Letters to the Editor

Lynne and Phil Seymour: Officials need to serve all

Regarding the Feb. 25 news article “Bill would let officials drop marriage duties”: Republican Sens. Buck Newton and Phil Berger are pushing a bill to exempt public officials from performing their sworn duties, ostensibly to preserve these officials’ “religious freedom.”

This “exemption” ignores the fact that these officials are specifically employed to serve the public – all of the public – not only those whom they deem “worthy” of their services. Need it be said that gay and lesbian residents are taxpayers, too. More to the point, their taxes help pay the salaries of these officials that Newton and Berger wish to exempt.

Are they not free to leave their job anytime they feel their religious beliefs render them unable to perform their required duties to all of our state’s residents? Might these same officials “discover” that they also have “religious objections” to serving our African-American, Hispanic, Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, Italian, etc., residents as well?

Think about it. We’re just that close! North Carolina once was known as “Klansville U.S.” Our once-proud state is fast regaining that title. Haven’t we learned anything? Aren’t we better than this? How sad!

Lynne and Phil Seymour

River Bend