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One News Now

Group of Current and Former District Attorneys Decry False Claims against Marriage Amendment

They insist amendment will have no impact on domestic violence prosecution
By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League

The TV ad is dramatic … ominous music, huge stacks of legal files and an attorney describing a violent act against a woman and child and insisting that “Amendment One” would interfere with the prosecution of the crime. Thankfully, it is absolute fiction. Sadly, it may sway some to vote against marriage at the polls on Tuesday.

“Reason and common sense seem to be lost in this debate,” Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr. said at a press conference earlier this week at which a group of current and former district attorneys, judges and law enforcement officers decried the false claims being promoted by the Coalition to Protect All NC Families – the misleading name of the group opposing the Marriage Amendment.

“This Amendment will have no impact on domestic violence prosecution, and the citizens of this state should not be deceived into thinking otherwise,” Berger said.

District Attorney Jeff Hunt, from Henderson, Polk and Transylvania counties, begged the public not to fall for the “false analyses” being pushed by marriage opponents.

“I am amazed that these claims are even being made by lawyers, but I can assure you that the Amendment does not weaken our protections of children. It does not weaken the 50b and 50c protections. It does not weaken domestic violence protections in any way,” he said.

Although Amily McCool, a Wake County prosecutor who is featured in the controversial commercials, told WRAL there is some question as to the meaning of “domestic legal union,” which is referred to in the Marriage Amendment, in fact the state’s domestic violence laws are not based on marital status.

“The protections of North Carolina’s domestic violence statute (General Statutes 50B-1) do not depend on the marital status of the victim or her relationship to the abuser. The law very clearly provides identical protections to married spouses as they do to unmarried women or men who have shared a household with the abuser,” reads a written statement released by the group of legal professionals speaking out to refute the false claims of the TV ads.

The group urged people to read the “easily understandable” domestic violence law for themselves.

The Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, commended the legal professionals for speaking out against the bogus claims of those opposing the one man/one woman definition of marriage.

“The opposition doesn’t want to debate the true issue of how to define marriage so they resort to throwing up this smokescreen of ‘unintended consequences’ to try to frighten people into voting against the amendment,” he said. “We encourage everyone to simply read the two-sentence amendment and read the perfectly clear domestic violence law, and they will see for themselves that one has nothing to do with the other. There is simply no way that the amendment will alter how these protections work.”

The NC Domestic Violence Statute:

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_50b/GS_50B-1.html

The White Paper Published by Professors Buzzard, Wallace, and Woodruff of Campbell University School of Law clarifying the language and effect of the Amendment on Domestic Violence and other areas of law:

http://www.voteformarriagenc.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Campbell-White-Paper.pdf

To find out more about the Marriage Amendment, visit www.voteFORmarriagenc.com.