Roch Smith: "To my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters" on North Carolina's 2012 Hate Amendment

At what age did you choose to not be gay?

John Stewart

"...our neighbors may carve into stone prejudices against you...

Is religion more of a choice than homosexuality?

There are people among us
who are simply not bothered by their bigotry and never will be.

Does religion have more protections under the law
than gay people?

They will not give any thought
to the reasonableness of their desires to codify into law
the permanent consignment of gay people to second class status

—it is in their gut and that is enough.

If at least 5 out of every 100 people are gay,
and there are 1000 people in a room,
how many are gay?

...this amendment doesn't just define marriage as the domain of straight people,
it says that straight marriage will always and forever
be the only kind of domestic union in North Carolina,
for gay or straight people.

Are people gay because they choose to be
or because it’s biological?

No civil unions, no domestic partnerships.

If ignorance breeds fear and fear breeds bigotry
does bigotry breed hate?

...this amendment goes far beyond protecting ...beliefs
and into the realm of denying you equal participation in society.

Can you hate someone you don’t know?

let us thoughtfully and respectfully make a heartfelt appeal
to our friends and family who we know to be goodhearted
but who may not yet appreciate the importance of their vote on this matter.

Can any good person get to heaven,
or do you have to believe certain thoughts?

...let us not give up until we have given it our all.

Do suicide bombers act in ways they think God wants them to?

...like any human, there are limits to my empathy and comprehension
of what it is like to be gay today, and I'm not scolding, not telling you what to do,
I may not understand, but if you are a gay or lesbian elected official
who remains in the closet while your constituency works to subjugate people like you,

Roch Smith

What are the chances of a Baptist preacher
calling something homogeneous?

No man shall be compelled to frequent or support
religious worship, place, or ministry…,
nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief,
but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain
their opinion on matters of religion.

Thomas Jefferson

Why did many white religious institutions
teach congregants that God supported racial segregation?

I find the law very explicit on murdering your fellow man,
but there’s nothing here about killing a Chinaman.

Case dismissed.

Judge Roy Bean

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