Christian Action League
For the eighth year in a row, Tuesday, Senator Jim Forrester (R-Gaston) filed legislation for an amendment to North Carolina’s Constitution to protect marriage. The bill, SB 106-Defense of Marriage, signed by 22 other Senate members, would add under Article 14: Section 6: “Marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.” The legislation would need to pass by three fifths majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly to be placed on the ballot for November 6, 2012. It would not be subject to a veto by the Governor.
Forrester told the Christian Action League that North Carolinians had for too long been denied their right to vote on this critical issue. The leadership in both chambers in previous years wouldn’t allow the measure a hearing, but with new leadership and Republican majorities in control, the bill should succeed. He said 30 states have marriage protection amendments in their Constitutions and North Carolina is the only state in the Southeast without such an amendment. Yet the polls say 70 percent of North Carolina’s citizens would support it.
This week recent events regarding same-sex marriage underscore the need for such an amendment in the Tar Heel state:
On Tuesday, (February 22), The Asheville City Council approved a pro-homosexual resolution that supports the expansion of the city’s nondiscrimination policy to include terms such as “sexual orientation,” “gender,” and “gender identity or expression”. It also creates a domestic partner registry to recognize same-sex couples, and endorses and supports the rights of such couples to share equally in the familial rights and responsibilities of marriage.
On Wednesday (February 23), Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie signed a bill into law that grants same-sex couples all the state legal benefits of marriage, without calling it “marriage.” Hawaii joins California, Illinois, New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon and Washington in recognizing civil unions or their equivalent, domestic partnerships.
Civil Unions have proven in other states such as Connecticut, Vermont, and New Hampshire to be used as a stepping stone to the approval of gay marriage.
SB 106 would prohibit the validation of any domestic legal union other than a man and a woman in marriage.
On Wednesday (February 23), the U.S. Department of Justice announced that President Obama would no longer defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), arguing that the law is unconstitutional because it allegedly “discriminates” on the basis of sexual orientation by denying federal recognition and benefits for married same sex couples.
DOMA, which was enacted under the Clinton administration in 1996 defines marriage as one man and one woman for purposes of all federal laws and provides that states need not recognize same-sex marriages from other states. North Carolina adopted its own DOMA also in 1996. Should DOMA on the federal level be ruled unconstitutional, it could ultimately override state DOMAs.
North Carolina needs greater protection than the federal or the state DOMA can provide. A constitutional amendment would provide superior protections.
“Marriage is in crisis,” said Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “The longer the North Carolina General Assembly waits to act to provide marriage with the greatest protection it can offer, the sooner gay activists will have to foil any attempt thereto. If lawmakers, both Republican and Democrat, don’t see now that its time to act, I can’t imagine what it will take to get their attention.”