To the editor,
Our letter is regarding the “Commissioners Favor Same-Sex Marriage Amendment” article. We, as citizens of Surry County against the amendment who know many others who are also against the amendment, do not agree with the article’s stance that Surry County as a whole is for this amendment. Furthermore, we found Johnson’s claim that he has seen “at least a thousand signs” in favor of the amendment to not only be misleading, but hyperbolic and inaccurate.
The article also features a photograph of a church with a political sign advocating the amendment. We do not know the tax status of this church; however, according to the IRS Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations, such signs are not allowed because they are an attempt to, “influence legislation if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation.”
We also found Eddie Harris’ stance on the issue to be hypocritical and inconsistent. He says it is not his “concern to get involved with peoples’ private lives. What they do is their own business, in regards to the lifestyle they choose.” Yet, in the very next line, he makes a statement in support of the amendment, which would do exactly the thing he speaks out against: involvement in the personal lives of others.
We, as opponents of the amendment, feel that this issue comes down to separation of church and state. According to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Since those who are for this amendment are supporting its passing primarily for religious reasons, we feel this piece of legislation is unconstitutional.
Further, it is writing hatred and discrimination into North Carolina’s constitution — hatred and discrimination that will not change anything, as it is already impossible for same-sex couples to be married in the state of North Carolina. Once again, not everyone is for this amendment, and we find it unfair for a select few to speak on behalf of all citizens. We think it is important for everyone to become educated about this amendment and its implications, and decide how they feel about the amendment independently.
Hallie Fields and Tracy Martin