I’m an election judge who is gay. Next May I get to watch my neighbors vote on whether it should be merely illegal for me to get married (which it already is) or that said prohibition should be explicitly woven into the document that defines the state. I will make sure that their votes are cast in safety and privacy and that the outcome of the election is secure and fair because I’ve taken an oath of office to do so and because I, unlike the people who authored the amendment or who will vote for it in May, genuinely believe that the law exists to protect all of us equally no matter what we think, how we live or why we vote.

I will not let my respect for my fellow citizens or the democratic process be drowned in the irony that some eventual percentage of voters in my precinct will trust me to certify poll results but not to sign a marriage license or that, in that moment, those persons’ ballots have more legal protections than half my personal life.

It is possible that I will have to repeat that to myself many times between now and May of next year.

Speaking personally, any person who knows me and who lives in NC and votes for the amendment will be stating pretty clearly that they do not think of me as fully a person. They will be choosing, right then, explicitly, to inflict a measure of harm on my life. Doing so will be an act of aggression and injury. It’s that simple. There’s no way to dress it up otherwise. The amendment itself cannot be compared to institutionalized gay-bashing because it IS institutionalized gay-bashing.