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This legislative session House Bill 780, known as the Uphold Historical Marriage Act, was introduced in an effort to declare null and void the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage. Though the proposed bill was immediately dispensed with it undoubtedly raised questions and fears within the LGBTQ community. Wake County Sheriff’s Office employee Christopher Creech and event planner Chad Biggs were the first gay couple to get married in Wake County and, here, Creech shares in his own words how legislation like HB 780 continues to affect his family and the LGBTQ community.
On October 10, 2014 a suit regarding same-sex marriage, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District, was decided just after 5 p.m. Minutes later our long awaited dream came true. Chad and I were married! Prior to this decision we worried about things like…“What happens to the house if something happens to one of us? How will our wills be viewed or decided by a court? What other negative impacts could follow?”
Once we were married, life seemed to run pretty stress free. We face and deal with all of life’s other challenges but our previously mentioned worries seemed to fade away—or at least until the N.C. Legislature’s most recent temper tantrum. Again, the anxiety and worries are back. Each news article and every TV station blasted minute-by-minute coverage of North Carolina’s newly introduced hate bills. All the while, attempting to ignore the United States Supreme Court decision, and once again demoralizing the rights and worth of GBLT citizens in our state.
It’s extremely disappointing to see the elected men and women of our Legislature exploring every possible avenue leading to the discrimination and demoralization of GBLT men and women. I’ve been in the public safety field my entire adult life. I’ve always said that men and women in public safety positions must be honest and have integrity. The citizens we serve must be able to trust us. Their lives and those of their families depend on us to protect them and watch after their best interests. The men and women of our Legislature must be held to that same trust. We must be able to depend on them to look after the best interest of all citizens, which does not include different treatment for different people. Unfortunately, that is not the case in North Carolina.
It seems to be OK to treat people differently. They seem to operate in the mindset of…. “we have to get what we want above all things and all people. No matter the cost, we must fight for our own personal beliefs, religious or otherwise”. It’s a scary and dangerous mindset no matter what issues are at hand.
So days passed and once again the proposed bills were dead on arrival. Thank goodness!!!! Right? For now at least…. But what happens next week, next month or next year? How many more times is this issue going to rise up again in 2017 and beyond? When does it stop? Once the majority at the Legislature is voted out and replaced? Maybe! There comes a time when we all have to realize right from wrong and simply do the right thing. The right thing may be for us as citizens today or for our children tomorrow. But surely love for one another and common sense governance by a state will take over at some point.
Love will conquer all. I have witnessed it and proven it time and time again. It will be a work in progress, but we will overcome these times and move forward. The love and will of the people will overtake those with hearts full of hatred – it’s just a matter of time and perseverance. ν
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