To say I am a bit dissapointed in North Carolina's "majority vote" to deny basic citizenship to its' gay population and theri families and anyone not "religiously" m
arried and THEIR families is putting this mildly. I have also been practising Buddhism for almost thirty years (that I can remember).
Through an agonizingly slow process I can see some of the real, heartrending suffering that laws based on moral absolutes can do to millions of people. Indeed I believe that clinging to rigid moral beliefs involving right and wrong, the "moral majority" has inflicted more insidious and devastating damage than those of us with less solid rectitudes have.
I believe everyone can achieve enlightenment as they are, for real, without conforming to mandates from without. To deny gays and lesbians the right to full citizenship, indeed full adulthood, based on religious beliefs, and making that bent the law of the land trashes my own First Amendmant rights. I write this not only as a call to fellow Buddhists, but all my truly compassionate Christian co-citizens who truly understand the true gist of the Bible, all of the Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu faith as well. Help me defend your First Amendmant rights.
First off, as this has been pointed out, putting civil rights up to "voter referendums" should be curtailed. If women's suffrage were put up for referendum by Popular vote the only ones voting would have been mostly white males holding the decision for ineligible females of every background, who would have been banned from voting on their own fate. It's a 50% chance women STILL couldn't vote!
But seriously, and I speak as a practitioner of Buddhism, is an effort by fundamental Christians to turn their state into an absolute theocracy by FORCING every single person in the state of North Carolina to pay a state tithe to advance their exclusionist social program. It is inescapable that everyone's tax money is now pegged toward not only making gay and lesbians lives hell, but all unmarried women, girls, and children's lives a combat zone hell too.
Of course the children of same sex parents are living in a state of hell because the North Carolina state government has now designated every one of them as Bastards for Life by Government Mandate. If parents aren't married, what does that make their children?! But look out all you single moms. Your children have no shield. They are now easy game for the exclusionist groups to get ahead by stamping over their backs. All you underage moms with baby daddies in prison...you kids are on your own. You are no longer persons in North Carolina.
The ingenious part of all this is that your state and local taxes can now be used to fund your own victimization! No one outside these fundamentalist churches can legally do anythiong to help you because legally your hands are tied! These pastor's have not only gotten their tithe, but can now ban anyone outside their congregations from exercising the compassion they lack! YOU ARE SUPPRTING THEIR CHURCHES AGAINST YOUR WILL! You are defacto under the barbed wire fence of their church.
I put this to you that this is not siomply a 14th Amendmant equal protection under the law issue. This is a basic First Amendmant issue of freedom of religion! AMENDMANT ONE! Should any referendum banning gay marriage come up in my state I will go out of my way to speak as a Buddhist to argue that no "freedom" of any church can, in a truly civilized society, mean running over my religious freedom and deep held beliefs.
I would refuse to pay taxes to a such a state. That may be the only way to protest creatively against forcing minority citizens to be sitting ducks. Since the homosexual and single-parent population is no longer represented, WHY PAY TAXES to North Carolina? Is there any way this can be arranged to the ACLU or other human rights organizations? Can one state afford to prosecute half its citizens? Dare them! Break this theocratical element with whatever fragment of money you have left. If a fund would be set up to do this, I would donate all I can and encourage organizations in Maryland to do the same. Best of success.