Marriage Debate Press Events
Special Report - September 7, 2011
With the special legislative session on constitutional amendments scheduled to begin next Monday, September 12, the verbal battle over proposed legislation that would finally give North Carolinians the opportunity to vote on a Marriage Protection Amendment is in full swing. Yesterday, two back-to-back press conferences were held at the General Assemblyone hosted by opponents of the Marriage Protection Amendment (MPA), and another hosted by supporters.
First, House Minority Leader (and former House Speaker) Representative Joe Hackney (D-Orange) hosted an anti-MPA press conference, where he openly stated his opposition to the legislation, and argued that the issue of protecting marriage in the State Constitution is the “wrong subject at the wrong time”very similar to the reason he used to block consideration of the MPA during the eight years he served as Speaker.
The main theme of the press conference seemed to be the promotion of the latest claim from homosexual activiststhat the MPA could be bad for North Carolina’s economy. Notably, only two members of North Carolina’s business community made statements at the press conference in opposition to the MPA, including Andrew Spainhour, General Counsel for Replacements, Ltd., a North Carolina company founded and run by openly homosexual Greensboro businessman, Bob Page. In addition to Rep. Hackney, other lawmakers who expressed their opposition to the MPA legislation were Representatives Rick Glazier (D-Cumberland), Deborah Ross (D-Wake), Larry Hall (D-Durham), and Grier Martin (D-Wake).
What was not heard at the anti-MPA press conference (and was brought up in the pro-MPA press conference that followed) is the fact that most states that protect marriage through laws or state constitutions consistently rank high on various economic climate reports. If same-sex “marriage” were really a determining factor in the economic standing of a state, then one would assume the opposite would be true. Consider that the top 10 state economies in the U.S., as ranked by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), have more in common than just strong economies. An analysis of ALEC’s most recent annual publication, “Rich States, Poor States,” shows that all 10 of the best business states (by rank order: Utah, South Dakota, Virginia, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, North Dakota, Tennessee, Missouri and Florida) also happen have laws in place that affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Furthermore, nine of those states (with the exception of Wyoming) also have adopted Marriage Protection Amendments (for a complete list of marriage amendment states and their vote margins, go here).
At the same time, the 10 bottom-ranked economic states in the ALEC report all have laws in place that undermine marriage, ranging from civil unions laws to laws legalizing same-sex “marriage.” Of the 10 bottom-ranked states with the weakest economies in the ALEC report:
- Pennsylvania Allows same-sex adoption
- Rhode Island Allows civil unions
- Oregon Allows domestic partnerships
- Illinois Allows civil unions
- New Jersey Allows civil unions
- Hawaii Allows civil unions
- California Allows domestic partnerships
- Maine Allows domestic partnerships
- Vermont Allows same-sex “marriage”
- New York Allows same-sex “marriage.”
“While it is important to note that the ALEC report does not rank states based on their family friendly policies, the fact that states with strong marriage laws or marriage amendments also happen to be ranked among the top 10 best state economies completely discredits the claim by homosexual activists and their allies that the Marriage Protection Amendment would somehow harm North Carolina’s economy,” said Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “This argument, like so many others we are hearing from opponents, is simply an effort to detract from the real debate that homosexual activists want to avoid, which is why the people of North Carolina should continue to be denied the opportunity to vote on the definition of marriage and how it will be defined for future generations.”
Tuesday’s pro-MPA press conference was hosted by Rep. Dale Folwell (R-Forsyth) and featured African American leaders and ministers from around the state who expressed their support for the Marriage Protection Amendment. The press event included remarks by Kevin Daniels, president of the Frederick Douglas Foundation of North Carolina, who emphasized that the upcoming vote for the amendment is “not about politics,” but “about democracy and fairness.” Mr. Daniels also noted that, “A [legislative] no vote on this issue will deny [millions of ]registered voters in North Carolina a voice.”
During the press conference, Reverend Johnny Hunter of Fayetteville, North Carolina, expressed his frustration over the equation of homosexual rights with the Black civil rights movement. Rev. Hunter described the claim by homosexual activists that sexual orientation is the same as being Black as “disrespectful to the foot soldiers of the early civil rights movement.” Rev. Hunter also pointed out that homosexuals could not produce children naturally. He illustrated this point by describing the outcome on three islands after 100 yearsone island with only men, another with only women, and the third island with men and women. After 100 years, only the third island with heterosexual couples had survived with a thriving population of many children.
Dr. Patrick Wooden of Raleigh noted that the definition of marriage is already part of North Carolina law, and that North Carolinians deserve the opportunity to vote on whether to add that definition to the state constitution. “I am standing because I do not believe the elected officials should speak instead of the millions of voters in the state of North Carolina,” Dr. Wooden said. “If in the state of North Carolina, marriage is already recognized as a union between one man and one woman, then who could find a problem with taking that law, the law that currently exists, and making it constitutional, so that some activist judge cannot on his or her own whim overturn the law?”
For more information about the Marriage Protection Amendment and why it is necessary to protect the definition of marriage in North Carolina, visit our resource page here.
Leaders Argue for Marriage Amendment
- August 31, 2011
2011 Legislative Marriage Battles - August 24, 2011
Durham Opposes Marriage Amendment - July 25, 2011
Obama Supports DOMA Repeal - July 20, 2011
Marriage Scores on Survey - June 20, 2011
Thousands Rally for Marriage - May 18, 2011
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