Bag’s Take-Away:

A young man and his boyfriend absorb the blow as North Carolina votes overwhelmingly to define marriage as strictly between a man and a woman.

With a mother involved, too, there is a level of feeling and sensitivity here we don’t often see in news photos about marriage equality. If the photo is about loss, however, the t-shirt and the button speak to participation as well. Perhaps also here is a potential future: involvement and activism borne of loss. That’s a lot of weigh for a photo to carry, but those affected by the ban will not give up on this fight. And while the prejudice and religiosity that gave birth to the amendment is local and out of step with the most of the country, youth is universal and youth supports marriage equality.

It occurs to me that the wedding cake cut to celebrate passage of the amendment displays an over-simplified and Disney-fied image of marriage in high American Schmaltz style. But think about which photo is truly Rockwellian.

Top photo via The Charlotte Observer

Bottom photo via The Daily Start, Lebanon

(Top photo credit: Travis Long/The News & Observer/AP Photo caption: Seth Keel, center, is consoled by his boyfriend, Ian Chambers, left, and his mother Jill Hinton, during a concession speech at an Amendment One opposition party Tuesday, May 8, 2012, at The Stockroom at 230 in downtown Raleigh, N.C. North Carolina voters approved the constitutional amendment Tuesday defining marriage solely as a union between a man and a woman, becoming the latest state to effectively slam the door shut on same-sex marriages. Bottom photo credit: Robert Willett/The News & Observer/AP Photo caption: Frances Newby prepares to slice a wedding cake to celebrate the passage of Amendment One during an election night party in Raleigh, N.C. on Tuesday May 8, 2012.)

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