Category Archives: North Carolina

N.C. catholic bishops on the Marriage Protection vote

Marriage Protection vote in North CarolinaAll but seven of N.C. counties voted overwhelmingly in favor of the marriage amendment May 8. (Source: N.C. State Board of Elections)

A quick look at those in light blue (counties that voted against the Marriage Protection amendment) and I see (starting from the far west):

  • Buncombe County: home to Asheville, the largest city in western North Carolina who delights in holding herself up as the enlightened beacon in the midst of backwoods bumpkins
  • Watagua County (northeast of Buncombe): I have no idea what’s going on here
  • Mecklenburg County (way south of Watagua): home to Charlotte, a major metropolitan area
  • Orange, Durham, Chatham, and Wake counties: well, that’s Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill–what did you expect?

From the Catholic News Herald:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With a heavy turnout at the polls, North Carolina voters approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman by a 3-to-2 margin.
From the Catholic News Herald:

In unofficial results calculated late May 8 by the North Carolina State Board of Elections, 1,303,952 people — 61.05 percent — voted for the amendment while 831,788 people — 38.95 percent — voted against it.

The amendment read, “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.” It enshrines the definition of traditional marriage in the state constitution, elevating it from what has been state law since 1996.

Bishop Peter J. Jugis of Charlotte and Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh, who were at the Vatican May 8 for their “ad limina” visits, had both championed the amendment, which they said would prevent any arbitrary redefinition of marriage.

Marriage, they reminded Catholics, is based in natural law by God and instituted as a sacrament by Jesus Christ. It binds together a family, the fundamental building block of all societies, and provides the most stable and nurturing environment to raise children….

Ever since the amendment was put on the ballot by the Republican-led Legislature last fall, the bishops had urged Catholics to vote for it. They communicated with parishioners in print and online diocesan news media, TV and radio ads, parish bulletins and postcards, billboards and yard signs, and letters read from the pulpit during Masses the weekend before the vote.

The bishops had said the vote presented an opportunity to explain the importance and sanctity of traditional marriage in the Church and in society.

In a joint letter read at all Masses May 5-6, the bishops wrote, “We are for marriage, as we believe it is a vocation in which God calls couples to faithfully and permanently embrace a fruitful union in a mutual self-giving bond of love, according to his purposes. It is not only the union itself that is essential to these purposes, but also the life to which spouses are called to be open, the gift of children.”

Their efforts ran parallel to the campaign by Vote For Marriage NC, a nonpartisan coalition of churches, groups and individuals that organized public support for the amendment, which even at the start of the campaign last fall was considered widely popular among North Carolina voters. Each diocese also donated $50,000 to the Vote for Marriage NC campaign for its advertising blitz and voter education efforts….

Read it all.

Marriage Protection Amendment controversy leads to vandalism

FOR Marriage signs defaced in Henderson County (NC)

Unfortunately, I saw this in California as well during the Prop 8 vote in 2008–today, as then, most of the signs defaced are those supporting traditional marriage. In California, when the people voted to uphold traditional marriage, there was additional vandalism and violence from those who supported same-sex marriage, even reports of people who donated to the Prop 8 campaign being fired because of that support.

From the Hendersonville Times-News:

Board of Elections Director Beverly Cunningham said vandalized signs have never been a problem since during her time at the helm of her office. Until this year, however, when a heated controversy over the definition of marriage has led to reports of slashed and stolen signs across the county.

Several Times-News callers and letter writers have reported signs being vandalized or stolen, both those supporting and opposing North Carolina Senate Bill 512, or Amendment One.

The bill, if passed by voters May 8 in the primary election, would amend the state Constitution to say that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union valid or recognized in the state.

While she has not received any official written complaints, Cunningham said she has heard people talking about the vandalism….

The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office has received several calls concerning the destruction, vandalism and larceny of political signs, said Capt. Frank Stout.

“Most of these calls have been in reference to the vote for marriage amendment signs,” he said….

Read it all.

N.C.: Campbell University School of Law professors submit a white paper on the Marriage Amendment

On April 18, 2012, Lynn R. Buzzard, William A. Woodruff, and E. Gregory Wallace, professors at Campbell University School of Law, submitted a white paper to the North Carolina public. In “The Meaning and Potential Legal Effects of North Carolina’s Proposed Marriage Amendment,” the professors bring to light several factual inaccuracies that have been spread by those opposed to the Marriage Amendment (on the ballot this May 8).

