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Dear editor: Marriage amendment adds discrimination to N.C. Constitution

April 26, 2012

Dear editor:

I am 21 years old. I went through 13 years of school in Catawba County Schools, plus two more at CVCC. I now attend Appalachian State.

Through all my years of school, history has shown me that groups of people have always fought for equal rights.

The Civil War was fought to end slavery. Women struggled for the right to vote in the early 20th century. The Civil Rights movement fought for equal opportunity for African-Americans.

I grew up believing the generational fights for equality were largely settled. The bigotry of believing a certain sect of society would put themselves above others because of their own, then and now, ignorance, I thought, was finished.

Well, I, like many born after the last struggle are appalled that in this day in age we find ourselves, the majority, voting on whether or not to put discrimination in our state’s Constitution.

So I pose these questions to each generation.

For my generation: when your kids ask you about what is taking place today, do you believe they will respect you for sitting on the sidelines or voting for Amendment 1?

For my parents’ generation: When your grandkids ask you, just as I do to mine, about a generational fight for equality, will you answer in shame, because your support for this amendment writes disenfranchisement into our Constitution?

And lastly, for my grandparents’ generation: if you fought for equality growing up, will you not stand up for it again today? If you did not stand up, will you pass up another opportunity to do so, and twice be on the wrong side of history?

This amendment goes beyond a “vote for marriage” as all the signs say.

Marriage between one man and one women is already law in this state. This amendment will put an end to domestic partnership benefits that thousands of North Carolinians currently receive. It would also put an end to the possibility of civil unions. That is until the amendment, like our own Republican speaker of the N.C. House says, is overturned within 20 years. So I ask you, like Richard Vinroot, the N.C. Republican candidate fo governor in 2000, asks, if this amendment cannot last 20 years, why should we put it in our Constitution to begin with?

Jonathan Wyant,
Newton

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