Author’s Note: Chancellor Miller and Senator Goolsby are fine public servants. Both are men of integrity. I hope that anyone wishing to contact their offices over this issue – or any other, for that matter - will address them with the level of respect they deserve.
TO: Chancellor Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org).
CC: Senator Goolsby (Thom.Goolsby@ncleg.net)
Gentlemen, I write to you today to report a failure on behalf of the LGBTQIA Office to comply with North Carolina Public Records Law. The law, which is specified in NCGS Section 132, is fairly simple and straightforward. The request for materials, which was submitted several months ago, is also straightforward.
Last summer, the LGBTQIA Office distributed a list of recommended churches for homosexuals. The list was brief. Some people were upset because the state spent money in order to recommend some churches and not recommend other churches. Others were upset because their churches were left off the list. Naturally, they wondered just how (and why) such a list was compiled by a government office.
In the aftermath of this controversy, a student submitted a public records request seeking all office correspondence, emails, and memoranda used to compile the list of preferred churches. His request was submitted months ago. The LGBTQIA Office has not responded. According, I am now intervening in the matter. Specifically, I write today to join the request. I expect timely compliance with the law. You may feel free to send the materials to my university office or to my home address.
It is unlikely that all of the approximately 750 churches in the area were given an equal opportunity to be included among the churches recommended by the LGBTQIA Office. The people have a right to know whether that office is itself discriminating in its state-sponsored war on discrimination. It is also essential that there be no further discrimination in the application of our public records laws.
The state simply has no right to treat some churches with favor and others with disfavor. Nor does it have a right to treat some public records requests with favor and others with disfavor. Laws by their very definition are not “optional.”
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