By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
GREENSBORO — “You never know what a judge is going to do,” attorney Norman Smith told the Greensboro News and Record after his clients’ case against the state’s marriage license laws was dismissed in Superior Court late last month. That’s exactly why North Carolina must protect marriage in its constitution rather than just by statute, said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League.
“I hope North Carolinians will be able to see what a threat this court case, which is now on appeal, is to traditional marriage in North Carolina. These people are determined to undermine marriage as one man and one woman in our state,” he said in a statement released Wednesday. “The lawyer for the plaintiffs is exactly right — you never know what a judge will do. That’s why the constitutional marriage amendment to be voted on May 8 will elevate the definition of marriage — one man and one woman — above that of a statute, making certain the people of this state can protect marriage from judicial activism.”
Superior Court Judge Judson DeRamus dismissed the case filed late last year by Guilford County Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen, two homosexual couples and a half-dozen other Tar Heel residents from Guilford, Forsyth and Davie counties who apparently have bones to pick with the way the state licenses marriage. The lawsuit’s approach is to get the state out of the licensing of marriage so that it would consist only of private religious or secular ceremonial services without state sanction, Dr. Creech explained. He said even though Thigpen tried to couch the suit as some sort of compromise between the opposing sides of the marriage amendment, it’s a bad idea because it fails to recognize the importance of marriage and its “profound impact on society.”
“The state has always been empowered with regulation to protect the public’s good. … Although marriage is a personal and private act, it’s not merely such – because it has public consequences. Children are a part of marriage, and as such, the greater of society is affected,” he added. “But we also know that when marriage is weakened, the cost is borne not just by children, but by all taxpayers and citizens. Everybody incurs the costs of higher crime, welfare, education, and even health expenditures.”
Dr. Creech said the state should not only regulate marriage, it should also continue to promote the form of marriage – one man and one woman – that provides for the best public good.
Tami Fitzgerald, chairwoman of Vote FOR Marriage NC, had called the Guilford County suit an “unprecedented and unwarranted attack” on the state’s marriage laws, and Attorney General Roy Cooper told the media his office would defend the current laws on marriage. It is uncertain when the case will come before the Court of Appeals.