By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
SPRUCE PINE — The Spruce Pine Town Council on Monday joined a growing list of public bodies across the state that are resolving to support North Carolina’s Marriage Amendment, the upcoming referendum that seeks voter approval to insert the definition of marriage — one man and one woman — into the state’s Constitution.
“I was proud to see the Council take a stand on this, and I hope that it impacts Spruce Pine citizens and influences how they decide to vote on May 8,” said Garland Honeycutt, chairman of the recently formed Mayland Citizens for Faith and Family Values. The group, which takes its name from Mitchell, Avery and Yancey (MAY) counties, describes its membership as “convictional, concerned and convergent.” MCFFV began polling area county and town leaders shortly after it was formed on Feb. 3 and initially was told by Spruce Pine officials that, although they supported the Marriage Amendment, they did not plan to take a public stand on the issue. But after the grassroots group urged area pastors and other local residents to encourage the Council to pass a resolution, they agreed and did so unanimously.
Honeycutt, who is also an intern with the Christian Action League, said Mitchell, Avery and Yancey county leaders are expected to entertain similar resolutions at their April meetings as is the Bakersville Town Council.
Like Spruce Pine, nearby McDowell County Commissioners approved a resolution on Monday expressing support for the Marriage Amendment. Earlier this month, commissioners in Stanly County in North Carolina’s Piedmont and Brunswick, on the Coast, passed their own resolutions. Moore County is also expected to have the issue on its agenda next month.
“This is just a sampling of the many town councils, city councils and county commissions that we expect will pass resolutions to support the Marriage Amendment because these folks know what an important role marriage plays in our society,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “We urge elected officials at the local level to take this opportunity to give the Amendment their stamp of approval and to encourage their residents to get out the vote.”
Honeycutt said anyone with questions about how to word a resolution can find a model on the Vote FOR Marriage NC web site at www.voteformarriagenc.com.
Already the state’s two most populous counties, Wake and Mecklenburg, are on record in support of protecting marriage in the North Carolina Constitution. Wake passed a resolution in February, and Mecklenburg had done so on June 1, 2004, more than seven years before the Legislature ever voted to put the issue on the ballot.
“In 2004, as in prior years, the Marriage Amendment was introduced in the Legislature in Raleigh. On May 5, 2004, however, some homosexuals in Charlotte attempted to apply for a marriage license,” explained Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James in a recent letter to a reporter who had inquired about the board’s stance. “It was more of a publicity stunt, but since the Clerk of Court is a County department (we issue marriage licenses) the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners felt that it was important to take a stand … and voted to endorse the marriage amendment to send a clear message.”
“Like the legislature, a vote taken by the elected body is the ‘law of the land’ until it is changed by another vote. So … the official position of the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners is to support a Constitutional Amendment that bans homosexual marriage (marriage other than one man-one woman),” continued James’ Feb. 24 letter. He said despite attempts from homosexual activists to have the board reverse its position, he and other commissioners with whom he had spoken did not believe the issue needed to be revisited.
Other counties that had passed resolutions in support of a Marriage Protection Amendment prior to the General Assembly’s approval of the referendum include Lincoln and Beaufort.