In North Carolina after Amendment One, ‘Let the wild rumpus start’

AP AP As North Carolina voted in Amendment One, the world remembered Maurice Sendak, author of “Where the Wild Things … Continued



As North Carolina voted in Amendment One, the world remembered Maurice Sendak, author of “Where the Wild Things Are.” Writes Randy Potts for On Faith, “Let the wild rumpus start!”

“And he sailed off through night and day

and in and out of weeks

and almost over a year

to where the wild things are.”

Tuesday, in the wee hours of the early morning while Maurice Sendak passed away quietly in his home in Connecticut, the first voters in North Carolina were entering their polling stations to vote on Amendment One. Most of them were voting “Yes.”

Just the day before, MSNBC invited me to sit opposite Billy and Franklin Graham to talk about the upcoming vote against same-sex marriage but, unfortunately, I was told that both declined. Of the two men, Billy, is easily the more likeable and respected– compared to the current generation of evangelical leaders, he had tended to steer clear of politics or endorsing particular parties or candidates. Not anymore: Something about two women or two men in love woke something in Rev. Graham and he took out full page ads across North Carolina with a sort of “Well, I never” attitude, as if he’d turned into an old biddy in his front yard yelling at the pesky neighbor kids, those little wild things. In the ads he said this:

“At 93, I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage. The Bible is clear – God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman.”

Ken Blevins


Signs display messages about gay marriage in front of the Devon Park United Methodist Church polling site on Tuesday, May 8, 2012, in Wilmington, N.C.

What I wanted to tell him had he agreed to sit opposite me was that the Bible is not clear on what to do when two men or two women in love ask to be married. Many priests, rabbis, and pastors embrace these couples and marry them; many do not. Nor is society clear; a few states grant marriage licenses while the majority of states turn those couples away. Some gay and lesbian couples have lived with each other in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, for sometimes 20, sometimes 30, sometimes 40, and sometimes, including the case of Maurice Sendak, for 50 years, while religion and society simply looked away.

“And Max, the king of all wild things, was lonely and wanted to be

where someone loved him best of all.”

That’s how I felt, when I came out at 31 years old, surrounded by my fellow wild things and shunned by my family and my church. Angry. Alone. Mean, even. We were wild things, I was told, and we embraced our wildness; but I didn’t really want to be wild. I wanted to raise my children, go to their softball games and school plays, watch them grow up and, someday, have a husband who wanted to do those things with me.

Sendak was also gay and he lived with his partner, Eugene Glynn, for over 50 years, but it was not quite long enough – Glynn died in 2007, only a year before their home state of Connecticut finally allowed two men in love to apply for, and receive, a marriage license. A year after Glynn died, Sendak told the New York Times “All I wanted was to be straight so my parents could be happy. They never, never, never knew.” A gay man writing children’s books could not even think about coming out, even a man some consider the greatest children’s writer of the last century.

I will be getting married three weeks from now; my fiancé Keaton and I will have a ceremony with our friends and his family in our home state of Texas and then fly to New York City where a judge has happily agreed to marry us. I have finally found my future husband, but I’ve also learned to embrace a little bit of that wildness. Days like today make me sad; we lost a gay man who was never able to marry his partner of 50 years while, a little to the south, North Carolina added the second amendment to their state constitution limiting marriage rights –the first, of course, banned interracial marriage.

And yet, at the same time, days like today make me vow to work even harder, to roll up my sleeves and think about all those young gay teens growing up today and watching us set an example for them. At moments like these, I feel just like Max.

“And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start!”

Randy Roberts Potts, grandson of evangelist Oral Roberts, has worked with young people in schools through anti-bullying and juvenile justice programs. He is responsible for The Gay Agenda, a performance art piece designed for conservative America and profiled in Details magazine. He can be found on Facebook and Twitter (@randyrpotts).

  • WorldNet

    I just can’t understand how a supposedly-enlightened society can so blatantly disregard everything the Founding Fathers stood for – individual freedom, small government and human rights – to stand up and put mandatory discrimination into law in such an ugly, transparent display of bigotry and bias.

  • ccnl1

    From the Land of Loading More Comments:

    “Abrahamics” believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the gay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied homosexuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore gays are gay because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    o The Royal College of Psychiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psychoanalytic and psychological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heterosexual or homosexual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment. Sexual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] ”

    “Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, “The fetal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.”[8

    See also the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with homosexuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions abide by the rules of no adultery or fornication allowed.

