My family has lived in North Carolina for over two years now and I was extremely disappointed to see state voters approve Amendment One yesterday. Amendment One is an amendment to the state constitution that bans gay marriage and civil unions. I have a lot of thoughts on this so why not dump them in a blog post?

  • Voting on the amendment was originally supposed to take place during the presidential election in November, but it was moved to yesterday’s primary election. This seems like a calculated move: primary elections are bound to have lower turnout and there would be no presidential primary for Democrats.
  • Why does it just take a simple majority to approve a sweeping amendment that denies people rights?
  • Polls showed that voters didn’t understand the far-reaching effects of Amendment One: unmarried women could lose domestic violence protection and it will be harder for unmarried parents to get healthcare benefits for their children. Actually even legal experts aren’t really sure how this will play out.
  • The geographic breakdown of Amendment One support is striking. All of NC’s metropolitan areas voted against the amendment. Rural counties overwhelmingly supported it, often at rates over 80%
  • It’s been said many times, but this is a generational issue. Younger people have no problem with gay marriage. As old people continue to die and young people continue to reach voting age the numbers will shift dramatically.
  • This will hurt the state economy. Why would smart young people want to move here to work for tech companies and start businesses after we proudly advertise how bigoted and stuck in the past we are? See Bob Young’s take.
  • I just don’t understand the religious right in this country. It’s awesome that you have a book that you like. What does that have to do with anything? How does it give you the right to tell other people what they can and can’t do? How does gay people being able to get married affect you in any way? I haven’t heard a single legitmate argument against gay marriage. The unspoken sentiment here really just seems to be “the idea of two dudes having sex is super gross”. This is well-trod territory but seriously, wtf?

There is a lot more to discuss here, like the federal government’s place in all of this. Actually as I am typing this Obama has just announced his support of same-sex marriage. Is there a Supreme Court configuration in the next several years that could rule DOMA and all these state laws unconstitutional?

North Carolina embarrased itself on the national and global stage yesterday, but it has plenty of company. Hopefully our culture is moving fast enough to make this period a footnote in history.

The Far Left 2

The Far Left is a design image blog that Mike Jarboe has been running for a while now. Mike has been posting some insane stuff, check it out. It’s running on some software I built!

It seems like 2 or 3 times a year I need to throw together a simple static site for some reason or another. I usually end up writing a basic template and routing system to get the job done. Well, after rewriting this code probably dozens of times over the years, I’ve polished it up and sent it out into the world:

Hoist (Github)
Hoist (Demo & documentation)

Hoist is a great way of getting a site up and running without writing any code. You get simple templates, pretty URLs and you don’t have to worry about databases or bloated CMSes. And it’s written in PHP so it will work just about anywhere.

Hoist isn’t going to replace your favorite MVC framework, but it can probably save you an hour or two if you need to put together a website for your dog!

stripe-terminal 0

Stripe.com recently opened up to the public. It’s by far the best payment processing solution I’ve seen. The really nice thing about Stripe is that you don’t need a pain-in-the-ass merchant account to use it, you just hook it up to a regular checking account.

I just posted stripe-terminal, a super simple PHP/JS payment form that anyone with a website and an SSL certificate can use to process payments. This could be used as a starting point for Stripe integration, or just out of the box as a simple way to get paid (a freelancer sending a link with an invoice, a band using an iphone to sell merch at a show, etc).

Get the code on github or try the demo.

LEGO MPC 0

micro mpc



My name is Joey Nelson. I'm a web developer living in Raleigh, NC and working with Node.js, MongoDB, Ruby, PHP, jQuery and some other stuff. More about me.