To the editor,
The debate over the marriage amendment should be first and foremost about civil rights. The amendment will not stop same-sex couples from living together in committed, long-term relationships. What this amendment will do, is prevent these couples from enjoying the same rights and benefits under the law as heterosexual couples. This is clear, unapologetic discrimination.
Writing discrimination into our state constitution is something that should frighten everyone who believes in freedom. No matter what your beliefs are regarding homosexuality, this is about the rights of citizens who live in the state of North Carolina.
This amendment will RESTRICT the rights of a targeted group of individuals – this is simply WRONG. There are many making the argument that same-sex marriage (which is already banned by State Law) goes against their religious beliefs. This is a position we should all respect. However, in a free society, while people should be able to follow their individual religious beliefs, the state may not impose them upon others. This amendment will embed the religious beliefs of some into the very document that defines the powers of the state.
Preventing this scenario is precisely why the separation of church and state was written into the Bill of Rights. As Richard Vinroot, former Republican mayor of Charlotte says, the failure of this amendment will not hurt anyone, but passing it will clearly be harmful to hard-working, law abiding citizens of this state. Passage of this amendment will mark a step backwards in our quest for fairness and equal opportunity for all. As a matter of conscience, ALL North Carolinians who are able to vote should vote AGAINST this amendment.