Tuesday, September 20, 2011

North Carolina To Define Marriage In its Constitution

North Carolina To Define Marriage In its Constitution
Constitutional Amendment goes to NC voters in May 2012
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

In May of 2012, if all goes as expected, the voters of North Carolina will approve an amendment to the NC constitution that will define marriage in the state as the union of one man and one woman … period.  

The amendment states that all marriage rights, privileges, and responsibilities shall be confined to one man and one woman.  It also says that North Carolina shall not recognize ANY other domestic partnership among consenting adults. 

Understand that gay marriage is already banned in North Carolina by law.  But that law could be overturned by new legislation, or even by a judge. Only the US Constitution can trump NC’s state constitution.  (Thirty states already define marriage in their constitutions.)   

Both sides of the issue are gearing up for the battle that is sure to rage between now and next May.  Battle lines have already been drawn.

For NC conservatives it has been an eight-year fight to get this amendment passed through the NC legislature.  Democrats blocked their efforts every time.  Now, republicans control both houses of the legislature and the democrat governor of the state has no say in a constitutional amendment.

The North Carolina Values Coalition says the following on their website:

Every state where voters have been allowed to vote on marriage (30 in all) has voted to adopt a Marriage Amendment.
Unfortunately, North Carolina is the only state in the southern United States that has not allowed voters to vote on protecting marriage in its State Constitution — thus making us a target for same-sex “marriage.”

A recent press release from the NC Values Coalition says:

N.C. Values Coalition press release on the legislature’s passage of the Marriage Protection Amendment

RALEIGH, N.C. –The N.C. State Senate voted Tuesday to concur with a bipartisan vote in the N.C. State House to pass a Marriage Protection Amendment recognizing marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman.  The Senate passed the Amendment 30-16, while the House vote was 75 to 42.  Passage of the Marriage Protection Amendment by both houses of the General Assembly allows the issue to go to a vote of the people on the next primary election ballot, scheduled to be held in May 2012.

If a majority of North Carolina voters support the Marriage Amendment in this referendum, the language of the amendment will be permanently included in the North Carolina Constitution, and North Carolina will join thirty other state that have protected marriage in their constitutions.

“This is a great day for the people of North Carolina to be able to vote on this important issue,” said Tami Fitzgerald, Executive Director of the N.C. Values Coalition.  “The voters have waited for eight years to vote on protecting marriage, and the General Assembly has finally provided that opportunity to them.”

The floor debate in the Senate included discussion of the economic advantages the Marriage Amendment would bring to North Carolina.  States that have protected marriage have better business rankings than states that have not or states that have redefined marriage.  “Whether it’s Forbes magazine, the American Legislative Exchange Council, CNBC, Chief Executive Magazine or the National Chamber of Commerce, the overwhelming majority of the states in the top ten in economic performance in the country are states that protect marriage in their constitutions,” Fitzgerald said.

The Marriage Protection Amendment will also protect private businesses by allowing them to continue to offer benefits according to their own strategic business decisions instead of government mandates.

The North Carolina Values Coalition has worked since February toward passage of the Marriage Protection Amendment and expects to play a key role in the campaign to get it passed on the next primary ballot.

(You may visit the website of the North Carolina Values Coalition HERE.)

There can be little doubt the amendment will become a part of the North Carolina constitution.  Voters on both the left and right support the amendment.

The family is the foundation of every nation.  There has been a constant attack on the American family for a number of decades now and all one has to do is look around to see the awful effect that attack has already had.  We are destroying the family and building more prisons and we cannot seem to grasp the connection.

I support this amendment to the NC constitution.  I only hope it is not too little too late.

North Carolina will now join her sister states in the southeast in doing all she can to preserve the bedrock of our society – the family.

If only we could have the same amendment passed through the US Congress and placed before the states for ratification.  Hopefully, conservatives will have the numbers in the Congress after the election in November of 2012.

J. D. Longstreet

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