Reject Bigotry in the Outer Banks and North Carolina

Now let’s be real … EVERYONE in Pittsburgh vacations on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  You can’t drive 5 miles without seeing the OBX window decal on at least one vehicle.  

In fact, on our last trip (2010) we discovered that our motel (we went quaint) had at least 7 different families from Pittsburgh! It was pretty darn cool.  Its also a loooong drive (especially those last 30 miles) so its apparent that there is something magical about destination OBX for yinzers. Seriously. We love it.

So, the Outer Banks needs your help. This week, North Carolinians will vote on a referendum to add a ‘definition” of marriage to their constitution. Its called Amendment One. And it basically embeds bigotry into North Carolina’s backbone. Its unacceptable. Its hateful. And its not how we roll in Pennsylvania where we have never had a ballot initiative get out of the General Assembly.

“Marriage protection” amendments are hateful with thousands of potential types of fallout that will hurt all residents of North Carolina. And their loyal summer tourists.

I urge you to do two things.

First, visit the Protect North Carolina website and read up for yourself what this amendment could do. To our neighbors.

Second, calculate how much you might spend on your summer vacation. $2,000? $3,000? And then I am asking you to make a $10 donation to Protect North Carolina. Just ten dollars. Less than the price of breakfast for a family of 4 at the pier, right? Or less than the expense of renting beach chairs for a week, taking a dolphin tour, or dining on fresh crab legs. Just a small contribution to support a North Carolina that respects and values all families.

This Amendment hurts people, just like it would in Pennsylvania. It forces unmarried heterosexual couples to get married to preserve legal rights, regardless of their personal situations.  It limits domestic violence laws to protect married couples only. It eliminates civil unions and domestic partnerships. This could mean people who rely on those legal relationships will lose access to health insurance benefits, rights to inherit, even custody and authority to make decisions for their own families.

This isn’t the Outer Banks we love. We don’t go on vacation to a place that has two tiers of families. We head to the beach and start talking with people and families of all types. We make friends, play beach volleyball, enjoy coffee on the deck while the sun goes down and we get to know our neighbors, albeit neighbors for a week. We crowd together on the dolphin watching cruise when there’s a great glimpse to be had. We help bait the hook of squeamish would-be-fishermen. We are neighbors. And I can’t remember anyone stopping to think that my family with Ledcat is any lesser than their family. We were too busy enjoying our vacation.

A North Carolina under Amendment One will not be the same place you’ve visited for years. It could impact YOU (be you I mean heterosexual Pittsburghers) – if you and your fiancee or girlfriend go on vacation and one of you is injured – well do you typically draw up Power of Attorney documents for a week vacation?  Do you want the best and brightest of the summer employees to head elsewhere because they don’t support hate or they themselves might be discriminated against by this amendment? Do you want to worry? And do you want to finance bigotry with your vacation dollars?

Please. Consider a $10 donation to keep the Outer Banks a haven for all families.

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