    And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-sex unions not same-sex marriages.

    From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Mo

  • ChristianInPaloAlto

    The Founding Fathers were far from perfect. For starters, not only they allowed slavery to continue for almost 80 years, but they came up with their idiotic 3/5 compromise.

    I agree though with one of the quotes by one of these Founding Fathers, who incidentally happened to be a slave owner (and probably a sexual predator of slaves),

    “Can one generation bind another, and all others, in succession forever? I think not. The Creator has made the earth for the living, not the dead. Rights and powers can only belong to persons, not to things, not to mere matter endowed with will…Nothing is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man.”

    Gay marriage is not a civil right. The people of NC (as well as the people of California) have spoken. Time for the gay pride zealots to move on with their intolerance and insults.

  • perplexed4

    Thank you for this article. For each and every one of my gay friends who took their time coming out to me, I want them to know that I understand how hard this must have been, even as I would not have a problem with it if they announced earlier. I also cherish their friendship that they felt it was worth it to them to explain things to me. Frankly I was honored. We so much have to move on from this issue. No one choses attraction, no one should be tortured because for whatever reason they are attracted to one sex or another. I would like to see this issue disappear. Hope it does. Biology ensures that most will be heterosexual. I do not think we need to worry any more about it.

  • SaintJoshIII

    “What I wanted to tell him had he agreed to sit opposite me was that the Bible is not clear on what to do when two men or two women in love ask to be married.”

    The ignorance of this individual is maddening. How could anyone who claims to have read the Bible doubt its position on gay marriage?

    1. From the very beginning in Genesis, it’s Adam and Eve – man and woman. It couldn’t be any clearer.
    2. God destroyed Sodom for the homosexual desires of its inhabitants.
    3. Jesus and his apostles always defined marriage as between a man and a woman.
    4. In 1 Corinthians 6:9, Paul lists homosexuals as among those who will not inherit the kingdom of God.
    5. 1 Corinthians 7:2 blatantly states that each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. It does NOT say that each man should have a partner – whether it be a man or a woman – and each woman should have her own partner – again, whether it be a man or a woman. That is what is does NOT say.
    6. In Genesis, God commands humans to be fruitful and multiply. It is biologically indisputable that two people of the same gender can never reproduce. Again, the Bible being anti-gay marriage is implied when this commandment is considered.
    7. The New Testament consistently states that marriage is the only context in which sexual activities are allowed. Since the Bible lists homosexuality as a sexually immoral act, and marriage is the only appropriate context for sexual relations, it’s obviously implied that the Bible does not condone gay marriage.

    These are just some examples of this person’s ignorance of the Bible’s viewpoint on gay marriage, which was so greatly demonstrated in this article that it seems as if the author was willfully ignorant and this article was not the result of serious consideration of the Bible’s stance on gay marriage, but rather, someone trying to advance a political agenda. The author’s position is quite flawed and is not going to be believed by anyone who actually gives a crap about the

  • ChristianInPaloAlto

    Agreed. To that I would add that early Christianity, by this I mean those Christians who were closest in time to Jesus’ time on Earth, was so opposed to homosexuality that when they became influencial in the Roman Empire they banned the practice despite the fact that homosexuality was tolerated by non Christian Romans (although gay marriage as we understand it was never legal in the Roman Empire).

    One might have many reasons to support homosexuality or gay marriage however hijacking Christianity for that purpose is preposterous.

  • rhayhoe

    Just how the devil does the Bible have any credence in arguing this issue anyway? And how can a modern priesthood pronounce judgment on people and society when their only claim to validity is such a grotesque residue of primitive belief studded with the gaudy and murderous accouterments of a grossly corrupt theocratic regime that is become Christianity, Judaism and islam today. Any book with as murky origins in barbaric tribal warring, hate and superstitious fear of the elements that has gone through the hands of so many generations, each adding and subtracting according to its fears, prejudices and covetousness, some copying texts they don’t even understand, injecting obscurity and error as they proceeded, the errors accreting into an ossified and fragmentary mess, how dose such a book have any authority at all, let alone how can it be passed off on us as the word of divinity.

    The very idea is pure rubbish!

  • cricket44

    You have serious problems. NC made a terrible decision and rational people see that.

