By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
RALEIGH— Democrat legislators said Tuesday the marriage protection amendment is the “wrong subject at the wrong time” for North Carolina. But leaders of the black community held their own press conference to say they’re tired of homosexual activists comparing their lifestyle choices to the civil rights movement and weary of lawmakers who continue to deprive them of the right to vote on the marriage amendment.
“There is never a wrong time to stand for what is right,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “And giving citizens the right to vote to confirm marriage as between one man and one woman is simply acknowledging the family as the bedrock of civilization.”
Minority Leader Joe Hackney (D-Orange) told reporters he was right to prevent the issue from coming to the floor of the House during his tenure as speaker and that attitudes had changed since 1996 when the state clarified marriage in its statutes. He said lawmakers should be focused on dealing with hurricane damage and the sluggish economy rather than a “divisive social issue.”
Other Democrats echoed his jobs mantra with Rep. Rick Glazier (D-Cumberland) touting Richard Florida’s 3Ts — “technology, talent and tolerance” as the keys to bringing more employment opportunities to the state.
Rep. Grier Martin (D-Wake) said allowing citizens to vote on marriage would be sending the wrong message to the state’s homosexual soldiers who will soon be free to reveal their gay lifestyle since the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy has been repealed. And Rep. Deborah Ross (D-Wake) insisted that not only would Raleigh’s Festival of Creativity suffer if North Carolina defined marriage in its constitution, but current laws governing domestic violence could be unenforceable.
Homosexual businessman Anthony Pugliese, senior vice president of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, told the media his company had considered numerous factors, both quantitative and qualitative, when considering moving and found North Carolinaa welcoming and accommodating environment for their workforce. He said the marriage protection issue is already causing “unrest” in his company’s ranks. Speaking for well-known homosexual businessman Bob Page, CEO of Replacements Lmtd., attorney Andrew Spainhour said the amendment would make it difficult for those “trying to entice an LGBT professional or business leader or educator or some other member of a creative class to come to North Carolina.”
While Hackney and other Democrats insisted the issue is divisive and would be bad for the economy, Rep. Dale Folwell (R- Forsyth) stressed in the second press conference on Tuesday that marriage protection crosses geographic, economic, political, gender and even generational lines. And the African American pastors who spoke pointed out their diversity as Democrat, Republican and Independent voters.
Kevin Daniels, president of the Frederick Douglass Foundation of North Carolina, urged members of the media to ask elected officials two questions: How do you personally feel about the marriage protection amendment? And, will you vote your conviction or your party?
He pointed out the irony that some lawmakers who opposed Voter ID legislation for fear that it would deny some legitimate voters the right to cast a ballot are now trying to deprive all 6 million North Carolina voters of the right to decide on marriage protection.
Rev. Patrick Wooden with Upper Room Church of God in Christ agreed that 171 elected officials should not make a decision that instead belongs to millions of voters across the state.
“If in the state of North Carolina, marriage is already recognized as a union between one man and one woman, then who could find a problem with taking that law, the law that currently exists, and making it constitutional, so that some activist judge cannot, on his or her own whim, overturn the law?” he asked.
Rev. Johnny Hunter of Cliffdale Community Church in Fayetteville did not mince words on the issue.
“Nobody can call God a liar without facing the fire,” he said, further using a lock and key to illustrate the anatomy of true marriage.
Hunter said blacks know what real discrimination is all about and those who dare to compare homosexual rights with racial equality are disrespecting the foot soldiers of the civil rights movement.
“It’s offensive to equate an obsession with immoral, unnatural sexual behaviors with being black,” Hunter said.
Donald Fozard, pastor of Mount Zion Christian Church in Durham, pointed out that when a similar constitutional amendment was passed in California, 70 percent of supporters were black.
Folwell and the ministers also addressed Democrats’ claims that confirming traditional marriage in North Carolina’s Constitution would hurt businesses.
They presented the top 10 state economies in the U.S., as ranked by the American Legislative Exchange Council (Utah, South Dakota, Virginia, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, North Dakota, Tennessee, Missouri and Florida) and pointed out that all these states have laws in place that affirm marriage as between one man and one woman. Equally significant, nine of the 10 worst ranking states in terms of business have laws in place that undermine marriage. These range from legalized same-sex unions to same-sex adoption.
“There is no question that these latest claims from the homosexual rights folks regarding the business climate simply don’t hold water,” said the Rev. Creech. “Furthermore, nothing in the Marriage Protection Amendment would prevent a private business from offering whatever kinds of benefits they want to whomever they choose.”
He urged Christians across the state to contact their lawmakers and ask them to support Senate Bill 106 to allow North Carolinians to decide on this Constitutional amendment at the polls in November 2012.