I have watched from afar as the train wreck House Bill 2 is unleashed upon the North Carolina public. As a longtime resident of Black Mountain now living on the coast of Maine, I cannot help but feel saddened and deeply troubled as once again the Republican ruling parties unleash their bigoted venom upon the state I once called home.
I am a gay man, and I was forced to leave North Carolina three years ago as my marriage to my partner of 35 years was not recognized by the state of North Carolina. We still own a home in Black Mountain and had hoped that one day when civility prevailed that we might return to the place where we had 10 good years.
We did not make this decision to leave lightly. We have a strong faith community and large circle of dear friends in WNC. But because of who we are and who the small minds that govern us determined us to be, we were stripped of the rights that all other citizens of North Carolina enjoy and take for granted.
This newest abomination of a law, HB 2 — which strips gay men/ lesbians and transgender beings of any protection from discrimination — is an incitement to violence against the LGBT community. I no longer harbor any hope of being able to return to the place that once felt like home.
I have been judged to be unfit and unworthy of the same rights, values and protections afforded the vast majority of the citizens of North Carolina. My life has been sacrificed to election-year politics.
Gay lives do not matter in the state of North Carolina. This law shows how deeply callous and hateful the Republican legislature and Gov. [Pat] McCrory are. A state that sanctions discrimination and hate is not a place that I wish to call home.
— Alan Kelly-Hamm
Sandy Point, Maine/Black Mountain