Loving one’s neighbor means ‘all’ of them, not just a few. (Photo Credit: Ivan Kruk via Adobe Stock)

I am a small-business owner who serves as a substitute teacher on a part-time basis. On Nov. 3, 2020, I will be standing for election to the North Carolina House of Representatives from District 102, which is centered in Charlotte. My platform revolves around a simple phrase: love your neighbor. I care deeply about our community, and I want to do everything in my power to help our neighbors get what they need from the state government.

Before I proceed, I should note that I am the nominee of the Republican Party. I recognize that Republicans have a checkered history with the LGBTQ+ community, and this is the party’s fault. Historically, the GOP has been unwilling to engage with LGBTQ+ Americans and, at its very worst, it has been hostile to their interests. However, I am a different kind of Republican. When I say “love your neighbor,” I mean all of our neighbors, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation or gender identity. I believe in the inherent worth of each and every American, and I wholeheartedly back the text of the Fourteenth Amendment: “No State shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

To ensure that North Carolina embodies the spirit of the Fourteenth Amendment, I would sponsor legislation to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and classify hate crimes against LGBTQ+ North Carolinians as such. I would be the conscience of the General Assembly’s Republican caucus on LGBTQ+ issues, and would happily serve as an unofficial ambassador between LGBTQ+ North Carolinians and fellow members of the Republican Party.

In my book, everyone deserves dignity and equal protection under the laws. If I am elected to the state House, I will do everything in my power to get North Carolina to that place.