I’m going to dare to tackle a very controversial issue – that of North Carolina’s Amendment One. This amendment would deny rights to unmarried couples of all orientations that married people currently have. These rights include: The freedom to speak to a partner’s health care wishes; the right of both partners to maintain guardianship over their children; and the right of domestic partners to seek legal protection in the case of abuse.
Who are these people who should enjoy these rights? The defeat of this amendment would grant these rights to pretty much all unmarried people living in domestic partnerships currently and going forward. If Amendment One were to pass, then here are some of the “social advances” we can anticipate:
- Children born to unmarried partners could be removed from their parents and placed into foster care, further burdening a system inundated with children.
- Abused partners in domestic partnerships would have no protection under the laws of the state.
- Senior citizens who are living together in order to protect their full pension and Social Security benefits would risk losing part of their benefits.
- Unwed partners would be unable to speak for each other’s health care wishes.
There have been a lot of conservative Christians coming out and speaking for Amendment One, but I am unsure how anyone can call themselves a Christ-follower and support the sheer lack of compassion inherent in this bill. Have we become so horrendously legalistic that we have to have a law that says we don’t care about the welfare and rights of a large percentage of the state’s population?
Those who are ignorant of exactly what this law entails argue that Amendment One “protects marriage” by not allowing homosexuals to marry. That’s not even an issue in this law. In North Carolina, it is already illegal for homosexuals to marry, and the defeat of Amendment One would not overrule that law. What the defeat would do is grant domestic abuse protection for those in these unions. The defeat of the bill would enable one partner to speak on their loved one’s behalf in the event of a medical situation, and it would protect their families if there are children in the home.
In the months since Amendment One passed through our state’s General Assembly, I’ve heard some of the most ridiculous statements:
“If Amendment One doesn’t pass, then gays would be able to get married.” I’ve already addressed that one.
“If Amendment One fails, then gays having rights would threaten the faith of this great state.” Huh? One, there is no “state faith“; two, if a mere law can present a threat to your faith, then you’ve got some serious issues already that have nothing to do with the rights of others.
“Gays getting married are a threat to the institution of marriage.” Am I the only one who thinks this is one of the stupidest statements ever? As I’ve previously stated, homosexual marriage is already illegal in North Carolina. Can someone please explain to me how two people who love each other and are committed to each other can threaten that love and commitment for everyone else? This sort of goes back to what I said about gay marriage being a threat to the faith of North Carolinians. If two people living together and loving each other present a threat to your marriage, then your marriage has very serious issues already that no law would impact. However, since this bill isn’t about gay marriage at all, this point is moot.
I encourage all those who strive to live and love as Jesus would to VOTE AGAINST Amendment One. Jesus told us to love everyone and to judge no one. The defeat of Amendment One would show Christ’s love and compassion to so many North Carolina citizens, from the very young to the very old. It would also show the compassion and love of Jesus to the vulnerable and the sick, those very people to whom Jesus said we should show his love.
- What does a vote AGAINST Amendment One mean? (pphsinc.wordpress.com)
- Bigotry On The Ballot (ken_ashford.typepad.com)
- Amendment One vote imperils benefits for all unmarried couples (newsobserver.com)
- Baptist Law Students Oppose Amendment One (thinkprogress.org)