marriage in the state constitution. 

What does this mean?  That no North Carolina judge or state legislature can overturn the law prohibiting gay marriage, because the law is protected by the state constitution.  Basically, it sucks.  Unless the U.S. Congress or the Supreme Court of the United States declare these state constitutional provisions “unconstitutional” under the federal constitution, we’re stuck with them.  Do I think that will happen?  Definitely.  In fact, one of the Republicans who sponsored the amendment said that within 20 years, if would be struck down.  So why bother?  Damn good question.  Especially since gay marriage was already illegal in North Carolina and there are a million things the legislature should have been doing to help a state struggling through the economic downturn. 

But you know what?  The amendment didn’t pass with as much support as originally anticipated.  And people are talking about it, comparing the gay marriage ban to the bans against interracial and interreligious marriages that used to be the law.  It’s a start.  The more we talk about it, the more people THINK about it.  And maybe they’ll actually think about the argument that gay marriage somehow “threatens the sanctity” of their heterosexual marriages.  And they’ll scratch their heads and say, “This argument makes no sense.” 

I’m not scratching my head.  I know why I’m still married after 20 years:  I worked my ASS off to make my relationship work, and so did my husband.  And for all those gay couples out there celebrating their 1st, 5th, 10th, 20th, 30th, 40th and even 50th anniversaries marking their commitment to each other, I know how you got there, too.  Love, hard work, and more hard work. -Shira

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Contest Info:  Everyone who comments on my blog between now and midnight EST on May 2oth will be entered to win their choice of one of my Dreamspinner Press releases in the ebook format of his/her choice.  Please be sure to leave me an email so I can contact you if you’re the winner.  And while you’re here, check out my free fiction novella, “Stealing the Wind” – M/M paranormal pirate romance with plenty of sexy boys to enjoy.  I’ve got 3 chapters up here on my blog, and updates every 3-4 weeks.

44 Comments

  1. hbpattskyn says:

    I have *never* understood how the marriage of that person over there–whoever they are and whoever they’re married to–had anything to do with my marriage over here. And I can’t agree more that law makers have far bigger things to be worried about right now than preventing consenting, tax paying adults from getting married. The economy, the environment, keeping the country safe…those are the things I want my law makers working on, *not* issues of which consenting adults can legally marry which other consenting adults. It’s insulting.

    Okay, off my soapbox, I have writing (and sewing) to do today!

    • Thanks, Helen! Especially where gay marriage was already illegal, the entire amendment effort just comes off as mean, if you ask me. Have fun writing and sewing! -S

  2. annebrooke says:

    So agree with you! I would also say that every marriage, whatever the gender of the participants, is a blessing to both them and every other marriage. The more the merrier! The threats to marriage are entirely different – e.g. infidelity, domestic violence, lying, and betrayal, amongst other evils. Those are the real enemies.

    As a long-time Christian myself, I absolutely LONG for same-sex marriage to be possible. Why should we hets have all the fun? :))

    Anne
    xxx

    albrookeATmeDOTcom

    • That’s really important to hear, Anne. The amendment here was sold as a religious issue – people need to hear that not all practicing/devoted Christians believe homosexuality is sinful. I’m Jewish, but my take on Christianity is that Christ preached love above all else. That’s the message that needs to be heard! -S

      • annebrooke says:

        Absolutely!! Sexuality is always a gift from God and we should rejoice in it! :)) He’s much bigger and has far better and more varied ideas than we do.

  3. Qwillia says:

    Shira,
    I agree that it’s a waste of taxpayer’s money. In Raleigh it wasn’t an overwhelming majority, last I’d seen on TV was that it 52% in favor 48% against…at least some people’s gray matter was engaged. Especially since the “amendment” is in direct violation of the Bill of Rights.
    The NC amendment is based on religion, at least all the ads I watched on television touted that, and to quote the First Amendment, “the government will make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”…
    Apply this logic in reverse, no religion should have the right to govern others by attempting to establish laws prohibiting the right of the individual to exercise his/her free will.
    I’m seeing lots of money going to Constitutional lawyers and Civil Rights groups as the US Supreme Court steps in and strikes down these attempts to inject religion into local and state governments.
    Just my opinion.
    Qwillia

    • I agree with you, Qwilla – this sounds an awful lot like lawmakers trying to legislate religious beliefs. Separation of church and state has always been a double-edged sword for Americans. We say one thing, then do another. We want to be able to practice our religion, but then we take issue with differences of opinion amd try to legislate biblical interpretation. I suppose the most important thing is that we can have the debate at all – I take heart in that, at least. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be gay and Russian… But that’s another story, isn’t it? -S

