Senator calls for criminal probe, trustees to resign at UNC

The chorus is growing. From WRAL:

Senator calls for criminal probe, trustees to resign at UNC
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — In a sharply worded column that appeared online Tuesday, Republican State Sen. Thom Goolsby called for a criminal probe of the academic scandal at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the resignation of Board of Trustees.

Read more at WRAL.

Reflection on the election


Kara Haney, left, and her partner of 8 years Kate Wertin, right, embrace in the Lobby Bar in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood as the Washington State Senate passes a bill that would legalize gay marriage in Washington State on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. Dozens gathered at the bar to watch the debate via TV on the senate floor. (Photo by Joshua Trujillo,

America took several steps forward yesterday.  Headline-grabbing national races aside, it felt like the biggest move among the electorate was not contained within any one party.  Instead it seemed as though the good political grain of expanded liberties had triumphed against the chaff of party politics.  The best gains were made for expand the institution of marriage in several states.   At HonestNC, we had envisioned North Carolina as the point of inflection on gay marriage in the United States, a tide turning back a century of ignorance and repression on the subject. Continue reading

The fight for freedom never ends

In 1944 Bob (above) landed in Normandy; eventually liberating Belgium from the Nazis as a member of the U.S. Army’s 2nd Armored Division, “Hell on Wheels.” In early 2003, Belgium became the second nationin the world to allow marriages between same-sex couples.In November of 2012, this World War II veteran was still fighting for freedom – casting a ballot in support of marriage equality.

On election day Marylanders will be voting on Question 6 – the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which provides civil marriage licenses to committed gay and lesbian couples, and protects churches and religious officials so they don’t have to marry anyone they don’t want to.

Mitt Romney’s invisible Mormonism

This was supposed to be such a time of legitimacy for the religion of Mormonism, predicted years earlier by academics such as Harold Bloom in 1992 in The American Religion and later on in the New York Times.  But little could we have imagined the subtle way the religion of Joseph Smith was to worm its way into our collective national conscience.  After Bloom, critics imagined Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, two supremely intelligent, intellectual and well-meaning men finally staging a national election of which we, as a nation, could be proud.

The reality of the 2012 election season has been much less kind, watching both candidates dumb down and shift their message to please whatever portion of the voting electorate they were focused on converting.  Of particular disgust so far has been the way Romney’s religion, maligned by both our government in the 19th century, and Christianity later on, has not become part of our knowing of Mitt Romney. Continue reading

We encourage you to vote for equality…again

The race for our state’s second highest office—Lieutenant Governor—features two very distinct candidates.

Linda Coleman is a union-backed career politician and former aide to Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue and Dan Forest is a conservative businessman who is a champion of inequality.

The News & Observer reported that “Coleman started by vociferously denouncing ‘forces of prejudice’ and calling the marriage amendment a distraction.” Linda Coleman spoke out against the Marriage Amendment that we worked so hard to defeat last spring, acting as a spokesperson for Equality NC.

And Indy Week reported Coleman as saying “I support civil unions. We need to change the law to allow people to live together.”

But Dan Forest, on the other hand, championed the issue of inequality: “Yes, I support marriage only between one man and one woman as God intended.”

You can’t get any clearer than that.  We encourage you to vote for equality…again.

The picture says it all

Want to know what the problem is with college athletics? This picture says it all: my undergraduate university pays its head basketball coach $1.95 million a year while glorifying him as if he was our savior.

As the state morns his passing, I wonder what former UNC system president Bill Friday, himself an NC State graduate and Technician sports editor, would have to say about this picture?

I think I know. As he told WRAL in March, “This tells you something about exaggeration and the influence of money and other things in college sports. It’s when the large sums of money came on the scene that distortion started, and money began to dominate… a manifestation of how far we have strayed.”

The state of Washington to decide on gay marriage

A referendum is being held in the state of Washington this coming election to decide if gay marriage will be allowed in the state.  The bill was signed into law on February 13th, 2012, but is now being put to referendum to allow the public a say on the matter.  Luckily, Amendment One was not the only governmental legislation dealing with the rights of gay people.

Several musicians include Ben Gibbard, Tegan and Sara and Macklemore are working together to form Music for Marriage Equality, a group that uses music to encourage voters to support equality.  North Carolina’s referendum on gay marriage was held in a place of deep conservatism and old theology.  Washington will likely speak with more of a progressive choice.  Check out a video produced for the cause by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis “Same Love.”

An open search for UNC’s chancellor

For the first time in almost two years a demonstration of leadership is emerging from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Carolina chancellor Holden Thorp took the bold, courageous and only step by resigning from his position effective at the conclusion of the current academic year. In the end, it was only Thorp who stuck his head above the fog that had descended upon and plagued all levels of UNC leadership – everyone from Thorp to Carolina trustees, UNC system president Tom Ross and the UNC Board of Governors. The fog is so thick, in May of this year Ross proclaimed the “situation” resolved. No one could look beyond their Carolina pride (21 of out of 32 voting BOG members are UNC alumni); make the necessary and tough decisions; the leadership failure is shared by all. Thorp’s decision is the appropriate one. He now understands the penalty of leadership.

The vacuum of leadership was deafening and destructive, not only to Carolina but to the entire UNC system. Ross, trustees and the BOG can regain the public’s trust by conducting an open and more transparent search for Thorp’s replacement. Bring the finalists to campus. Allow them to share their vision with the campus. Gain valuable community feedback.

The UNC system is no stranger to open chancellor searches. Appalachian State University chose their current chancellor in an open search. He and other finalists made public visits to campus, interacting and speaking with various university constituencies. Paul Gates, former ASU faculty chair and member of the search committee told The News and Observer in 2004 that, “It went off without a hitch. It gave us a second look at the candidates and how they interacted with each group. If they’re on thin ice at home, we don’t want them here.”

Continue reading