The Rev. Sonny D. Thomas spends an awful lot of his time thinking and writing about homosexuality. In 2009 he railed against the then pending federal hate crime legislation that would protect gay and lesbian Americans. The centerpiece of his argument was that homosexuality is a matter of “will” and people choose to be homosexual and, therefore, didn’t need protection. That’s hogwash; people are born either straight or gay. At the time, I challenged Thomas to offer proof and write about the thought-process he went through when he weighed the pros and cons of choosing to be straight. He never responded.
Now, in his latest letter, the Rev. Thomas is back cajoling “all professing Christians in Ashe County” to vote “yes” on Amendment One (the so called defining marriage amendment). His rationale is clear, he fears the possibility that same-sex couples might one day be legally entitled to marry in the state of North Carolina.
Of course Thomas’ only focus is on the homosexual aspects of the legislation. If approved, the state’s constitution would be amended to deny marriage between same-sex couples. However, what Thomas failed to tell readers is that civil unions between same-sex couples would also be prohibited and domestic partnerships between couples of the opposite sex would also not be legally recognized. According to 2010 census data, there were 223,000 North Carolina couples in domestic partnerships and only 12 percent of those were same-sex couples.
Why is Thomas so fearful of homosexuality? How does it harm him? What difference does it make if two people who love each other want to get married; even if they are the same sex? I’m a heterosexual man and I have no fear of same-sex couples marrying. Why shouldn’t they have access to the same marriage benefits and public acknowledgment enjoyed by heterosexual couples? To deny them this right, as Thomas advocates, is blatant unconstitutional discrimination.