Social issues remain unchanged in the North Country
Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 6:48 am

To the Editor:

Reading regularly it is not uncommon to see articles that reference the brain drain of young people from the region served by this news outlet.

It is true that there are a dwindling number of career opportunities in the area. One need only look to the prisons, Alcoa, the colleges, and the empty storefronts to see this struggle first hand.

As a young man who spent nearly a year unemployed in the North Country before finally landing a job after college, I know this pain all too well. It makes sense to flee for greener pastures.

Yet I argue that this is not the sole cause of the youth exodus.

The recent editorial opinion entitled “Gay Pride Parade in the North Country” by Beverly J. Brownell makes it painfully clear that not only is the North Country stuck in the early 20th century with regard to employment and the economy, but also when it comes to social issues.

Of course Ms. Brownell is entitled to her opinion, religion, and social beliefs, but frankly not all opinions should be published by a news source for the whole internet to see.

Including this editorial opinion article, complete with quotes like, “No matter how you slice it, homosexuality is a sin!” screams to the world that backward, bigoted thoughts such as those presented in the article are the norm in our region, and that any smart, qualified professionals who could improve our local society that happen to be homosexual are not welcome here.

New York and 16 other states currently allow same sex marriages and that figure continues to grow. The LGBTQ community is accepted as equal in popular media and in the lives of most sane, straight people like myself. Even Pope Francis has recently commented that the Catholic church should focus less on opposing gay unions.

The world is finally beginning to move on from this ignorant intolerance of the past. But opinions such as those presented by Ms. Brownell and the fact that they are published for all to see reinforce my belief that while the rest of the country drives ahead, the North Country is stuck with the emergency brake on.

Corey Griffin