The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Opinion & Letters to the Editor

March 19, 2012

Vote No to Amendment One

Monday, March 19, 2012 — Growing up in a Roman Catholic household and attending a Catholic  

school greatly influenced many of my social and religious beliefs.  

Like other teenagers, my views have been strongly influenced by my  

family and church. Our families steer, direct and guide us,  

coincidently, into their beliefs. However, there are certain issues on  

which I personally differ from my church and my family.

Love is wonderful, and you’re very fortunate when you share it with  

someone else. The feeling of belonging to someone and having someone  

to support you, be by your side, share your life with you and having  

safety and security is what we all long to find when looking for a  

partner. As individuals, we should only want happiness for ourselves  

and for all other human beings on earth. Where we find our happiness  

should not concern others as long as it does not physically or  

emotionally harm others.

Our country was founded under the principle that all humans were born  

with rights, of which include life, liberty and the pursuit of  

happiness. It is the pursuit of happiness that we should all want for  

ourselves and want all others to have. North Carolina has an upcoming  

vote called Amendment One. This amendment states that the state of  

North Carolina will not recognize gay marriage. Should a couple in a  

same sex marriage move from a state where gay marriage is legal to  

North Carolina, North Carolina will not recognize the union. This  

amendment could possibly interfere with protectioning same-sex couples  

who may need to visit their partner in the hospital, or make emergency  

medical and financial choices if one partner is unable. This amendment  

will affect loving families that have had their children for a while.

For example, should a child from a same-sex marriage lose a parent for  

any reason, the surviving parent may lose the rights to guardianship  

of the child, should they not move to another state. Committed and  

dedicated parents could lose their visitation rights and child custody  

through this amendment. Seniors and businesses may be affected also.  

Some companies currently provide benefits for domestic partners;  

however, these couples will not be recognized in North Carolina and  

could possibly lose their benefits.

On March 8, I attended a “Vote No to Amendment One” meeting lead by  

the Young Progressives at my school, Gray Stone Day School. We met at  

the Stokes Building on the Pfeiffer University campus. There were  

around 130 people who came, 30 of them being students from Gray Stone.  

Rick Glazier, who is seeking a sixth term in the House of  

Representatives, spoke about the 500,000 couples in North Carolina who  

will be affected by the loss of fair parenting regulations and  

Medicare. He mentioned that all loving families come in every form and  

type. During his speech, I noticed same-sex couples bobbing their head  

in agreement. Dylan Frick, the chairman of the Young Progressives,  

spoke about spreading the awareness by hosting similar meetings at  

Catawba College and Wingate University. Frick explained that he would  

really love it if he inspired others to vote against the amendment,  

since he and the many other students at Gray Stone aren’t old enough.

Although I was raised in a Catholic environment, and live with a very  

conservative family, I would strongly encourage people to research  

this amendment carefully, and consider the fact that a large number of  

people in North Carolina will be hurt and affected personally by the  

amendment, before they cast their vote on May 8. I would be devastated  

to see anyone get hurt by Amendment One now or in the future.

Love is personal, the state should not decide who and how individual  

human beings should love. I know Amendment One won’t persuade people  

to “stop being gay,” as some will hope it will, or keep, in their  

opinion, “amoral” acts from happening, but I do know that it will harm  

the lives of many happy and content couples.

When people say that gay marriage isn’t natural or traditional, I  

think about how America constantly changes, every day.

Voters should educate themselves on the amendment prior to the May  

vote, and come to their own conclusions. Having opinions is good and  

listening to others’ beliefs and points of view is good, but it’s  

important that individuals not allow others to totally influence or  

mandate how they should believe, yet draw their own conclusions for  

their own beliefs and stand by their own convictions.

Caroline Chilton is a sophomore at Gray Stone Day School.

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