The gay marriage debate that is sweeping across the United States has reached North Carolina, bringing with it a barrage of speakers, rallies, and even musicals focused on the common goal of fighting the proposed Amendment One and supporting gay marriage.
According to an Associated Press storyby Gary Robertson, North Carolina is currently the only Southeastern state that has not approved a ban against gay marriage. Currently, marriage is defined between a man and a woman, but the approval of the amendment would make it very hard for a future amendment to be passed that allows gay marriage.
According to the ACLU of North Carolina, Amendment One could cause the courts to:
1. Prevent the courts from enforcing private agreements between unmarried couples, therefore encouraging the wealthier members of couples to avoid marriage so that they will not be subject to obligations to transfer property
2. Interfere with child custody and visitation rights that seek to protect the best interests of children
3. Invalidate protections against domestic violence to members of unmarried couples
On Friday Feb. 24, Marvin Ellison, Presbyterian minister and author of Sexuality and the Sacred: Sources for Theological Reflection, spoke at Elon’s McKinnon Hall about marriage as an institution, how gay marriage and Christianity can coexist in the same culture and how the amendment would affect the LGBT community.
Ellison argued that in the 1980s when asked whether death row inmates retain the right to marry, the Supreme Court concluded that every one should have the right to marry.
“Even inmates on death row retain the right to marry because this freedom to enter into institution is a person-defining right,” Ellison said. “Marriage is a fundamental human right.”
U.S. Senator Kay Hagan is also against the amendment, and has released a statement earlier this week urging voters to oppose the amendment on the May 8 ballot.
An Associated Press story on the subject reported that Hagan “says it would harm the state’s ability to recruit business and jobs and have negative consequences for families and children.”
If there is even a sliver of possibility that Hagan’s prediction is correct, it doesn’t seem necessary to pass legislation that really doesn’t serve any purpose other than cementing a law that is already set in stone.
In a lighter argument against Amendment One, the gay couple on the popular television show “Modern Family” posed for a picture holding a sign that reads “How could you not want to see us tie the knot?”
Although it is just a light-hearted TV show and the couple isn’t a real couple outside the show, the audience has a connection with the characters, and hopefully they can set an example that gay marriage can be accepted in society as a normal marriage, complete with unexpected in-law visits and kids.