LGBTQ mayors decry bills
An open letter Gov. McCrory,
LGBTQ people are represented in all walks of life in every corner of North Carolina, as business owners, teachers, parents, people of faith, and even as mayors. As North Carolina's openly gay mayors, we write to thank you for your leadership in opposing SB 2 (Magistrate Refusal) and HR 348 (RFRA) in their current forms. Our community was heartened by your comments that RFRA laws “make no sense” and your reaffirmation that government officials have a duty to carry out their constitutional oaths. To echo former Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona, a conservative Republican who vetoed similar RFRA legislation last year, we believe the values of religious liberty and nondiscrimination to be core values of our state.
The State of Indiana has faced swift and costly backlash for its RFRA legislation. Tech giants Apple, Salesforce, and Angie’s List, as well as organizations like NASCAR and the NCAA are pulling or reconsidering tens of millions of dollars’ worth of investments there. The social implications of these laws are bad enough. North Carolina cannot afford adding a new level of economic uncertainty as workers struggle to get back on their feet after a long recession. We ask you to stand strong and commit to vetoing SB 2 and HR 348 should they reach your desk in any form.
Further, we ask you to join the growing bipartisan support for pro-equality legislation. In 2011, your Republican colleague, Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada signed an ideal set of laws protecting against discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. This year, Gov. Gary Herbert of Utah signed anti-discrimination protections with the support of the Mormon Church as well as activist groups. LGTBQ people in North Carolina need your leadership and support to end legal discrimination in our state.
We share your concern that laws like Magistrate Refusal and RFRA are disturbing attempts to deny rights to citizens granted under the United States Constitution. Similarly, we believe a commitment to securing full citizenship rights for all requires that we respond to and act in support of the transgender community who add greatly to the wealth of experience in North Carolina; to that end, we commit to being a resource to help you connect with and learn more about the struggles of the transgender community.
We hope that as we move forward, we can count on you to be a leader for a vision of a North Carolina where all can live, work, play, and pray in peace. That requires an end to discrimination in public and private employment, housing, and public accommodations, as well as safe and affirming public schools. We would be grateful for the opportunity to discuss that vision with you at a time and place of your choosing.
Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt
Mayor Lydia Lavelle
Mayor Elic Senter
Mayor Nick Breedlove
The Carrboro Board of Aldermen is about to conduct a “pre-survey to see how much residents with Chapel Hill mailing addresses want to change them to Carrboro” (CHN, http://nando.com/146). Alderwoman Randee Haven-O'Donnell says she thinks many of us don't actually know where we live. I admit that for more than 10 years I have tried to forget that my Orange county home was one of hundreds forcibly annexed by the town of Carrboro before I even had the right to vote in the town. Unfortunately, each year I get a nasty reminder that I live in the state's most embarrassing town in the form of a property tax bill twice what it would be without annexation.
Alderwoman Jacquie Gist, an apparent stickler for accuracy, says that the pre-survey must tell befuddled souls like myself that “hey, you live in Carrboro.” I wish she and her fellow aldermen had listened a decade ago when my neighbors and I tried to tell them, “hey, we live in the county.”
In the interest of accuracy I would like to suggest that instead of forcing me to change my address the town change its name. “The People’s Republic of Carrboro” sums up the spirit of the town and the Board of Aldermen perfectly.
Cynthia A. Connolly
No weapons nonsense
A message to Chapel Hill business owners and managers. There is a group of people vaguely implying they represent “the town of Chapel Hill” spreading bogus information regarding the carrying of weapons in businesses.
Their claim is, unless a “no weapons” sign is posted, the business will be liable should someone fire a weapon on the premises. They also willingly provide the signs. There is no such law.
These people are anti-gun, as is their right, but it is not their right to willfully lie to others to promote their beliefs. As a gun owner and carrier, I must respect the beliefs of those who do not want weapons on their premises. The law requires that. I also have the right not to patronize those same premises, and normally do not. Should anyone honestly feel they want no weapons on their premises, they should post valid “no weapons” signs. I will honor that and, in most cases, avoid their business. Please do not be misled by those who implement their agenda to thwart the law by misrepresenting both themselves and the law. Ask to see a copy of the law.
Note: As a Concealed Weapons Permit holder, I had to:
1. Pass a Criminal Background Check
2. Attend 2 days classroom study on the North Carolina Weapons Laws, and pass a written test on same
3. Exhibit proficiency with any weapons I might carry
4. Be approved by my county sheriff
5. Renew my permit every five years, at the discretion of the sheriff
6. Keep the sheriff advised of my address of residence
In addition, I may not have alcohol or any controlled substance in my system, and I must identify myself, with ID, to any law enforcement officer I might encounter while carrying a concealed weapon.
The 18th ranked Carolina Baseball team is off to a great start to the 2015 season.
Like last year, the Diamond Heels will have a post-game fireworks display after the following Friday night games:
▪ Friday, April 10 vs. NC State, 7:30 p.m.
▪ Friday, April 24 vs. Boston College, 6:30 p.m.
▪ Friday, May 15 vs. Virginia, 6:30 p.m.
Please note that these times are approximate. The average college baseball game lasts 2.5 to 4 hours, so you can expect to hear fireworks starting around 9:30 p.m. except for the N.C. State game on April 10 when they should start around 10:30 p.m. The shows will last 6 to 8 minutes.
I know many of your neighborhoods are several miles from the Heels’ Boshamer Stadium, but last year I had reports of people hearing the fireworks from Colony Woods and other somewhat distant neighborhoods. Apparently, sound can travel far when the conditions are right and I don’t want anyone to be unnecessarily frightened by the firework noise.
You can find more information about Carolina baseball here and follow the Diamond Heels on twitter @DiamondHeels.
Please share this with your neighborhood list and other friends who might be interested.
Director, Community Relations, UNC
Come hear ex-ambassador
Peer Learning will sponsor a talk open to the public with retired Ambassador Brenda Brown Schoonover describing exciting embassy times and showing photos from Togo and Belgium at 11 a.m. Friday, April 10, in the Binkley Baptist Church lounge, 1712 Willow Drive in Chapel Hill.
In Togo, she had to close the embassy three times because of embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. In Brussels, where she was acting ambassador for three years, she endured a night of rock and paint throwing followed by six weeks of demonstrations against the U.S. decision to go into Iraq.
She will also discuss the rewards of the foreign service that she and her late husband Richard, also an officer, experienced during their tours in many countries. Earlier, she had been among the first Peace Corps volunteers at its inception and had also worked in the program as a director.
She has been a Diplomat-in-Residence at UNC and is president of the board of directors of the online publication, American Diplomacy.
President, Peer Learning