The North Carolina Constitution has long stood for fair and equal treatment under the law for every state citizen. We believe we should not write discrimination into the constitution, and, as members of the North Carolina business community, we urge the Legislature to reject this attempt to enshrine discrimination into our state's founding document and instead, continue focusing on issues like strengthening the economy and creating jobs.
Specifically, we oppose efforts to amend our state constitution, because:
The anti-gay amendment is a distraction from the voters' priorities. The legislature was sent to Raleigh to tackle jobs, the economy, and the state budget, not to advance a divisive social agenda.
Every American deserves a chance to compete and prosper on a level playing field. As business owners, we believe all of our employees should be treated equally at work and in our community. This constitutional amendment will disadvantage a whole class of people, changing the perception of our state in the eyes of our employees, our businesses, and the country. Regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, our employees are important members of our community, which is why we oppose efforts to amend the Constitution to take away even the most limited protections for a portion of them.
This amendment will hurt the business community. We share the concern among the larger business community that, should this amendment be placed on the ballot, this divisive debate would hurt the state's business climate, reducing our ability to recruit the very best employees to North Carolina. Now, more than ever, we need to attract businesses and strong employees to our state, not drive them away.
Anti-LGBT activists have launched a boycott of Food Lion because of the company's ongoing support for LGBT rights and justice. Instead of a boycott, Food Lion deserves to be applauded for their efforts to celebrate Pride Month and support their LGBT customers and associates.
TAKE ACTION: Tell Food Lion you appreciate their support for the LGBT community.
The most fundamental human right, after the necessities of food, clothing and shelter, is the right to affection and the supportive love of other human beings. We become most fully human when we love another person. We can grow in our capacity to be human - to be loving - in a family unit. This right to love and form a family is so fundamental that our United States Constitution takes it for granted in its dedication to "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” The North Carolina Constitution likewise affirms the “inalienable rights” of human beings to "life, liberty, the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor, and the pursuit of happiness."
As people of faith, clergy and leaders in our faith traditions, we are mandated by God to demonstrate and protect love in all its forms and to stand for justice for all of creation. In faithful response to this calling, we commit ourselves, along with thousands of other Christians, Jews, Muslims and other people of faith around North Carolina, to these basic principles:
While we respect the fact that debate and discussion continue in many of our religious communities as to the scriptural, theological and liturgical issues involved, we draw on our many faith traditions to arrive at a common conviction. We oppose the use of sacred texts and religious traditions to deny legal equity to gay and lesbian couples.
We insist that no one person or institution, especially the state, is allowed to define the God-given covenant of marriage or bar two consenting adults, whether of the same or differing genders, from forming the family unit that lets them be more fully loving, thus more fully human.
We oppose any amendment to the North Carolina Constitution that would prohibit gay and lesbian couples from receiving the protections like health benefits and hospital visitation afforded by legal recognition of their relationships. Likewise, we are further resolved that the State should not interfere with gay and lesbian couples who choose to marry and share fully and equally in the rights, responsibilities, and commitments of civil marriage.
We affirm freedom of conscience in this matter. We recognize that the state may not require religious groups to officiate at, or bless, gay and lesbian marriages. Likewise, a denial of state civil recognition dishonors the religious convictions of those communities and clergy who officiate at, and bless, gay and lesbian marriages. The state may not favor the convictions of one religious group over another by denying individuals their fundamental right to marry and to have those marriages recognized by civil law.
The North Carolina legislature is considering an anti-LGBT constitutional amendment (HB 777/SB 106) that would write discrimination into our state constitution! Take action now to ask your Senator and Representative to stand with us and oppose these bills. These bills would put a ban on marriage for gay and lesbian couples into our state constitution, and the Senate version would go even further, banning all forms of relationship recognition for gay and lesbian couples.
We've customized the message to your Senator and Representative to reflect whether they chose to be a sponsor of the anti-LGBT amendment or not. If they did sponsor it, we want them to reconsider their position. If they didn't, we want them to take the next step and commit to opposing this amendment.
We make it easy to take action. Just fill in the form below to send a message or have an even greater impact by writing your own message!
This is the website of Equality NC and Equality NC Foundation.
Learn more about the distinction between these two components of ENC.