On May 8 the citizens of North Carolina will be voting on Amendment One which reads on the ballot "Constitutional Amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state." I WILL VOTE AGAINST THIS AMENDMENT AND I ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO THE SAME. I will have other things to say as the date approaches for our vote. On this occasion I want to share the words of a fellow sojourner, Neal Grose, who pulled together some thoughts for consideration. It was originally intended as a letter to the editor and may still appear in that forum, but Neal has given me permission to share his thoughts.
"As proud and concerned citizens of North Carolina, we oppose the passage of the proposed Amendment One which restricts the recognition of legal unions in state to the legal marriage of one man and one woman for the following reasons:
1) Amendment One negates the most basic of our principles - that the rights of an individual are not subject to the vote of a simple majority. That is why they are called "rights" and not "privileges".
2) This amendment violates the principle of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution insuring that the states shall provide equal protection of rights under the law.
3) This amendment almost certainly violates Article IV, Section 1 of the Federal Constitution guaranteeing that states shall give full faith and credit to contracts given by other states. This was, in fact, the primary reason given for its introduction in the legislature; namely, that North Carolina was incapable of providing this most basic service to its citizens.
4) This amendment would enshrine into our state's constitution a principle that is chiefly a theological view. While this may be a view of the majority of Christians, it is by no means unanimous. An increasing number of congregations now support the blessing of same sex couples.
5) Our first consideration should be to do no harm. Passage of this amendment would negate rights and protections of domestic partnership for which law enforcement agencies and our courts have worked for many years.
As a Christian community, we follow the dictates of our Lord Jesus who instructed us first and foremost to act with compassion. We follow the instructions of Paul when he counseled us in Romans 2:1-3 that judgment is reserved for and by God."
In its most basic form, this builds discrimination into our state's constitution. We don't need that at all.
More forthcoming in time.