I woke up this morning and turned on The Today Show as I got ready for work, just like every other morning. The news was out that North Carolina had joined the states banning same sex marriage. A short time later, a story about the ongoing trial of John Edwards alleged misuse of campaign donations.
Two stories. Both about marriage, both horrible, both unfair, and both about North Carolina.
North Carolina, we hear you. You support your former Senator's right to cheat on his dying wife in private, but you oppose gay marriage.
I've had a soft spot in my heart for North Carolina, ever since Scott moved there toward the end of 2007. He was there for about eighteen months, and I found it a wonderful place to visit, and I loved the Southern, near-coastal charm.
I think that's one of the reasons that the news seems so heartbreaking to me.
But this afternoon, a ray of sunshine drowning out the dark North Carolina skies.
"I think same-sex couples should be able to get married" said our President. I could practically hear the applause thundering across my Facebook and Twitter feeds. In the literally dozens and dozens (maybe hundreds) of comments I saw on my feeds, not a single one disagreed with that statement.
Is that because it's hard for a minority to let out a peep above a vocal majority? Perhaps, but I think it also has to do with my generation. At 27, I know very, very few people who would say that gay people shouldn't have the same right to marriage as straight people. To my generation, it's darn near a non-issue. Someone on Facebook wrote that finding out someone is gay is unimportant as finding out that they are from Michigan or like to play soccer.
While I think marriage for gay people should be a non-issue, I can also recognize that in an election year, in a hostile political environment, President Obama's statement was a risky move. But maybe doing what's right matters more than an election. Or maybe it's just about standing up for what you believe in.
This day started out a little dark as North Carolina slapped marriage in the face twice, but the day ended with the most important endorsement that the movement could hope for. Thank you Mr. President. You had my vote before, but now you also have my eternal respect.