People of faith do not always agree on everything, but I want to contribute to a dialog. Our faith is based on seven underlying principles, the first of which is respecting “the inherent worth and dignity of every person.” This principle applies equally to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Our congregations and clergy have long recognized and celebrated same-sex marriages within our faith tradition. In 1974 we made an institutional commitment to full equality for bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people. We recognize that full equality can only be achieved when it is recognized legally in society.
I believe strongly that those who want to amend the constitution are not motivated by hatred. I believe that when they talk about preserving traditional marriage, they fail to realize that people on the outside looking in feel excluded and like second-class citizens.
I have been a counselor for more than 40 years and have worked with dozens of gay and lesbian individuals who felt that they were not accepted in our society because of their not being allowed to marry the person of their choice, and often because of discrimination in employment, housing, and other areas. Worse still, some had experienced bullying in schools or even physical abuse. Some had encountered people who followed them and taunted them in the street.
The issue in question is not about sexual behavior. People can get plenty of sex without marriage. Rather, people want to be permitted to marry the person of their choice in committed relationships based on love, and they want their relationships to be honored legally in the same way marriage is currently being valued in society.
Proponents of this amendment have said that this change will have absolutely no effect except in the label “marriage.” They have no proof of that statement. The truth is that no one knows precisely what effects it will have, but constitutional scholars have studied cases in other states and have made predictions based on actual cases.
My prediction, based on effects in other states, is that costly lawsuits will result if this passes, and that it will ultimately reach the Supreme Court. Based on effects in other states, we can predict that this will have a negative impact on our economy because of reluctance of corporations to move to a state that practices discrimination and refusal of some organizations to avoid holding conventions here, thus affecting tourism. We cannot afford to lose any more jobs in North Carolina! I predict that this will encourage hatred, bullying, and crimes, especially when children hear that gay people are not equal.
Let’s work together to show love, compassion, and inclusiveness! Let’s vote against adding discrimination to our state constitution.
Caring for all families,
Glenda Hubbard, President
Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship