Letters to the editor – Sunday (10-30-11)

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 28, 2011

A ballpark perspective on economic disparities
In these trying economic times, I offer a comparison of have and have-nots.
Lance Berkman of the St. Louis Cardinals signed a one-year contract for $12 million for the 2012 season. To simplify, if he plays all 162 games, it boils down to this:
162 games: $12 million
Per game: $74,074
Per at-bat (three a game): $24,691
For each at-bat in the regular season, he will earn as much as a person in the workforce working at $11.87 an hour will earn in a year.
Is it any wonder why education is taking a back seat to athletics? But who is buying the tickets to these games. It must be the working guy making $11.87 an hour.
Have you seen the commercial in which the couple has taught their young daughter how to dunk?
ó W.L. Poole
A draconian proposal
The proposed draconian revision to our stateís Constitution that will be on the ballot in May is wrong on so many levels. It has been said, ěIndividual rights should not be subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority.î While its obvious intent is to harm the LGBT community, this amendmentís hastily written language is so broad and vague that its punitive consequences have the potential to affect unmarried opposite-sex couples, senior citizens and domestic violence victims as well.
Gov. Beverly Perdue, who in 1996 voted for the N.C. law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman and still supports that law, has said she will vote against this amendment ěbecause the state has more important business and because the amendment, if passed, could eliminate legal protections for all unmarried couples in our state, regardless of sexual orientation.î Ultraconservative Tea Party Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) has stated she plans to vote against the constitutional ban that the Legislature chose to put on the ballot ěbecause it is too broadly drawn and because the poorly written amendment would add a ban on civil unions to the protection of marriage and, since they are two different issues, should be dealt with separately.î And finally, N.C. NAACP President Rev. Dr. William Barber has issued an open letter to all North Carolinians, on behalf of the NAACP, urging state lawmakers and the public ěto oppose the proposed anti-gay constitutional amendment, and any other present or future proposals of constitutional amendments, that would permanently deprive any person in our great state of his or her inalienable rightsî.
The point is, regardless of your stance on same-sex marriage, there are a multitude of reasons why North Carolinians should vote against this amendment and writing discrimination into our great stateís Constitution. Please join me and my extended family in voting against the anti-LGBT amendment on May 8, 2012.
ó J. Michael Clawson
Clawson is the founder of Salisbury/Rowan PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).