The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals seems poised to topple Virginia’s gay marriage ban, upholding a decision a federal judge in the state made earlier this year.
This has implications for North Carolina’s own gay marriage ban, Amendment One, which was voted into our state’s Constitution in May, 2012.
The North Carolina Pastors Network, a state chapter of the socially conservative American Pastors Network, is not happy to see their “hard-fought traditional marriage victory” threatened.
At a press conference outside the State Capitol building this morning, pastors from the group sent out a plea to Governor Pat McCrory, asking him to defend Amendment One should the three-judge panel rule against it.
The group of mainly middle-aged white men urged the few people in attendance to sign a petition to the Governor. They lamented that state Attorney General Roy Cooper “shows little to no passion for defending Amendment One,” in the words of Charlotte reverend and former candidate for U.S. Senate, Dr. Mark Harris.
“The overwhelming majority of the General Assembly and the public chose Amendment One,” Harris said. “(Marriage equality) is not a trend of the people but a trend of the courts.”
Among other specious claims, Harris and three other pastors said that traditional marriage deters poverty, is better for children and will lessen the need for “government handouts.”
But the group’s main argument against marriage equality is that it isn’t “God’s design.”
“In North Carolina, via the ballot box, the definition of marriage comes from God,” said the Rev. Mark Creech of the Christian Action League. “It’s foundational to our culture. It’s of profound significance.”
Jen Jones, the communications director for pro-marriage equality group Equality NC, attended the conference. She said the state of North Carolina does represent family and freedom, and it also represents fairness.
“What we’re seeing with the courts right now is a simple acknowledgement that equal actually does mean equal,” Jones said. “That it applies to all citizens in the state of North Carolina and that no Constitution can be used to marginalize any group of people at any time.”