by Emily Wooldridge
Several weeks ago, The Stone House was proud to host All of Us NC, a group of dedicated activists throughout the state who work at the intersections of social justice movements to build long term change through grassroots popular education. A specific topic at hand was Amendment 1, the proposed amendment to the Constitution of North Carolina that would make marriage between one man and one woman the only state-recognized union in North Carolina. As a representative of stone circles and one who is deeply concerned about this and all threats to marriage equality and justice in its more universal context, I was able to participate in this meeting with a dynamic group of folks from all over.
Passage of this bill would not only place the state’s already existing prohibition of same-sex marriage into the Constitution and make same sex marriage an even more difficult struggle, but it would also deny legal recognition of civil unions and the benefits that currently accompany domestic partnerships in several cities and counties across the state. The public will be able to vote on this bill in the May 8th Republican primary election. The potential far-reaching consequences of this bill are profound. And so, with a deadline such as the May primary, it might be expected that an organization would work with this date looming over everything it does. And yet one striking aspect of All of Us NC is that while May plays a significant role in the work organizers are doing, there is no talk of putting away the flip charts and wrapping up and the hard and heart-centered work on May 9th. Instead, All of Us NC is committed to long term change – not long-term like in the next 5 years, but long-term like grandchildren. And their grandchildren’s grandchildren.
In a culture that thrives on immediate gratification, it’s natural that we who work for change also want to see and experience short-term victories. And yet where does that leave us, when the primary is over, the email petitions stop, and we get back to “normal life” until the next Big One? Do we win in fits and starts of legislation and resolutions, or are we wearing ourselves out in a breakneck race to the next deadline? If you asked All of Us NC, they’d probably say something like, “Yes, stopping the passage of this amendment is hugely important. Also hugely important are the relationships we’re building across the state, and the process of building them. Also important is that these relationships, when grounded in a commitment to make each other’s struggles our own, will continue to build on, learn from, and grow stronger with one another. Also important is that no matter what wins and losses might be tallying up along the way, these movements will create the future and our descendants will live in a more just world.”
We’re proud to have these friends fighting for justice in North Carolina, and I am proud to be working alongside them for deep and lasting transformation. If you’d like to get involved with All of Us NC, they can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919.618.0442.
To learn more about Amendment 1, check out protectncfamilies.org
Once you’ve read up, if you’d like to take action against Amendment 1, here are a few ideas:
TALK to friends, family and neighbors about how the amendment hurts families
HOST a workshop at your house of worship, for your group, or at a house meeting (contact All of Us NC and they’ll make it happen)
REGISTER to vote & register others -
Learn how at democracy-nc.org/action/register.html
READ the NC NAACP’s powerful letter: allofusnc.tumblr.com/NAACP
FRIEND All Of Us NC on Facebook: facebook.com/allofusnc
VISIT allofusnc.tumblr.com/ to learn more about the multiracial coalition.