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
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.