What the marriage bill means for thousands of same-sex NC couples like my wife and I

Courtesy of Justine Price-O'Neil

Marriage bill

I’ll never forget the day same-sex couples won the freedom to marry in North Carolina, allowing my wife and I to finally be legally recognized. Just months before, we held our 2-year-old daughter and recorded our Massachusetts marriage license at the register of deeds in Raleigh, determined to show North Carolina that we deserved the same protections as any other loving couple.

It hurt and worried us when Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas suggested the court reconsider marriage rights. It’s painful to think the legal status of our family of four could be up for debate, despite 71% of Americans supporting marriage equality.

We were relieved Wednesday to see the U.S. Senate pass the Respect for Marriage Act, a bipartisan effort led in part by Sen. Thom Tillis and supported by Sen. Richard Burr.

This bill will go a long way toward setting my wife and I — and thousands of North Carolina’s same-sex couples — at ease. We’re grateful for the support from both of our U.S. Senators.

Justine Price-O’Neil, Wake Forest

Wrong-way drivers

Regarding “Action needed on wrong-way driver crashes,” (Nov. 27 Editorial):

There is a relatively straightforward solution to the problem identified in this editorial. I do not know the technical term, but we have probably all seen the device — a series of sharpened spikes spanning the width of the pavement that rise up several inches above the pavement to prevent drivers from entering from the wrong direction. They depress into the pavement when a driver runs over them going in the correct direction. A driver entering a freeway in the wrong direction would wind up with shredded tires, which would stop that driver fairly quickly before he/she can cause an accident or injure others.

William Conner, Cary

Hit and run

We are having too many hit and run accidents. The drivers seem to think they can get away with it if they run. It’s time we put a mandatory sentence of 5 years in jail on any hit and run. If someone is killed and the driver is convicted the sentence should be a mandatory 20 years unless a longer sentence would apply by law. There is no excuse for leaving the scene of any accident when someone is hurt. It takes a real coward to do something like this and we need to take appropriate measures to stop them.

Bob LeBowsky, Cary

Triangle drivers

Thank you to all the drivers who slow down at yellow lights, stop at red lights, and go at green lights (without a beep from the driver behind them). Thank you to all the drivers who pay attention, stay in their lanes, and stay off their phones. Thank you to all the drivers who plan ahead and leave enough time to reach their destinations without speeding. Thank you to all the drivers who are aware of pedestrians and bicyclists. Thank you to all the drivers who do the right thing to make our roads safe. Wish there were more of you.

Amy Huenemann, Cary

Gas tax

Regarding “NC business leaders: The state gas tax is the wrong way to fund roads,” (Nov. 29 Opinion):

In the scheme these writers are proposing, those who drive more — and therefore consume more resources, cause more road damage, and create more pollution — would pay the same “access fee” as those who are more frugal. This disincentivizes conservation. Keeping the gas tax, with fees based on weight and miles driven and credits for low income individuals, could work.

Wayne Pein, Chapel Hill

Anxiety in kids

Mental health treatment is not enough to stop the increase in anxiety and depression hitting children. I was a licensed clinical social worker for 41 years. I am the grandmother of an intelligent 7-year-old child who worries about school shootings and a recent shooting at the mall near his home. He is wise to worry about these issues.

What would comfort him would be to acknowledge that his worry is a sign that steps need to be taken. He needs to hear clear, concrete plans by adults to work on reducing gun violence. That will help him feel safer.

Sibyl Wagner, Chapel Hill

The true RINO

With the lack of the “red wave” that should have happened as a result of Biden’s low popularity, high inflation, concerns about immigration and crime and more, it appears conservatives nationwide are finally realizing that the true RINO (Republican In Name Only) is Donald Trump.

Mark M. Otten, Raleigh

Border issues

Our southern border is in chaos and under attack from cartels, illegal immigrants, and our own government’s incompetence. The Border Patrol reported more that 3.7 million encounters with migrants trying to cross the border in the past two years, and hundreds have tragically died.

The Border Patrol is overwhelmed by the sheer numbers. Critics are calling for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to resign due to his inept management and non-enforcement of our laws. This is certainly justified, but omits other administration officials who share responsibility for this self-inflicted disaster. Our leaders in Washington have offered no realistic solutions to our border crisis of two years. The problems remain.

Franklin Smith, Raleigh