Why I’m Voting Against

North Carolina State Line: Warren County

North Carolina State Line: Warren County (Photo credit: taberandrew)

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.

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6 responses to “Why I’m Voting Against

  1. Although there are plenty of “wiki” links in this post, it is a shame that there is no link to the actual bill, so that one could become educated on the facts rather than just opinion….

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  2. Well, I found something: “Sec. 6. Marriage.
    Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.” http://www.ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/North_Carolina_Same-Sex_Marriage,_Amendment_1_(May_2012)

    Not sure if that is the actual wording, but it seems like legalese…

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    • LOL… It IS legalese. In short, it says that only marriages between one man and one woman are the only state-recognized domestic situations. I don’t have a problem with their definition of marriage, but I’m appalled at the plethora of rights the passing of this bill would strip from existing families.

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  3. Maybe you can explain some things to me: I don’t understand how it would strip rights from anyone. Contracts are protected by the courts according to the amendment. All they would have to do is contractually agree to whatever relationship they want, as far as medical, guardianship, etc.I guess sort of like how living wills can allow people to not be revived, etc., they could specify who their spokesperson and visitors could be. I don’t know how the laws are set up in NC, but here, there are special family courts that determine guardianship, and natural parents are automatically the legal guardians (if I’m not mistaken). And as far as “domestic abuse”, assault has long been punishable by law, so how is that right of protection stripped?

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    • Abuse is abuse and carries its own set of legalities, whereas assault is assault and is handled differently. Let’s say you have an unmarried couple with a child. The man is successful in his job and has a nice little nest egg while the woman stays home to take care of the child. The man is abusive, beating the child’s mother. Currently, she can get a temporary restraining order against him, have him removed from the home, maintain custody of their child and get child support, especially with documentation of abuse. If Amendment 1 passes, then the woman’s only avenue would be filing assault charges. The man goes to jail for a while (he can afford some VERY good attorneys) and when he is done, he can then get those same attorneys to fight for custody of their child. In North Carolina, domestic abuse is far different from basic assault.

      Of course, people can assign a healthcare power of attorney; it defaults to the lawfully wedded spouse here. There are many situations where someone doesn’t have a HCPOA in place. We have neighbors who are engaged and living together (they’re actually getting married tomorrow). If he’s in an accident and the hospital needs a decision about his care, she couldn’t speak for him, because they’re not married. Also, he has a full-time job while she’s a full-time student; his insurance would no longer cover her if Amendment 1 were to go into effect before they had gotten married.

      While we don’t have common law marriage, the state does recognize certain rights for cohabitating couples, whether gay or straight. They can be on each other’s insurance, for example, as can their children. These privileges would cease if Amendment 1 passes. The biggest concerns for me are how much over-regulation this bill would be, and what further rights the state would want to strip from its citizens following this law. I see it as “give them an inch, and they’ll take a mile.” Whose rights will they strip next?

      Here’s a comment posted by Brandon Greeson on Facebook this evening:

      I have a friend who has custody of a child (and has since the child was just an infant). He is not married to the child’s biological parent. If this amendment passes, his attorney has already told him he could lose custody and his employer will no longer cover the child under his insurance.

      Regardless of my friend’s skin color or sexual orientation — this consequence will severely impact his family. Tragically. The only person this child knows as his parent, may be taken from him.

      These are the stories that need to be told. These are the “collateral damages” to amendment one. I have already voted against, organized a rally and urged 200+ people to vote against. I started a facebook page and have reached 10’s of thousands of people — urging them to vote against. Little by little I am hearing hearts and minds being changed.

      I can only trust in the source of my strength, Jesus Christ. In the Scriptures, we are taught about love. And we know that nothing — not hate, not bigotry, not prejudice, not Republicans, not evangelicals, not agendas… nothing is stronger than love. Love endures forever and it will endure through this battle too.

      We’re on the right side of history… we just need to keep fighting. If it passes, we will keep fighting. Our voices must never stop being heard on this issue. Hate stops here.

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