Aly Windsor, writing for The Huffington Post Gay Voices, speaks about her experience going to the polls to vote against North Carolina’s discriminatory marriage amendment. She speaks of walking through the “gauntlet” of amendment supporters and those who oppose the amendment with her partner and their two young boys. She speaks of her gratitude toward those who were in attendence outside the voting place who were there to oppose the amendment and, most strikingly, she speaks of her experience after she leaves:
I hoped we’d be left alone as we walked to our cars, because no amount of shouting was going to change what we’d already done[; voting against the amendment]. But no, we reentered the chaos as we exited the building. Again, I thanked the young men [who opposed the amendment] for their presence. As we passed the crowd, a woman who looked to be the same age as my mother shouted after us, “Children are already suffering! Vote for!” Her voice was shrill and angry, and she clearly meant to harm us with her words.
Unfortunately, in the moment, she succeeded. Tears pricked my eyes, but I held it together until we got to our cars. Still within view of the crowd and the malevolent woman, my partner and I carefully put our children in their car seats and then hugged before before driving off separately. As I drove away, my tears spilled out. My 3-year-old asked where we were going, and I replied that I didn’t know yet. He asked me why I was sad. I told him that the woman who shouted at us hurt my feelings. He told me she wasn’t very nice.
I told him he was right. I knew that the woman was wrong not only in how she spoke to us but in what she said. Our children are not suffering. One need only spend a day with us to realize that our children are thriving, happy, and well-loved. They’re fortunate to not only have two adoring parents but an assortment of doting grandparents, aunts, and uncles. If that woman only knew us or any family with same-sex parents personally, I believe her heart would soften and her mind would change.
This is the real harm that campaigns and votes like amendment one cause. This is how we are choosing to ‘protect’ marriage? By making loving, caring, mothers cry in front of their children? Aside from the big ticket inequality items; lack of access to a number of benefits, filing ‘single’ tax returns, that come with banning gays from marriage, the real disgrace of the marriage amendments comes from moments like this; the hurt that the slings, arrows and slights of those who are on the side of ‘protecting’ marriage cause in their words and deeds. You are the ones that are helping to harm families. Do you really think that makes God proud?