I want to state from the outset that I completely support Kate Fellman's pleas both for voting against Amendment 1 and for welcoming gay people and families as part of our society ["First Person: My two dads," April 4]. However, I feel that one argument she makes in support of a gay-friendly society—"being gay is not a choice"—needs to be rethought.
The logic of this argument rests on the reasoning that it is cruel not to accept people who have genetic disabilities or disfigurements because they have no choice in the matter; no one would willingly choose to suffer from such conditions. Homosexuality is not a parallel situation. Nonetheless, homosexuality continues to be widely regarded, even by many people arguing in support of gay people, as an unwanted anomaly of fate. Few if any prospective parents think, "Gee! I hope my child will be gay."
Until we become a society that enthusiastically welcomes and cherishes gay people, a society that makes no distinction between people or families based on sexual orientation, we will be a society that continues to deposit gay people into a category of the in-some-way unwanted.
Imagine if the great leaders for women's rights or of the civil rights movement had argued that women or black people should be accepted because "it's not their fault." The idea is ludicrous, and the same applies for gay people.
The fracking industry, in concert with cooperative local and regional politicians, is trying to expedite fracking permits as quickly as possible. They want the public to ignore the fact that millions of gallons of water mixed with some patent-protected secret chemical will be pumped in the ground under enormous pressure.
Let's review some other local projects that have "improved" the quality of life here in North Carolina. I remember eating oysters, clams and fish that I caught off the N.C. coast 40 years ago. Thanks to then-Gov. Martin's unregulated hog farm industry and Reagan's deregulation of the coastal fishing industry, the fisheries have been depleted! You can no longer eat local shellfish without endangering your health. Swimming and fishing in Falls Lake is no longer a healthy family activity any more, thanks to the "rammed through" development of 5,000 acres on the watershed off Old Oxford Highway near Butner. Runoff from hundreds of chem lawns and a golf course into the watershed have turned Falls Lake into a cesspool of nutrients. Thank God and thousands of protesting citizens that what would have been the world's largest hazardous waste incinerator was never built near Falls Lake. That would have been another "business friendly, job creating" disaster!
Are we just going to mindlessly let the fracking industry ram another "business friendly" project down our throats without any consideration for the future of what's left of our environment? Are we going to allow a so-called "business friendly" agenda completely ruin what's left of any rational, science-based decision-making process that will have an effect on our health and well-being, and especially our future?
I am the publisher of The Blotter, a magazine distributed throughout North Carolina. The proposed Amendment 1 could, among many other hateful things, forbid companies from providing equal benefits to their gay employees. I and my colleagues hereby state that if it passes, we will categorically refuse to obey it.
At the moment this is a moot point, since we're so small and nonprofit we can't afford to pay anyone benefits, including ourselves. It's a matter of principles instead. The principle that all our employees are American citizens, human beings and children of God, created in His image and loved by Him unconditionally, and therefore deserve unconditionally equal recognition, respect, rights and benefits. The principle that minorities should be protected from the tyranny of the majority, since if majorities got to vote on minority rights there wouldn't be any. (If civil rights had been put to referendums 60 years ago, Rosa Parks would still be at the back of the bus.) And the principle that if any institution—such as marriage—is so fragile that it needs discrimination, injustice, cruelty and constitutionally mandated apartheid in order to survive, then it by God should be redefined.
We invite every organization, business and municipality in this state that supports equality to stand with us and avow that no government or referendum on Earth will ever force us to commit bigotry against our own people.