Sidney C. Gray
Greensboro City Council At-Large
4224 Starmount Drive
Greensboro, NC 27410
Campaign website: sidneygray.blogspot.com
Question One. Economic studies have concluded that those metropolitan areas most welcoming, inclusive and supportive of their LGBT communities are more likely to attract and retain dynamic, high-paying business and young professionals. With this in mind, if you are elected would you seek to continue a commitment toward building Greensboro’s economic climate and influence by further supporting and welcoming LGBT citizens in our communities, and how would you do that?
I would like to see some more information as to your premise. I am not sure if there is a direct link to your premise and the LGBT community. I think that business and young professionals in general would be attracted to areas that are tolerant and welcoming to a diverse group of people. I support the non discriminatory policy that is currently in place as the tool that welcomes people to our city.
Question Two. During the past year, the issue of domestic partner benefits for same-sex partners of city employees has been a hot-button issue and one much debated over by those involved in city politics. If elected to your post in the Council/as Mayor, how would you seek to protect these benefits for working class LGBT couples?
We are a country of laws and I support the laws that are in place as a means of protecting the rights and benefits of all our citizens.
Question Three. Currently, Greensboro city code prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Do you support expanding the city codes to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender-identity? Do you support expanding these city codes to apply also to businesses with which the city contracts services?
I feel that all jobs and city contracts should be awarded to the most qualified person or business. I do not believe in awarding contracts or giving preferential treatment to anyone based on the color of their skin, sexual orientation, gender or religion. It should be on merit only. Until we can become a non discriminatory society , I recommend that all applicants for jobs or bids for contracts be assigned a number with no reference to race, religion, sexual identity or gender.
Question Four. Some citizens believe that Greensboro has become a place unwelcoming of and non-inclusive to minority citizens, such as those persons of minority races and ethnicities. How would you propose to address citizens concerns over the state of our city’s reputation for racial divisiveness and what steps would you take toward beginning to heal what many may still see as an open wound?
I think you need to be more specific in your question. I suspect that you can find “some” citizens who believe in a multitude of things. I do believe that we need to have continuous dialogue among all our citizens. The best way that we can create a society that is based on one’s individual merit and not skin color is to begin to set a timetable that ends preferential treatment to one group based on his or her skin color. I believe that respect has to be earned and cannot be awarded by belonging to one group or another. Preferential treatment only aggravates existing myths.
Question Five. Would you support creating a domestic partner registry in the City of Greensboro, similar to those in effect in Chapel Hill and Carrboro that would give citizens legal recognition of their relationship for the purposes of housing, local taxes and other city services?
I am not familiar with Chapel Hill or Carrboro’s domestic partner registry. In general I would not be in favor of a “black book” that lists certain groups of people. I think this is very dangerous and discriminatory to those persons.
NOTE: All responses are un-edited and exact to the original words and responses from each candidate.