  4. As an past resident of NC – and the ex-wife of a transgender man who was born and raised there, this article hit close to my heart. Though I am not part of the blog hop – I am blogging on the NC law — I interviewed my ex (whom is one of my very best friends) for her thoughts and feelings… should be posted by tonight. Great post here! Keep up the wonderful writing. romancewiththeflemingtons.blogspot.com

  5. K.D.E. says:

    I wasn’t one of those little girls who fantasized about her future wedding and I’ve never been one to think about marriage in a good light. At 22, I still don’t look at it as a wonderful thing. It has some of the strangest ‘traditions’ connected to it I’ve ever heard of and the idea just doesn’t appeal to me. But that hardly means that I don’t support other people wanting it and I strongly believe that homosexual couples SHOULD have all the rights of heterosexual couples.
    Purely political move or not, Obama has the right idea.

    I’m not going to lie I used to be quite homophobic, but I was raised in a homophobic household and the idea that gay was wrong was drilled into my head for the longest time. (Even now, my mom occasionally takes the time to remind me “I’ll support you no matter what you decide to do in this life. As long as you’re not gay.” ) But when my best friend came out to me, absolutely terrified of what I’d think, I began to realize that what I had been taught was wrong.
    What’s more, that friend is now my girlfriend and I love her. (And I firmly believe that, if God hated it, she wouldn’t have come back to me when I prayed for it)

    There’s more I wanted to say, but I’m terrible at wording my thoughts…I’ll just leave with this:
    You’re all making a great move and this has quickly become my favorite genre (I love your work, Mrs. Anthony ♥). Please keep up the great work. Maybe all of this hate and discrimination will go away someday.

    ~KDE

    • Thanks so much, KDE! My best friend in high school also came out to me, back in the 80’s. I remember that, inspite of my belief that homosexuality wasn’t sinful or wrong, I felt very uncomfortable when she told me. I remember wondering if she was attracted to me (I never asked) and what it would do to our friendship. Just goes to show that prejudice is engrained, and we all need to work hard to rid ourselves of society’s hatred. Love and tolerance are evolving things for individuals, as well, not just for society.

      In college, my best friend was a gay man who is to this day one of my oldest and dearest friends. I knew he was gay, but we never talked about it openly until much later. I wrote my first M/M rom with him in mind (the original “Blue Notes” book – “Symphony” – yet to be published). I wrote in one of my book dedications that I’d like nothing more than to write him a happy ending. I hope that HEA will include the option of marriage for him, too.

      Thank you so much for your words of inspiration. And yes, what ever power you believe in, s/he means for us to love and be happy. I’m so glad you’ve found that happiness! -S

  6. Rhys Ford says:

    Hey you.

    You know how I feel. :::grins::: heh… I want everyone to have an HEA. Because everyone deserves to have that in their hearts.

  7. KimberlyFDR says:

    I believe love can triumph over hate and that it always will!

    Thanks for participating in the blog hop.

    kimberlyFDR@yahoo.com

  8. I was so disappointed by the decision made on the 8th by North Carolina, but like you said, in 20 years, hell, in 4 years when the federal government passes a law making gay marriage legal on a federal level (I’m being optimistic-sue me), then it won’t matter. So why do it? Is it just to show how ignorant they can be? Is it because of their twisted morals and religious beliefs? Perhaps it’s to show that they believe they have some power, or a sad combination of all three? Whatever it is, it will take people like you and I, people who are taking a stand today and for the next three days, the ones who stand against homophobia and transphobia year round, to finally see change happening. We are the ones who can bring about change and with these blog posts, it’s a step in the right direction. Thank you Shira for posting this.

    vicktorabailey@yahoo.com

    • I want to be optimistic – so from your lips, Vic! You know, I asked my cousin, who is partnered and living in California, why she and her partner didn’t marry while it was still legal there. She said she hadn’t had a great role model for marriage growing up (her parents divorced when she was young) and that she didn’t need the piece of paper to know she would spend the rest of her life with her partner. They have two gorgeous children together, a home, and a good life. But the point is: she should have the choice to make! We all should. Thanks for your comment and I really, really hope your 4 years isn’t overly optimistic! -S

      • You’re right that it is a choice that we should be able to make. I have two friends who moved to Iowa just so they could get married. Unfortunately one of them is in the military, so his partner decided to go by his middle name which is gender neutral (Jamie) so that Jerome wouldn’t get a dishonorable discharge through DADT. Now that it’s repealed, Jerome can let everyone know that Jamie is a man, but it sucks that Jerome puts his life on the line almost daily and his marriage to his husband is only accepted in a few states and is still not widely accepted by those in the military. I hope my 4 years comes true as well. I’d hate to have to one day tell my kids that their daddies aren’t legally married, all over. I want them to know that their daddies marriage is accepted by everyone. You know, once I get married and have kids. LOL.

