President Obama speaks...

What a roller coaster.

Yesterday, North Carolina voters approved a measure that bans same-sex marriage (and the less appealing but still legitimate civil unions) in their state. By passing this amendment, North Carolina became the 30th state to write a same-sex marriage ban into its Constitution.

I guess I'll have to find somewhere else to vacation. Now the Outer Banks' beauty is tainted by hate and exclusion in my mind, and I'll be spending my tourism dollars elsewhere.

Today, though, President Obama struck back by announcing, in an interview, his evolved thoughts on the subject. Although he previously hesitated to support same-sex marriage with the belief that civil unions should be sufficient, he now says he believes same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

In the last election, he was all about "Change." During his administration, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was obliterated. If this is the kind of change he meant, then hallelujah. I hope his change of heart and his bold announcement today signal the beginning of a new era.

I'm not holding my breath.

This issue makes me so angry, I can barely string coherent thoughts together. I do not understand why some people are so obsessed with denying couples who love each other the right to make official commitments of love and caring, honoring and cherishing, in sickness and in health, forever and ever, amen. How is allowing people who love each other to vow to spend their lives together detrimental to society? I don't get it.

It's not just about a gesture of love, either. It's about human rights. It's about human decency. The only thing indecent about this issue is those people who spew hatred and bigotry and general vitriol, and do so in the name of Christianity.

The other day I was walking downtown behind this adorable college-age couple obviously in love. They were holding hands and laughing, enjoying the spring day. They playfully nudged each other and, as they waited for the crosswalk light to change, one rested a head on the other's shoulder. Their smiles shone brighter than the midday sun. I grinned watching them, although they seemed to have no idea of their effect. They were too caught up in each other to be aware of much else around them.

Did it matter that they weren't a boy-girl couple? Not to me. I didn't even really think about gender in that moment. I just watched these two blissfully happy souls connecting and thought, "I hope it lasts for them. The world needs more of that."

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