Three New Petitions Regarding LGBT Rights

Follows is a petition I am submitting at the Council's March 22, 2004 meeting. The Chapel Hill News gave front page coverage to the petition this morning.

My hope is that the petition is referred to staff for drafting of the requested code and policy changes, and that the second petition is added to Wednesday's public forum on the Legislative Agenda. Also, I hope that this begins a discussion of these important issues in our community. As Mayor Foy says in the CH News, "the silence in North Carolina is deafening."

As both Insko and Kinnaird say in the article, the repeal of NC's Defense of Marriage Act is extremely unlikely, but is it any more unlikely than a moratorium on executions was several years ago? It was Carrboro and Chapel Hill that led the movement for local governments to pass resolutions calling for a moratorium on executions. Within a couple of years, scores of others, including the conservative bastions of Charlotte and Winston-Salem joined. The movement resulted in the NC Senate's passage of a moratorium resolution last year and it's on the House's agenda during the upcoming short session.

Comments from any readers?

TO: Mayor and Council
FROM: Councilmember Mark Kleinschmidt
DATE: March 22, 2004
RE: A Petition to expand the protections offered by Chapel Hill’s non-discrimination policies, and
A Petition to amend Chapel Hill’s Legislative Agenda, and
A Petition to Clarify Chapel Hill’s Non-discrimination Policies to Change References of “Affectional Preference” to “Sexual Orientation.”

Tonight I offer three petitions for consideration by the Council. Although they are separate measures, they each relate to concerns expressed to my by members of our local gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community. The concerns that have been shared with me relate to incidents that have occurred in our community and the way in which our community should respond to events occurring now across the country. I hope to have your support

  1. A Petition to Expand the Protections Offered by Chapel Hill’s Non-discrimination Policies and Ordinances to Include Gender Identity and Gender Expression.

    I offer this petition in response to a recent incident that demonstrated that access to our town’s services was constructively denied to certain individuals due to differences involving gender identity and gender expression. I have nothing but the highest regards for Chapel Hill management’s response to this incidents, but rather than rely on the good graces and good intentions of management, this Petition seeks to encode this community’s dissatisfaction with discrimination based on gender expression and gender identity and to clarify specifically that it is improper to deny services in this manner. As a corollary, I petition Council to expand the entirety of its discrimination policies to include this protection and that all current and new staff receive training regarding this change.

  2. A Petition to Amend Chapel Hill’s Legislative Agenda to Add a Request that the North Carolina General Assembly Repeal the So-Called “Defense of Marriage Act.”

    I offer this petition as a response to many individuals who have contacted me from Chapel Hill, our neighboring communities and even from across the state regarding the extraordinary events occurring nationwide related to creating marriage equality for same-sex couples. The objective of this legislative agenda item would be to eliminate any hurdle for couples who may become legally married in other jurisdictions in this country to be able to return to our community and be recognized as a married couple. I also petition the Town of Chapel Hill to recognize marriage licenses received in other jurisdictions as evidence necessary to qualify such individuals for equal access to employment benefits and our Town’s domestic partner registry. And that such a license will free any individual from having to produce any other “evidence” of the permanency of their relationship.

  3. A Petition to Clarify Chapel Hill’s Non-discrimination Policies to Change References of “Affectional Preference” to “Sexual Orientation.”

    In preparing this Petition, I have noticed that “Affectional Preference” is the language that purports to protect individuals from discrimination based on sexual orientation. I petition the Council to eliminate this reference to “preference” and recognize the immutability of sexual orientation by explicitly referencing sexual orientation in every place affectional preference occurs in our Town Code and policies.



I just drove by Town Hall and saw the television crews gathering - I guess the town's budget was more controversial than one might have thought.

Good luck on the turn out - here's hoping the crowd stays civil.

I agree 100% with ingrid...couldn't have said it better

Simon - that had me laughing -- do many people here speak Yidish??

as an aside I may be the only one but I think government at all levels should stick to Civil unions and leave marriages as a Church function.

(marriage as defined by any agency seems arbitrary given historical records of multiple wifes for those odl guys in the bible so I don't see the religious significance of one man one women anyhow).

Interesting they are using a another tactic in Durham. This is good - it increases the pressure on legislators from other districts.

"A gay couple walked into the Durham County Register of Deeds Office on Monday and asked for a marriage license.

"Richard Mullinax, 36, and Perry Pike, 41, were allowed to fill out the application. They handed it over and were politely denied a license. The couple of five years walked across the street to the courthouse and sued the county."

I fully support getting the government out of marriage. I am a practicing Christian, fully supportive of civil unions for anyone who wants them. The government should create a venue to assure legal rights for all couples, and leave the "marriage" thing to religious entities. I don't need the government to defend my marriage. We should welcome couples who want to make commitments to one another, no matter what their sexual orientation is.

The Chapel Hill News article states that several area governments provide benefits for "domestic partners" if they go through some process. My question is define domestic partners? Is it only same sex or does it include male-female partners living together and not married. If it does not include male-female partners why not?

Benefits in Chapel Hill are provided to opposite-sex and same-sex partners. (I think Duke U. is the only local entity that limits DP benefits only to same-sex partners, the theory being that opposite-sex couples have the opportunity to marry). In Chapel Hill, those applying for benefits need to demonstrate they are an economic unit. For opposite-sex married couples, a marriage license suffices. I'm asking that if a same-sex couple legally obtains a marriage license that we recognize it the same way. In the absense of a marriage license, same-sex couples have to do something to prove their relationship, for example, share mortgage, share a bank account, live together, etc. Married couples don't have to do this. I know opposite-sex married couples for whom none of this is true. I know of opposite-sex couples whose relationships were not very permanent at all who enjoyed the presumptions a marriage license conveys, but whose relationships ultimately, were very short lived (and I'm sure cost the insurance companies a pretty penny).

If you have a marriage license, I'd like Chapel Hill to treat you the same as everyone else who has a marriage license. In some areas, although not in all, Chapel Hill is forbidden to recognize the marriage on equal par because of the preemptive state statute (DOMA).

1) Sexual Orientation is less inclusive than Affectional Preference, and both are subsumed by Gender Identity.

2) Domestic partnership benefits should be conditioned on a written commitment to obtain a marriage license or certificate of civil union at the earliest available opportunity, regardless of whether such a license is valid in NC for other purposes.

3) If two women are getting married, whose parents should pay for the ceremony? I say the shiksa's :) (if you know who I'm talking about - yes, she is going to covert)


Thank you for having the balls to place this issue on the town's agenda. I support each three items on your petition and hope the council and staff give the matter the thorough recognition, and later approval, that it deserves. Having this petition (hopefully) reach the resolution stage will be a much-needed and too-late-in-coming step for the community to take. Besides hearing our comments, what comments do you have for us about how we can show our support for this petition and urge your other eight colleagues to put some energy behind it (y'know, other than pleading behind the lectern for three minutes).

Great job, I'm diggin' it


Mark, I'm glad you are raising these issues. As a "straight" person - or just as a person, dammit - I fully support all three of these petitions.


Community Guidelines

By using this site, you agree to our community guidelines. Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will result in moderation or eviction.


Content license

By contributing to OrangePolitics, you agree to license your contributions under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

Creative Commons License

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.