Oops50: Please

If this amendment passes, we’re going to look back 20 years from now, or 10 years from now, and we’re going to think about that amendment the same way we think about the Jim Crow laws that were passed in this state many, many years ago.   

Jim Rogers, CEO, Duke Energy

Since the primary election is almost upon us here in North Carolina–and since early voting starts this week, I want to urge all of our North Carolina readers to vote against the so-called “marriage amendment” on May 8th.  Even if you weren’t intending to vote in this primary (which I normally wouldn’t be, since it’s a Republican primary), PLEASE PLEASE go vote against this ridiculous amendment to our state’s constitution.  This amendment will, to put it simply, set us back several hundred years by institutionalizing and legitimizing discrimination.  Not only that, but it will also make life harder even for heterosexual couples who live together.  As I understand it, under this change in our state’s laws, businesses would no longer be able to offer domestic partners of any kind–homosexual or heterosexual– any kind of health insurance benefits.  Also, people who are not married will have no protection against  acts of domestic violence.

This kind of change has already taken place in the other states in this country that have voted a similar amendment into law.  So readers in other places, watch out!  You could be next!

This type of backlash against the progress of human rights is well-funded and beautifully orchestrated.  And it’s no accident that this important vote has been placed in the middle of a Republican primary ballot–certainly not a normal hangout for liberal voters!

I was proud to see that Jim Rogers of Duke Energy,  joined other business leaders across the state, including the head of Self-Help Credit Union and top officials at Bank of America, in speaking out against the amendment last week, stating that if we are to be a state that wants to conduct business with other states and especially with other nations, then we cannot afford to be seen as discriminatory or not inclusive.  He also said, “I’m old fashioned.  I believe we’re all children of God, and we shouldn’t have special rules for some and not for others.  We have to recognize differences in people and celebrate those differences.”  

I am embarrassed that my state is even debating this subject.  This kind of legalized discrimination should be something in our past, something we have risen above, not something right here in front of us, and definitely not something we are trying to vote into law.  Isn’t it about time that the citizens of our state showed that we are educated, thinking people with hearts,  who care about the rights of all North Carolinians, not just the fill-in-the blanks  (white, straight, male, wealthy, married, whatever) ones?

Please join two former mayors of Charlotte, Harvey Gantt and Richard Vinroot (from opposing political parties) and the Wake County Board of Commissioners and the Orange County Board of Commissioners and, among others, the city councils of the cities of Greensboro, Durham, and Asheville and vote against this amendment.

To read the rest of Mr. Rogers’ speech, go to www.protectncfamilies.org.  That website can also tell you other ways to support the campaign against this amendment, by sending in a donation, signing a pledge to vote against it, or participating as a volunteer.

Let’s protect ALL North Carolina families, not just the ones who look like us.

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