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I’m trying to find words to describe yesterday. I spent most of the day in Raleigh, watching HB2 unfold. Committee hearings, hallway gatherings, deliberations, and voting.
I was awed by the courage and honesty of folks who stood up and spoke against this bill, offering their own experience, wounds, and wounding as evidence as to why this is a bad idea. I did my best to represent Jesus, a faith and belief that is not afraid, that loves, welcomes, and accepts.
I was disturbed by the fear and bad theology. But what might have been even worse was the active bigotry working just beneath the surface – a surface of ignorance for some, denial for others, and cold calculation for some. I prayed for them, that they would be surrounded by love.
To Jeff Jackson, Graig MeyerVerla InskoGrier MartinEquality NCBelieve Out LoudMore Light Presbyterians, and others who did your best to defeat this (there were many, many more, these were just the folks I personally heard or encountered). Thank you. I don’t know why more people didn’t hear you.
The #WeAreNotThis has been a rallying cry, but this morning all I can think is that, after the governor’s signature, want it or not, we are this.
At the end of the day, before going home, I needed to visit the restroom. I asked where the restroom was, and a lovely woman at the information desk pointed me to the women’s room. I went in, did what I needed to do, and then was on my way home. It was a complete non-event, and is an experience denied to many of my brothers and sisters. Yesterday was much bigger than this, but it was also every bit as small as this.

AnnaHeadshotAnna Pinckney Straight is an Associate Pastor at University Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill, NC. A native of Charleston, South Carolina Anna is a graduate of Agnes Scott College (BA), Union Theological Seminary in New York City (MDiv), and Wesley Theological Seminary (DMin). Before moving to Chapel Hill in 2006 she served as Solo Pastor of Community Presbyterian Church in Arthurdale, West Virginia and Solo Pastor of the Greencastle Presbyterian Church in Greencastle, PA.  

3 Comments, RSS

  • Joan McAllister

    thank you Anna- these battles will be long and hard, but justice will prevail with people like you speaking out.

  • jonscott williams

    Yeah … because preventing LGBT non-discrimination legislation is the big issue confronting North Carolina … not ranking 21st in overall education or being the second-worst state for teachers in the country, ranking ahead of only West Virginia or ranking 37th in health care or having a 5.6% unemployment rate or ranking 32nd in the cost of doing business or 30th in overall quality of life.

    Nope, banning all LGBT non-discrimination measures – now and forever – is the issue that North Carolina’s legislators have chosen as THE big issue in NC!!

    It’s true … you really can’t fix stupid.

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