On May 8, 2012, North Carolina voters will go to the polls to vote on North Carolina Senate Bill 514—also known as Amendment One.
For Faith Driven Consumers who seek, on a daily basis, to honor God and His revealed Word in all that they say and do– including voting – it is important to consider the full impact of what a vote in favor or against Amendment One actually does.
The purpose of the bill is to “amend the state constitution to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that should be valid or recognized in this state.” This amendment would prevent same-sex marriages, civil unions and other forms of domestic partnerships from being recognized by the state of North Carolina.
The proponents of this bill have made clear that its purpose is to protect the families of North Carolina. According to VoteForMarriageNC.com, the bill will protect families by doing the following:
- “Protecting the interests of children is the primary reason that government regulates and licenses marriage in the first instance.”
- “Marriage is a special relationship reserved exclusively for heterosexual unions, because only the intimate relationship between men and women has the ability to produce children as a result of that sexual union.”
- “By encouraging men and women to marry, society helps ensure that children will be known by and cared for by their biological parents.”
Opponents of the bill suggest that the bill could do the following:
- Harm North Carolina’s children” because parents in unmarried relationships may not be able to provide health care benefits to their children.
- Have “negative effects on NC seniors” who are living with a partner but remain unmarried.
- Have “dangerous consequences for NC women” because it “threatens domestic violence protections for unmarried women.”
While opponents of the bill believe that it could have negative effects on the people of North Carolina, proponents have done their research and refuted the opposition’s claims – recently running an ad to rebut the claims. Specifically, VoteForMarriageNC.com cites a “report from independent legal experts at Campbell University Law School, proving that this Amendment does not disrupt protection for all qualified citizens under our domestic violence laws, and nobody will lose health insurance benefits.”
While it’s easy to be swayed by emotional and heated rhetoric from both sides on a topic as culturally divisive as homosexual rights in society, Jesus clearly affirms the male-female paradigm for the ordering of human relationships in Mark 10:6-9 where he says, “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
While some argue that the essence of marriage as an institution is to unite two people who are in love, Scripture supports that which natural law and tradition in virtually every culture across time and place has affirmed: marriage is the bringing together of the two halves of humanity – male and female – in a societally recognized union that creates the safest and most stable arrangement for raising the next generation.
As such, marriage is not – nor has it ever been – primarily about adult wishes. Instead, from a social policy perspective, its role is focused on what’s best for children. And here, social science research affirms that children have a deep longing for both a mother and a father, and that they do best on virtually every social indicator when raised by their biological parents in a stable, low-stress marriage.
Government has a vested interest in defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman in order to ensure the best possible context for the children that can potentially come from the sexual union of male and female. In contrast, governmentally recognized unions involving same-sex couples signal that male and female no longer matter, that one sex or the other is dispensable and that children do not deserve both a mother and a father.
If you are registered to vote in North Carolina, learn the facts about Amendment One and vote your values on Tuesday, May 8th.