RALEIGH — Around
3,500 Christians rallied in support of a constitutional marriage amendment May
17 at the North Carolina capitol,
urging legislators to let citizens vote on the issue.
North Carolina and West
Virginia are the only two states in the southeast
without an amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. A majority
of states (29) have one.
“We’re here today to protect families and make sure every child retains the
right to have both a mother and a father,” Bill
Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council told the crowd,
according to the Associated Press.
“We’re here today to preserve our right to
religious freedom and our sincere belief that anything other than marriage
shared between a man and a woman goes against God’s design for creation.”
With Republicans now in charge of the legislature, amendment supporters are
hopeful the House and Senate will take action. The GOP took control of the
House and Senate in November for the first time since 1898. Democrats
previously had blocked an amendment from going forward.
Three-fifths of the legislature must approve it for it to appear on the 2012
ballot, AP reported.
Marriage amendments prevent state courts from legalizing “gay marriage,” as has
happened in four states. Conservatives warn the legalization of “gay marriage”
would have a widespread negative impact on society, affecting the tax-exempt
status of religious organizations, the religious liberty of private businesses
and curriculum in elementary schools.
Meanwhile, Rhode Island’s
legislature may vote this week on a civil unions bill that would grant same-sex
couples all the legal benefits of marriage, except the title. Critics say civil
unions are nothing more than a stepping stone to “gay marriage.”
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