An Open Letter to the People of North Carolina

To My Fellow North Carolinians;

I am writing to you in concern of the upcoming Special Session on Monday, September 12, 2011, to vote on Senate Bill 106 and House Bill 777, both entitled Defense of Marriage, which seek to amend our state constitution so that marriages between one man and one woman are the only legally recognized domestic relationship in North Carolina.

It is my belief, however, that these bills should not be passed.

As a gay man living in North Carolina, I have many times had to face discrimination personally. The threat of losing my jobs because I’m gay, not being able to donate blood to the Red Cross, worrying if I may become the next victim of a hate crime—these have all made me feel second-class compared to my fellow North Carolinians, but none of these injustices have gone so far as what this bill aims to do—to trivialize my love and say it is meaningless.

Marriage has forever been something I have looked forward to: It is the promise of beginning a family, of owning a home, of becoming one step closer to achieving the American dream. The institution of marriage gives credibility to a relationship, asserts to others that a commitment has been made, in honesty and in love, a commitment between two people who have vowed themselves to each other not only privately, but also publicly.

To deny this right to anyone is to deny someone the American dream.

In North Carolina, same-sex unions are currently neither legalized nor recognized, and I believe that adding either of these sections to our constitution merely throws boiling oil on an open wound.

Some may argue that the entire purpose of this legislation is to give this choice to the people. However, this is not a decision that should be left to popular opinion! Would women be allowed to vote today if left to popular opinion? Would interracial marriages be legal if left to popular opinion? This is not an issue of what the majority may or may not believe; it is an issue of protecting the rights of a minority that only wants to be treated as equals.

I urge you, my friend, not to support Senate Bill 106 or House Bill 777. Please go to the North Carolina General Assembly’s website at www.ncleg.net and follow the instructions to find your state senator and representative. It takes only a moment to call and leave a message voicing your opinion, and there is no better time than now to let your voice be heard. Please call your senators and representatives tonight and urge them to oppose SB 106 and HB 777.

Equality hangs in the balance. Your voice can help tip the scales in favor of justice and freedom, love and dignity, and the American dream.

Please do not delay. You can change the future today.

Sincerely,

Darren Lipman
“The Writingwolf”

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