Author’s Note: Chancellor Miller and Senator Goolsby are fine public servants. Both are men of integrity. I hope that anyone wishing to contact their offices over this issue – or any other, for that matter – will address them with the level of respect they deserve.
TO: Chancellor Miller ([email protected]).
CC: Senator Goolsby ([email protected])
Gentlemen, I write to you today to report a failure on behalf of the LGBTQIA Office to comply with North Carolina Public Records Law. The law, which is specified in NCGS Section 132, is fairly simple and straightforward. The request for materials, which was submitted several months ago, is also straightforward.
Last summer, the LGBTQIA Office distributed a list of recommended churches for homosexuals. The list was brief. Some people were upset because the state spent money in order to recommend some churches and not recommend other churches. Others were upset because their churches were left off the list. Naturally, they wondered just how (and why) such a list was compiled by a government office.
In the aftermath of this controversy, a student submitted a public records request seeking all office correspondence, emails, and memoranda used to compile the list of preferred churches. His request was submitted months ago. The LGBTQIA Office has not responded. According, I am now intervening in the matter. Specifically, I write today to join the request. I expect timely compliance with the law. You may feel free to send the materials to my university office or to my home address.
It is unlikely that all of the approximately 750 churches in the area were given an equal opportunity to be included among the churches recommended by the LGBTQIA Office. The people have a right to know whether that office is itself discriminating in its state-sponsored war on discrimination. It is also essential that there be no further discrimination in the application of our public records laws.
The state simply has no right to treat some churches with favor and others with disfavor. Nor does it have a right to treat some public records requests with favor and others with disfavor. Laws by their very definition are not “optional.”
The present difficulties associated with the LGBTQIA Office are being compounded by questionable legal activity initiated by other offices. See the email I am attaching below. Unsurprisingly, it has been sent to all members of the faculty and staff by a woman who claims to be the “wife” of the woman who runs the LGBTQIA Office. The email clearly shows that university resources are being used to organize and defeat pending legislation. I believe that is illegal. I know it is immoral.
Even if you find the following email to be legal, you simply cannot defend its propriety. Opponents of the following email could not reasonably be expected to present the other side of the issue without violating one of the numerous speech codes or the university’s patently unconstitutional “Seahawk Respect Compact.”
Regrettably, all campus opposition to pro-gay speech is assumed to be “homophobic.” Additionally, “homophobic” speech has been classified as hate speech. And hate speech has been banned from campus. Consequently, only one side of an important religious issue is advanced with university resources. So the email raises the same issues raised by the “gay-friendly” church list. Here it is in unedited form:
From: Peel, Katie
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2012 9:58 AM
Subject: Vote Against Photoshoot TODAY!
Good morning, Colleagues — I am forwarding this on behalf of undergraduate student Jordan Brackett, who has worked hard to bring this group to campus. Thank you for your consideration. — Katie Peel
The Vote Against Project, an independent grassroots effort to create a portrait of North Carolina unity, is on campus TODAY, giving voters a creative space to share their opposition to the constitutional amendment on the May 8, 2012 ballot.
Join us from 10-4 in the Azalea Coast Room in the Fisher Union, and have your picture taken for equality! The photo shoot is FREE and open to ALL. “Vote Against” T-shirts will be provided for the shoot.
Check out our Facebook event HERE ! Join the group, make it your status, and spread the word. Let’s make this the incredible event that it has the potential to be. Feel free to check out the website for more information HERE !
Here is a link to the Project’s blog as well.http://voteagainst.tumblr.com/
Thank you, UNCW, for joining us in taking this important stand against discrimination.
Has UNCW officially joined the same-sex marriage movement? I hope not. Regardless, this is what we get for giving people government jobs simply because they have sex with people of the same sex. They simply cannot keep their personal lives out of their work because we have made it relevant. That bears repeating: We have made their sex lives relevant to the performance of their jobs.
Gentlemen, we are countless millions of dollars in debt. We can no longer afford to pay people to endorse churches, lobby for pending legislation, and talk about their sex lives in the workplace. These are not essential functions of government. They are symptoms of deep-seated confusion about our roles as public servants.