By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
LILLINGTON — Former Harnett County elections director Sherre Toler, who says she quit her job because it prevented her from speaking out against the Marriage Protection Amendment, is spreading some all too common misconceptions about the upcoming referendum, according to the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League.
“I’m sorry that Ms. Toler felt she needed to leave her job over the opportunity for North Carolinians to defend marriage as between one man and one woman,” said Dr. Creech. “But her contention that the amendment would impact ‘private contracts between individuals, powers of attorney, and domestic partnerships, including heterosexual ones,’ is simply not true.”
In fact, the second sentence of the Amendment is clear: “This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.”
Toler compared the marriage amendment to old state laws banning mixed-race marriages, statutes overturned more than four decades ago, and told the media that her relationship with a man of a different race had influenced her decision to leave the post she held for 11 years.
“This idea that the amendment puts ‘discrimination’ into our State Constitution is another unfounded claim,” said the Rev. Creech.
“To define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, as it has always been, discriminates against no one,” he added. “It doesn’t interfere with how people choose to live or prohibit the extension of benefits to unmarried couples. It simply secures our state’s enduring definition of marriage in our state Constitution.”
While Toler insisted in a statement released to pro-homosexual blogs that “it is important to a free society that civil rights not be subject to popular vote,” this attempt to hijack the Civil Rights Movement simply doesn’t hold up to legal scrutiny.
“Defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman would not deny homosexuals the basic civil right accorded other citizens,” points out the Family Research Council. “Nowhere in the Bill of Rights or in any legislation proceeding from it are homosexuals excluded from the rights enjoyed by all citizens… However, no citizen has the unrestricted right to marry whomever they want.”
The FRC goes on to explain that a person cannot marry their child, two or more spouses or the husband or wife of another person and that such restrictions are based on “the accumulated wisdom not only of Western civilization but also of societies and cultures around the world for millennia.”
“We find the gay community’s attempt to tie their pursuit of special rights based on their behavior to the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s abhorrent,” Bishop Andrew Merritt of Straight Gate Ministries and other pastors wrote in a statement supporting traditional marriage. “Being black is not a lifestyle choice.”
In announcing her reasons for leaving the Board of Elections post, where officials are encouraged not to openly express their views on ballot issues so as to avoid the appearance of bias, Toler also promoted her new business venture, a political consulting firm that she will use to “help elect progressive candidates to local, county, state and federal offices so that these types of actions by legislatures around the country will not be repeated.”
The Civitas Institute pointed out the timing of her actions in light of her new business.
“In case you may have thought Ms. Toler’s actions were a result of moral outrage — the timing of her actions appear to be of the more calculated rather than the outraged type,” wrote Susan Myrick on Civitas Review Online. “The General Assembly passed the measure that will put before voters a constitutional amendment defining marriage on September 12, 2011. Toler submitted an application to reserve a business name (Lighthouse Strategies and Consulting, LLC) on November 11, 2011 and then waited until December 2011 to resign her position effective January 3, 2012.”
On one aspect of the issue, the Rev. Creech said he agrees with Toler: She called the referendum coming up on May 8 “a matter of principle and a matter of conscience.”
“Unfortunately she went on to say that this should not be subject to a popular vote,” Dr. Creech said. “Does she believe our conscience and principles should be dictated to us simply by those people in office? Or, worse, perhaps handed down by an activist judge?”
“The truth is the Constitution is the people’s document and belongs to all citizens. It sets parameters for the legislature and the courts that come directly from the people,” he added. It reflects the collective will. There is no issue of greater import to the whole of society than how we define marriage. Marriage is foundational to every other major institution of life. Certainly, it’s something the people ought to have a say on. And, this constitutional referendum gives every North Carolina voter an opportunity to declare and clarify the collective will of the people with respect to marriage.”
Dr. Creech urged Christians to get informed about the Marriage Protection Amendment and not to fall prey to the misinformation propagated by some opposing the measure.
To find out more, log on to www.ncvalues.org and click on Marriage Amendment Basics.