Some in the ECU community speak out against religious exemption laws

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Dozens of people gathered Tuesday at ECU to voice their opposition to laws that allowed people to claim religious exemption.

During the panel discussion, individuals were able to share their own experiences. They also discussed how laws intentionally, or unintentionally, impacted gays, women, and other minorities.

Roderick Hall, an ECU student who identifies himself as gay, said using religion as a basis to disobey laws should be illegal. He said in some ways, religious exemption laws are very similar to Jim Crow laws.

“My ancestors did a lot of fighting so I wouldn’t have to, but it’s very sad to watch videos from just 30 years ago, and feel like I’m going through the same thing in my daily life,” he said. “It really makes me scared to see what this country could revert back to.”

Hall said discrimination is still occurring towards the gay community any time their right to marry is infringed on. He also said the state’s voting law requiring ID’s presents more burdens on minority groups.

Hall said he believes one of the biggest issues at hand is the older generation who doesn’t want to let go of some of the beliefs they have been taught their entire life. He said to fix unjust laws will take time and patience.

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