May 9, 2012
Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Democratic National Committee
As the Affirmative Action chair of the Connecticut delegation, I feel compelled to write to you regarding the recent electoral action in the state of North Carolina and its impact on the decision of our party to hold the national convention in Charlotte this September.
In November 2010, I was elected as Connecticut’s first openly gay statewide official. I am one of a handful of LGBT people across the country to ever be elected statewide. On that election night, as Comptroller-elect, I remarked that as we had made electoral history, the people of Connecticut “shrugged” – a nod to the incredible progress our state has made toward equality, and a recognition that in this state being gay was neither an obstacle nor a qualification for public service. While full equality is a dream for people in many other states, yesterday’s election results in North Carolina must give us pause.
How can we, as a party committed to the rights and freedom of all Americans, tacitly endorse the North Carolina vote by marching our leadership and our President into Charlotte in September?
The advocates of a same-gender marriage ban in North Carolina have used their constitution – once again – as an instrumentality of discrimination. Our federal and state constitutions should only be used to broaden rights and protections for people, not restrict them.
While it may be logistically impossible to move our location at this late date, we must, at a minimum, have a conversation about the impact of our presence there on our credibility and our values as a party.
I am deeply troubled that we, the party of America, find ourselves in the position of celebrating our rich diversity in a location that now espouses the polar opposite. Please know that I am committed to help in any way that you deem appropriate. I am,