Constitutional rights are once again being put to popular vote in North Carolina. The following video, which i found courtesy of the amazing Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, perfectly sums up the problems with the media’s framing of the questions surrounding Amendment One:
May 6th, 2012 – In a press conference held in Greensboro, North Carolina, Clergy from around the state gathered together to pray for the wisdom of it’s citizens regarding the May 8th vote on Amendment One. In that conference, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber took the time to rebuke the media for asking the wrong questions regarding the amendment.
It is important that those who are opposed to this amendment make a strong showing today, because the supporters certainly will. And, if you have family or friends in North Carolina, please encourage them to take a few moments to vote NO today as well.
March 12, 2012
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This morning, my husband and i went to the local Clerk of the Circuit Court and filed the necessary paperwork to legally have our son’s named changed to his chosen male-gendered name. It is the first step in a process that includes changing the name and gender marker on his birth certificate (fortunately, we live in a state that allows for this), and changing the name and gender filed with Social Security. After these steps have been taken, my son will not need to worry when it comes time to take his PSATs/SATs, apply for his drivers permit, get a part-time job, or apply for college — he can do any of these things as a legal male.
In our state, a name change for a minor is a fairly simple process: both parents fill out the paperwork and the court order, sign the documents in the presence of the clerk of the court with a valid ID, and the paperwork and court order goes to the judge for review. There is no hearing; the judge simply reviews and approves the order and sends the certificate to the home address. We were told that the judge was in today and that the order should be reviewed and processed this afternoon. My child’s name change will be legally effective by the end of the day and we should have the paperwork by the end of the week.
As the clerk entered the information into the computer system, she absentmindedly said: “Say goodbye to (child’s previous, female name)” as our copy of the order began to print. She had no way of knowing the deep meaning behind her words or how much they would affect me. We really are saying “goodbye” to more than just a name. I was sad as we left the court building, but not at the goodbye — i was sad that my son had to live under that name and identity for so long. Mixed with the sadness was a joy that the first step in this legal process is so easy, so that my son’s true identity can quickly be affirmed not just by family and friends but by the state in which he was born and calls home. I’m okay with saying goodbye to “her” because saying hello to him is so beautiful.