        • That’s a wonderful story! My boss is retired military – he’s relatively conservative, politically, but he always felt DADT didn’t reflect what most service members believed about homosexuality: that a good soldier is one who “has your back” and it wouldn’t make a damn bit of difference if they were gay or not. He was very pleased with the repeal.

          And as for you, Vic, I hope and pray that you get all of those things: marriage and kids, if and when you want them! XD -S

          • Thanks Shira! Your boss sounds awesome. He sounds a lot like my old mentor. He was a pastor, former Marine, conservative, but open-minded. When I came out to him, he sighed on the phone, asked me if I still loved God and told me that “the marriage bed was un-defiled” and whatever I did in the privacy of my own bedroom was my business and no one else’s. I think that there are a lot more people out there who think like that than is made apparent by the laws that are getting passed and the utter fuckwittery of the Westboro Baptist Church idiots. We just have to keep speaking out and drawing them out of hiding so that they’ll speak up and stand with us. We’ll get there. I’m optimistic about that too.

  9. Cherie Noel says:

    Shira,
    I’d love to see marriage equality pass on a Federal level.

  10. Congrats of 20 years of marriage. I really enjoyed your blog. Thank you for joining the HAH! —wtprater

  11. akasarahmadison says:

    The greatest threat to the sanctity of marriage, in my opinion, is infidelity. How exactly does allowing same-sex marriage impact that? *shakes head*

    Tonight on the drive home, I saw a bumper sticker that read “The War against the Northern Aggression was the American Holocaust.” THIS is the kind of backward thinking we have to deal with around here. Revisionist re-writing of history books to remove all mention of slavery. Banning sex education in schools while also making it harder to get access to birth control. Forbidding the discussion of homosexuality and banning the word ‘gay’ from schools. All in the name of religion too.

    I can’t find one passage in the Bible where JESUS ever mentioned homosexuality. He had a thing about the rich though, and considered crimes of the spirit worse on some levels than crimes we send people to jail over. Funny how we don’t see the wealthy laying aside their money to follow *that* part of the Bible. 😉

  12. NC made me so sad for the human race. It just seems like we (USA) are heading backwards in so many issues.
    Great hop post. Thank you.

  13. Penumbra says:

    As more and more states allow same sex marriage, states like NC will look even more backward and they will become a laughing stock.

    Thanks for participating in this great blog hop 🙂

    penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

  14. Andrea says:

    Great post! My state has a constitutional amendment banning SSM and civil unions as well. I’ll join you in hoping that we will see it deemed unconstitutional in the near future.

  15. Suze says:

    I don’t fully understand all the differnces in US legislation, between states and overall, but not allowing SSM seems very short sighted to me – even us non americans are talking about the NC vote – i dont know which other states are like them, maybe there should be a list of shame. I dont visit the US v much at all, but if i Would think twice about visiting those states ( or is this me discriminating?!)

    • Unfortunately, I think there are 33 states that have outlawed SSM out of 50. Most of them are the conservative, Southern states. But I certainly understand why you would hesitate to visit them. I know that many businesses will be thinking twice about doing business in those states!
      Thanks for commenting, Suze! -S

  16. Foretta says:

    I just don’t get why they think it makes their marriages look bad… they should look at the marriages that last less than 24 hours or just a few months BUT makes lots of money for certain ppl or gets them some much needed press exposure! ERRRR why do you CARE who someone else loves and/or marries!?! More love less hate can’t be a bad thing EVER!!!

    forettarose@yahoo.com

  17. Thank you for taking the time to participate in this hop – your post was totally awesome and thank you again for sharing it with us all.

    normanielsen@bigpond.com

  18. L.M. Brown says:

    Being in the UK, I have to admit that US law kind of confuses me most of the time, at least with how it gets passed and the variations between the states. But any law that advocates inequality is just plain wrong.

    Oh and I love that cartoon. Seen it before but it still holds true.

    lmbrownauthor at gmail dot com

  19. Gigi says:

    Thanks for participating in the HOP.

  20. arella3173 says:

    Thanks for being a part of this blog hop.
    I hope this hop made a difference somewhere. I hope at least one person came away a little less hateful and can finally see it’s wrong to put a complete strangers love life and happiness in the hands of stupid politics. Everyone Is free to love. NO one has the right to say whether one group of people or another can have happiness. We’re ALL people. I hope and pray and wish that someday soon, Things will change for the better.

    Judi
    arella3173_loveless(at)yahoo(dot)com

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