The North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP issued a very strong (and very long) “open letter to all North Carolinians” this morning. In it, the leaders of the venerable civil rights organization explain in great detail why the passage of an anti-LGBT marriage amendment is a lousy idea for our state.
We’ll post the entire letter as soon as we get a PDF version, but for now, here are some of the highlights:
“A vote on the same sex marriage amendment has nothing to do with your personal and religious opinion on same sex marriage but everything to do with whether or not you believe discrimination should be codified and legalized constitutionally. We should never seek to codify discrimination into the very heart and framework of our Constitution.” –Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II
“Founded in 1909, the NAACP currently has more than 2,200 membership units across the United States with branches in every state in the nation. Our mission for 102 years has been to achieve equality of rights and eliminate prejudice among the people of the United States. The NAACP has always opposed any custom, tradition, practice, law or constitutional amendment that denies any right to any person.The NAACP does not and has not taken a position endorsing or opposing same sex marriage. However, the NAACP has a long history of opposing any proposal that would alter the federal or state Constitutions for the purpose of excluding any group or individuals from guarantees of equal protection under the law. Our opposition is based on our mission statement, which calls for the “equality of rights of all persons.”
“A vote on the same sex marriage amendment has nothing to do with your personal opinion on same sex marriage but everything to do with whether or not you believe discrimination should be codified and legalized constitutionally.”
“Our legislature and all North Carolinians should focus on providing sound basic education for every child; equal access to good health care; living wages; workers rights; recovery from natural disasters; and protections for maximum voter turnout.
Who can tell thousands of families living without health care that they are better served by the legislature debating whether to amend the Constitution to address a personal religious issue in a way that will enshrine discrimination into the sacred document?
Who wants to stand in the face of parents whose children are receiving a sub-par education at woefully under-resourced public schools that their primary concern should be about our legislature dictating which families are worthy of the law’s protections and which ones are not?
Who would dare go to unemployed workers and tell them they should clamor to see another group of North Carolinians forever excluded from the guarantee of equal protection under the laws rather than demand that we work to provide jobs and economic empowerment for them so they can feed their families and keep a roof over their heads?
Who will look in the eyes of women victimized by brutal sterilization and tell them to put their pain and hurt aside and join the chorus of those who want to write laws that hurt other people?
The NAACP strongly urges you to reject the so-called same sex amendment and any other present or future proposals of constitutional amendments that would permanently deprive any person in our great state of his or her inalienable rights.”