Aly Windsor contributes to Offbeat Mama from time to time — reader faves include Parenting outside the gender binary and Parenting without gender expectations means accepting all outcomes. She and her partner, Elroi, live in North Carolina with their two sons. North Carolina is getting ready to vote on whether or not Aly and Elroi’s marriage, and the marriages of so many other people, are valid.
Aly’s addressed the idea that on May 8 anyone who lives in North Carolina is going to have a say about whether or not her marriage, and by extension her family, is legitimate today on her blog:
My partner and I have been together for seven years. We have two kids, and moved to North Carolina from Georgia last year after my partner finished a doctorate degree and was offered a professor position at a local college. Even though we left good friends and a comfortable-for-our-family social climate behind in Atlanta, we were so thrilled to leave the big city for beautiful North Carolina where the majority of my extended family lives. We’re now an hour and a half away by car from my mom and aunt whom our boys adore. We love being able to take a Sunday drive to see them, and do it often. Having nearer-by, reliably loving babysitters is another added perk. You can imagine our dismay then, when only a month after we moved here, the North Carolina legislature voted to put Amendment One on the spring 2012 primary ballot.
No matter how hard I squint, I cannot figure out what’s so threatening about this little life of ours. I believe in compassion and accepting people different from me so I have spent a lot of mental energy puzzling over the motivations of people who would vote to invalidate our family. I understand those who object to us mainly do so on the basis of their religious beliefs. I affirm that these people are entitled to their religious beliefs but I do not understand why my fellow citizens’ religious beliefs dictate how our government classifies my marriage and family. Why does my neighbor get a say over who is eligible to be my valid life partner? Why do other people get to vote at all on my access to the same legal rights and privileges they’re free to enjoy without a referendum?
If you’re a North Carolina voter, I want you to know that when you vote on this issue, real people and sweet families will be on the receiving end of the button you push. My family will be glued to the TV screen on May 8th, anxiously watching the voting numbers roll in. At the end of the day, or when the tipping point is reached, we will either be crushed or buoyed by your choice. Choosing to not vote is as good as voting for the amendment.
This is a strong piece of work — and one I definitely suggest you read in its entirety.