I’d like to thank the hundreds of people who came to last night’s vigil . I was so inspired to see so many of my peers, teachers, and Durham neighbors united in one place, so committed to the idea that all people deserve the right to create families, to be treated as equals under the law, and to have their identities validated.
The NC Senate joined the NC House in passing the anti-marriage amendment at around noon today. In the months and years to come, we must all be vocal about letting our fellow citizens know that we don’t support this bigotry. This incident reminds me of just how much every election matters; if a single State Senate race had gone Democrat instead of Republican in 2010, this amendment would likely not have pased the senate. Creating a better society is a full-time job for all of us.
I wanted to share Megan Weinand’s, a Duke Junior, inspirational words from the vigil last night:
Three years ago I traveled from my hometown in Arizona to attend college in North Carolina. Over 2,000 miles away from the only home I ever knew, I entered Durham, North Carolina and my education at Duke University closeted to the world and scared of accepting an identity that I knew would not be easy.
Over the course of my past three years here in Durham, I have come out and I have grown. Today as a senior at Duke and openly lesbian woman, I look around Durham and Duke with the knowledge of the intimate connection that this state and I share; it is the place where I learned that I could be myself. It is the state where I learned-that being my true self, owning my self, and becoming proud of my self, was greater than anything I could ever hide or pretend to be.
Over the course of these past three years, Duke, Durham, and the greater community of North Carolina have shaped and formed me into the confident, strong and openly LGBTQ woman that I am today. I found a stronger home and an even greater community within the Duke and North Carolina LGBTQ community than I ever found two thousand miles away back home.
When I fly back to North Carolina on my breaks, something inside of me knows that I am coming home. This was the state where I learned how to be an openly lesbian woman. This was the community that taught me that there is strength and passion and history and courage in a LGBTQ identity. This was the place where I learned that my differences form the best part of myself. This was where I learned that being LGBTQ is a gift.
When I read the anti-LGBT amendment, I am instantly confused; This bill does not represent what I have learned here. It does not represent the place that taught me that my strength was in the ownership of my identity. It does not represent all North Carolina families.
Your presence tonight is encouraging to me because it represents what North Carolina has taught me during my past three years here. Thank you for representing the North Carolina community that opposes this anti-LGBT amendment, and for reminding our legislature that what this bill contains does not represent the community that we are, or the community we ever plan to be.”