  • flambeau608

    Yeah, the founding fathers weren’t perfect, and neither are you. Quit judging your fellow human beings and treat them as you would like to be treated by your imperfect fellow human beings.

  • OhioConservative422

    “What I wanted to tell him had he agreed to sit opposite me was that the Bible is not clear on what to do when two men or two women in love ask to be married.”

    If the homosexual act is prohibited and described as gravely sinful, then why would you then conclude that homosexual marriage is somehow not prohibited and gravely sinful? It would be perpetuating and enabling sin, according to the Bible – would it not?

  • Civilius

    OhioConservative442: In talking about Obama’s support of gay marriage only from the “Christian perspective” and whether or not “the Bible supports gay marriage”, a huge side of this issue is left out. Those opposed to gay marriage on religious grounds clearly believe everyone must follow the same (Christian, Biblical) religious beliefs as if we are a theocracy!
    In a Constitutional democracy (where we have individual rights) and religious freedom, not everyone has to follow the Bible on marriage or any other matter.

    Religious (Christian) conservatives seem to forget that there is a difference between civil and religious marriage. Jews don’t have to wed according to right-wing, conservative Christian marriage rules…nor do atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, Taoists or liberal Christians.

  • Civilius

    NC made the wrong decision…

    Those opposed to gay marriage on religious grounds clearly believe everyone must follow the same (Christian, Biblical) religious beliefs, as if we are a theocracy like Saudi Arabia!.
    In a Constitutional democracy (where we have individual rights) and religious freedom, not everyone has to follow the Bible on marriage or any other matter.

    Religious (Christian) conservatives seem to purposefully forget that in the U.S. we all have the right to wed in a civil OR a religious marriage. Jews don’t have to wed according to right-wing, conservative Christian marriage rules…nor do atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, Taoists or liberal Christians.

  • kinkysr

    Republicans have a new authority on morals, marriage and irresponsible pregnancy … and it’s …

  • ddoiron1

    Marriage as a Religious issue should have died when the First Civil Servant to perform a “MARRIAGE” took place.

    Judges, JPs and City Mayors are not Ministers of the Gospel and should never been allowed to Call their Civil Unions Marriages. They should have Never been allowed to use a Bible in their Business.

    At the end of all “Marriages”, Minister or Civil Servant, it’s not God any of them acknowledge as giving them that power, but the State. “By the Power Vested in me by the State of xxxx; I now pronounce you man and wife.”

  • PeterG4

    A man and woman married but committing adultery and other sins do not get to negate their marriage or children thereof–that’s what’s behind the business of being reborn 2-3 times a week (if the sinner doesn’t get the point or refuses to abide by God’s plan in the Bible that’s just as bad, it’s not just the ‘sin’ part). There are many sinners who I consider Christian. Why pick this one out of the pack?! For those not Christian, they can still be moral and ethical.

  • PeterG4

    There’s an old adage–two wrongs don’t make a right. Trying to debate a point by selecting obscure references or silly examples somewhere in the world is never a flash way to convert your listener, and isn’t that the real point of being a Christian?! Not just hating those someone told you to hate on late night TV in between calls for cash contributions?!

  • quapawsix

    I thought leviticus was real clear on how god felt about gays.
    Leviticus 18:22: Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

  • ramagu

    The joke is that evangelicals don’t follow anything else in Leviticus. They’re happy to ignore the parts that apply to them, and make a mountain out of the molehill of one line that applies to someone else.

    As Paul aptly put it: “That’s why you are inexcusable you who condemn others, because you are just as guilty as those you condemn and are even guilty of the same things.” (Romans)

  • jsoles2001

    The United States law is based on the Constitution, not the Bible.

  • jsoles2001

    But SaintJosh, do we live by the Constitution or the Bible? Why is there not a separation? You can’t apply biblical rules to the nation unless we are a theocracy.

  • jsoles2001

    Conservaties and church leaders wasted a lot of money on advertising to beat gay marriage when that money could have been spent better on missions. Another reason why church and politics should not mix.

  • jsoles2001

    In the 60s, Republicans opposed civil rights legsilation because you can’t “legislate moraltiy.” Well, that is exactly what Republicans are doing now, trying to legislate morality. If they are going to ban gay marrige, they should also take up the cause to outlaw alcohol and pornography.

  • jsoles2001

    They’ve got no problem working and making money on the Sabbath. A Jew got stoned just for picking up sticks in one of the Books of Moses.

