Help Support Our Freedom Of Choice
- Court of Appeals of North Carolina
- United States of America
The Declaration of Independence states:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
However, on January 2, 2010, after being signed into law by Governor Bev Perdue on May 19, 2009, North Carolina Session Law 2009-27 went into effect, banning smoking statewide in all bars and restaurants in North Carolina, as well as in government buildings and vehicles.
According to the bill, it is the intent of the General Assembly to protect the health of individuals in public places and places of employment and riding in State government vehicles from the risks related to secondhand smoke.
While NC SESSION LAW 2009-27 HOUSE BILL 2 is intended to protect smokers and non-smokers from the effects of secondhand smoke, this bill infringes on the personal rights and freedom of choice for business owners and their customers.
Although violation of this bill does not hold a criminal charge, the $200 per day fine for business owners that do not comply (in order to appeal to their loyal smoking clientele) will drastically hurt business profits in an already suffering economy. Customers in violation will also face a hefty fine of up to $50, which is a steep cover charge. Many smokers that are not ready to be “forced” to quit will opt to find forms of entertainment in an alternate environment, rather than supporting a discriminating non-smoking atmosphere and being made to feel like an outcast. It is very apparent that a number of the small businesses that work to make America what it is, are going to have a tough battle to even keep their doors open.
While it is completely understandable that non-smokers should have the right to gather in public locations and not be involuntarily exposed to secondhand smoke, it should also be understandable that smokers should be allowed the same right to assemble in locations clearly marked as smoker-friendly establishments.
It is critical that these decisions are allowed to be made by the business owners and customers that support them, rather than the government. It is the owner’s responsibility to serve their customers to the best of their ability. The income that they generate (or do not generate) directly affects their livelihood as well as state revenue via taxes needed to support government affairs.
Taken from Section 1 of the 14th Amendment: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States”
NC SESSION LAW 2009-27 HOUSE BILL 2 clearly conflicts with the above reference, by not allowing business owners to cater to the clientele of their choice.
Rights of choice are often not missed until they are gone, and rights that are not frequently used may not be missed at all by those that are not using them. However, a right of choice is one of the greatest attributes of this country. The right to choose to bear arms, the right to choose to speak freely, the right to choose to assemble, and so forth, may not be used by all of us, but a loss of any of these rights would be detrimental to all of us.
The 18th Amendment abolished our right to manufacture, sale, or transport intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes. We stood up for our rights then, and repealed it with the 21st Amendment. Thanks to our alliance, we now have the right to responsibly enjoy a beverage of our choice.
The elimination of the right for a business owner to operate under their own business model, and cater to the customers of their choice is being taken away with NC SESSION LAW 2009-27 HOUSE BILL 2. This is an unconstitutional act, and I ask your help in saving this right, even if it is one that you do not use.
Detailed information regarding NC SESSION LAW 2009-27 HOUSE BILL 2 can be found at:
We, the undersigned, call on the State of North Carolina to alter NC SESSION LAW 2009-27 HOUSE BILL 2 to allow the owner of an establishment to choose to allow smoking, pending that signs are posted in conspicuous areas clearly identifying them as a smoker-friendly establishment.
As signer of this document, I certify that I am of legal voting age, and support this petition.
The Help Support Our Freedom Of Choice petition to Court of Appeals of North Carolina was written by Fight2Choose and is in the category Civil Rights at GoPetition.