12-Year Old Autistic North Carolinian Pens Pro-Equality Editorial For Kid-Run Paper

Max Gearhart
Max Gearhart doesn't understand how anyone would want to deny marriage rights to same-sex couples. While Amendment 1 is being hotly debated across North Carolina, Max sees it as a no-brainer.

"How can we be so unfair to our own people?" asks Max.

Max Gearhart, a resident of Greensboro, is 12 years old.

He also happens to be autistic.

Max decided to write a short, succinct essay in support of same-sex marriage in his local paper. No, not the Greensboro News & Record. Max published his essay in the Lindley Park Gazette, a neighborhood paper, written by kids, published by kids, and distributed by kids. (The Greensboro News & Record ran a story about the the Gazette in November.)

Here's Max's editorial, as it appears in the February issue of the Lindley Park Gazette:

Disagreeing with Amendment One
By Max Gearhart

I heard that there might be a new amendment to our state constitution called Amendment One. My parents will be asked to vote on it in May. It says that homosexuals cannot get married to their same gender and I say that we should say no to this because everyone is equal and we should not categorize people like that. I think nobody should be categorized because God created us all and no government law can ever deny that. If we pass this law, it will be really unfair. Gays are one of us! How can we be so unfair to our own people? Next thing you know they'll try to make a rule about autistic people not being able to marry.

Amendment One is a really unfair law that should never be passed. I think we should convince our parents to vote no on this law.

Here is exactly what Ballotopedia says about Amendment One

The North Carolina Same-Sex Marriage Amendment will appear on the May 8, 2012 ballot in the state of North Carolina as a “legislatively-referred constitutional amendment.” The measure would define marriage in the state as between “one man and one woman.” If approved, the proposed measure would amend Article 14 of the North Carolina Constitution by adding a new section.

The text of the measure reads:
Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.

From Ballotopedia.org

News & Record story on the Lindley Park Gazette
The fact that a young, autistic boy can speak so openly and clearly about the discriminatory and harmful nature of Amendment 1 speaks volumes.

Not only does Max's sentiment reflect survey statistics (support for same-sex marriage is much higher in younger age groups), it also underscores the fact that prejudice is learned through living in (and observing) a society where prejudices exist.

Most importantly, however, Max teaches us that, while a great many of us are born lesbian or gay, nobody is born a bigot. Even a kid knows that.

Max's mother, Jamy Gearhart, perhaps said it best when she wrote about the Lindley Park Gazette on her blog (months prior to her son's editorial appearing within its pages):
We should pay attention because these kids are the people who will be the custodians of this planet some day. Our future is in their hands and it's so heartening to think that they may grow up to make real and positive changes in our world. If what they are doing now is any indication of their future doings, I foresee great things for them.

No comments:

Post a Comment