May 8, 2012, was a historic day for marriage – a great day for North Carolina – and a great day for America.
The campaign to protect marriage in this state as one man and one woman has traveled a long, long journey to victory.
For more than eight years legislation was introduced to facilitate North Carolinians with the opportunity to vote on this critical question and it was always shuffled away to some obscure and inactive committee by the leadership of the General Assembly to die. Not until September of 2011, when the legislature had new leadership was this legislation finally heard and passed.
After the passage of the legislation, the campaign for marriage would commence and there were many serious challenges along the way.
Two Presidents, President Obama and former President Clinton, erroneously came out against this amendment.
North Carolina’s own Governor, Beverly Perdue, expressed her displeasure and declared that she would vote against it.
Celebrities wrongly spoke out against it.
Certain prominent politicians and political pundits who questionably call themselves conservatives sadly declared their opposition to it.
Media reporting was anything but fair and objective – all too often giving free press and full support to the opposition for their messaging, while pro-amendment forces received largely a nominal acknowledgment for their position and had to purchase advertising space and time to get out any positive word about the amendment.
The NAACP and its leadership opposed the amendment and shamefully demagogued the issue.
Some religious leaders departed from sound doctrine on marriage, betrayed the sacred institution, and opposed the amendment.
Over $10,000 worth of pro-amendment campaign signs were stolen. An attempt was made to burn one pro-amendment sign on a billboard in Brunswick County. Some churches who placed signs in favor of the amendment on their marquis would later find them vandalized.
The opposition outraised pro-amendment forces in funds by a 2 – 1 margin and spent twice as much money on television ads – ads that were false and egregiously misleading – ads based on fear and not facts.
There was some confusion about the ballot among a number of people – many confused into thinking a vote against the amendment was a vote against same-sex marriage.
Certain high profile organizations, business executives, and public service venues joined in an unholy crusade to disparage this simple effort to protect the definition of marriage as one man and one woman in the Tar Heel state.
But yesterday, after the electorate had cast their votes, we saw that despite the mountain of opposition, now we know what the people of this state believe. They believe that the definition of marriage comes from God and that there are no substitutes for marriage. They believe that marriage is foundational to our culture and that it is an institution of such profound significance, its fate should not be left to the unbelieving or uninformed notions of activists judges or legislators – marriage and how we define it – should be something left to “We the People.”
This victory does not simply belong to the members of the campaign of Vote for Marriage NC, the Christian Action League, or even the thousands of volunteers who worked so hard to make this initiative a success, but it mostly belongs to the people of North Carolina. More importantly, glory and praise for the triumph belongs to God, the One to whom marriage belongs.
Dr. Mark H. Creech
Christian Action League of North Carolina