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  2. All sarcasm aside, it’s an extremely sad night for all families in North Carolina. It’s not just families headed by or including lesbian, gay or bisexual members who will be hurt. A real blow has been dealt to their legal options for protection and support, it’s true. But all North Carolinians — in living with a constitution which legalizes discrimination, and which creates two sets of rights for two sets of citizens — are hurt in the cycle of a false notion of superiority and inferiority. Pro-equality Fortune 500 companies will be less likely to settle there, hurting the economic options for totally gay and totally straight North Carolinians alike. And they’ll be hurt for at least a generation, if not generations, with this constitutional amendment.
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    Steven Thrasher at The Village Voice

    North Carolina voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment on Tuesday that makes marriage between a man and a woman the only kind of union recognized by the state.

    Here a look at what the vote means for the state and the country

     


  3. The second you see your son dropping that limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch.
    — The words of a North Carolina pastor named Sean Harris, who was caught on tape telling members of his flock to punch their sons if they show signs of being gay. Harris has since apologized for his comments, saying he was making a misguided attempt to be funny
     

  4. A flurry of tornadoes in the South and Midwest killed 40 people last week, leaving a path of destruction across five states. But it wasn’t all bad. Here, some inspiring stories of survival and miraculous luck:

    • The mom who saved her children
      An Indiana woman, Stephanie Decker, rushed her children into the basement of her new house as the storm hit. She bound her 5-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son together in a blanket, and shielded them with her own body. The dream home that had taken seven months to build was reduced to rubble in seconds, and beams and other debris crashed into the basement, pinning Decker. She lost one leg below the knee, and her other foot. Her children survived without a scratch. Decker’s husband, Joe, says he told her “‘They’re here because of you.’ I let her know that nothing else matters. I said, ‘You’re going to be here for your kids, and you get to see them grow up.’”
    • The kids who survived being blown from their home
      Latonya Stevens blacked out when a tornado ripped apart her North Carolina home. When she came to, only one of her four kids was at her side, and Stevens, fearing the worst, ran outside shouting, “Where’s my babies!” The missing children — ages 3, 4, and 7 — had been in their rooms upstairs, and were swept away along with most of the home’s second floor. Once the tornado passed, two of the kids were found nearby, but one, 7-year-old Jamal, had been thrown 100 feet. All three kids were fine, other than a few cuts and bruises. “It’s a miracle they survived,” said their grandfather, Clarence Gray Jr. “God was looking out for them.”
    • The Alabama man reunited with his imperiled dog
      Greg Cook was at work when a tornado slammed into his Limestone County, Ala., house. When the winds subsided, he rushed home and found his neighborhood destroyed and most of his house gone. He assumed he would never again see his dog, a chocolate Labrador named Coco, who’d been left at home when Cook went to work. But Cook crawled through a window into what was left of a hallway, and found Coco, wet and shivering. “It was just such a relief, I was happy to see him,” said Cook through tears. “I love my dog. He’s my best friend.”

    More inspiring stories