North Carolina State University’s student newspaper, The Technician, has an editorial reflecting on North Carolina’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions which was passed in May of 2012.
Our legislation, on the other hand, only reinforced anti-gay marriage sentiments, as marriage in North Carolina was already defined as between a man and a woman. Because of this, Amendment One was a slap in the face to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered North Carolinians and their supporters.
The amendment not only violates our civil rights, but it promotes discrimination. There is no statewide law protecting GLBT North Carolinians from being evicted from their homes or fired from their jobs. Additionally, prohibiting same-sex marriage also prohibits same-sex couples from filing their taxes jointly.
Though Amendment One is no longer up for debate, it is important that we continue discuss it rather than simply accept it.
One way marriage equality advocates continually raise awareness is through periodical events. The GLBT Center of Raleigh hosts forums, luncheons, book clubs and support groups for the various members of the GLBT community. These events are held mostly in private, but every year the center hosts Out! Raleigh, a free, public festival on Fayetteville Street. This year’s festival takes place May 4 and will include live music and speakers who share their stories and advocate for change.
While the GLBT Center shows support with its traditional festival, several North Carolina churches have shown their support by breaking tradition. Pullen Memorial Baptist Church on Hillsborough Street and Green Street United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem are advocating for gay marriage by refusing to wed heterosexual couples. By making these surprising decisions, these forward-thinking churches are paving the way for others.