  • Paisley10

    I think it is so ironical that these religious groups would make something like gay marriage such a religous/political issue. Lying, gossip and pride are at the top of the list for those who cannot be part of those who make it to Heaven. I don’t see them tryiing to make amendments for those sins. Probably is their pet sins. If they really want to follow the Bible, they need to look at the day they go to church. There is nothing in the Bible about keeping Sunday holy. Saturday is the true Sabbath. Billy Graham knows that but he wouldn’t be as popular if he had openly admitted it.

  • Paisley10

    What about eating pork or shellfish?

  • Paisley10

    I love it when people use Sodom and Gomorrah as example. It is evident that you do not know your Bible. There is nothing that says it was homosexuality that brought them down. They were all about ANY one to have sex with including Lot’s daughters. As for the Bible, I too believe in a marriage between a man and a woman as God created Adam and Eve in the Garden but it didn’t take man long to change that –and God still worked with them such as the multiple marriages that took place for centuries. I have no problem with 2 people who are committed to one another to enter into a civil contract with each other. As a Christian, my denomination will not sanctify a homosexual marriage but neither will it sanctify a marriage between a hetereosexual couple if they do not both belong to our church. That is our rights as a religious denomination. Two men or two women getting married has nothing to do with my marriage and it certainly has nothing to do with my salvation.

  • TB_One

    PeterG4: The Bible does not teach hate of anyone. It does say to hate sin, period. Homosexuality is a sin according to the Bible and a most disgusting lifestyle as judged by the majority of the world. If I most strenuously object to a perverted lifestyle why would I want to codify its existence by endorsing homosexual marriage? It is not about civil rights as we all know, they have every right afforded to each of us. What they don’t have a special rights that once again the majority of the world finds objectionable. Now because we find the lifestyle morally repugnant we are called ignorant (of what I don’t know), stupid (far from it), intolerant (well yes if find it morally repugnant) and haters. The only hate I see are all who throw stones because others disagree with your stance. Objecting to homosexual marriage is taking a moral stand, it does not throw stones, hate, or call anyone ignorant.

  • TB_One

    Paisley10: Maybe not but the codificaiton of homosexual marriage will force businesses to reconize, support and endorse what many consider immoral. From there it is just a matter of time unitl the “Hate Crime” laws include incarceration of anyone from the pulpit condeming homosexuality as a sin or denying them employment.

  • TB_One

    Really? So what do you say about the man who married his dog in India? This was not an issue until the homosexual activists forced their way into the schools to lie to our children; tried to legislate hate laws preventing anyone from speaking out against the practice; tried to force those of us who find the practice repugnant to embrace and promote it as “normal” by allowing and promoting gay marriage.

  • TB_One

    ccnl1: The operative word here is “appear”. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment. Sexual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] ”

    You submit this as proof? Where is it? This is a statement of guess work based on observation. There is zero genetic link to homosexual behavior and observed behavior in now way provides proof.

  • windmill3

    31 states ban/limit gay marriage I believe, some are Republican, some Democrat. So quick to blame everything on the Republicans. Are you a bit biased?

  • windmill3

    The book of Leviticus contains some very interesting info on public health. It is an interesting read for health care providers. Thousands of years ago, someone figured out that certain things control illness and certain things promote bad health and so the good practices became part of their religion which at that time were one and the same. Also, physicians and priests were one and the same.

  • windmill3

    Cleancut77 published this: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”

    (Leviticus 18:22)

    “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders.”
    (1 Corinthians 6:9)

    In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 7)

    “We also sent Lut: He said to his people: Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds. And his people gave no answer but this: they said, “Drive them out of your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!”" (Qur’an 7:80-82)
    No doubt it was observed thousands of yeas ago that homo practices produced diseases.

  • windmill3

    A social/church friend who was wealthy and educated was making several trips per year to Africa to ‘help’ several villages dig wells, build a school, and in general improve their lives. He built a small house in the village for his use when he visited. He had two male assistants from the village. One day he and his wife of many years separated which surprised us. Later he announced he had Aides and would die in less than a year. He contracted Aides from the African males that he had sex with which was the reason for the interest in Africa. We never understood why he took such risks, nor did his wife and sons. Does anyone understand the wierd unsafe risks that people take for the sake of sexual gratification?

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