Vote FOR Marriage NC presents a short outline summary of the facts presented by the white paper:

30-State Precedent:

  • Thirty states have passed similar amendments.
  • The intent of these amendments are clear: (1) to protect the definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman, and (2) prohibits the legal validity of marriage-like imitations or substitutes.
  • There is no evidence that NC’s proposed Amendment is intended to go further than the marriage amendments in every other state.

UNC’s Maxine Eichner’s Doublespeak:

  • UNC professor Maxine Eichner’s flawed analysis does not give the term “union” its proper effect in limiting the Amendment’s reach.
  • In her 27-page report, she only devotes a single sentence to the meaning of the term “union.” She also fails to footnote this single sentence.
  • Idaho’s marriage amendment, which has the exact wording as the proposed North Carolina amendment—to date—has not reported a single appellate court decision clarifying the amendment’s meaning. “Professor Eichner concedes as much when she observes that ‘Idaho courts have yet to interpret that statute.’”

The Ohio Factor and Domestic Violence:

  • “There is a significant difference between Ohio and North Carolina, and it is a difference that favors domestic violence protections in North Carolina.”
  • Unlike Ohio, North Carolina domestic violence law outlines six possible identifiers of people who are in a “personal relationship,” only one of the six possibilities includes the presence of a “current or former spouse.”
  • “The Ohio Supreme Court overruled these decisions and held that the domestic violence protections do not violate Ohio’s marriage amendment.”

Partner Benefits:

  • The Marriage Protection Amendment is very clear that it would not affect private contracts.
  • “[I]f the proposed Amendment passes, same-sex partners still may be able to receive health insurance benefits.”
  • “The proposed Amendment also does not prevent private employers from extending health insurance benefits to domestic partners, no matter how those relationships are defined.”
  • “The amendment specifically provides that it ‘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.”

The Nitty-Gritty:

  • “The proposed Amendment does not change the ‘best interests of the child’ standard that North Carolina courts use for determining custody and visitation.”
  • “The Amendment’s plain language…does not disapprove of cohabitation or make illegal non-marital relationships; rather it bars the state from creating or recognizing a legal status for unmarried couples that resembles marriage.”
  • The second sentence of the actual ballot language clearly states: “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.”
  • This Amendment does not impact other couples or the benefits they receive.
  • It also does NOT impact domestic violence laws, interfere with existing child custody and visitation rights or invalidate trusts, wills, and end-of-life directives.
  • “Marriage provides women with protection against domestic violence and abandonment far better than any other human relationship or institution.”

N.C.: District attorneys rebut the Marriage Amendment opposition

From Vote FOR Marriage NC, district attorneys and law enforcement officials rebut allegations of domestic violence impact of the Marriage Amendment:

Today, a coalition of District Attorneys, legal professionals, and other law enforcement officials sharply rebutted claims that the pending constitutional amendment on marriage would strip citizens of domestic violence protections, as is being claimed in television ads being aired by amendment opponents. The officials say such allegations are utterly false.

I am concerned about the false and misleading claims that are being made by opponents of the Marriage Protection Amendment,” said Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger, Jr., Vice President of the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys. “Citizens should have no concern that the marriage amendment will impact domestic violence prosecution, because it will not.”

Berger was joined at the press conference by Jeff Hunt, District Attorney from Prosecutorial District #29B (Henderson, Polk, and Transylvania Counties), Tom Keith, former District Attorney from Prosecutorial District #21 (Forsyth County), Raven Byrne, family law attorney in Wake County, and Paul Wright, former District and Superior Court Judge.  Additionally, a written statement was issued by over a dozen prosecutors and law enforcement officials that said, “The protections of North Carolina’s domestic violence statute (General Statutes 50B-1) do not depend on the marital status of the victim or her relationship to the abuser. The law very clearly provides identical protections to married spouses as they do to unmarried women or men who have shared a household with the abuser. We encourage citizens to read the easily understandable law for themselves.”

In addition to Berger, Hunt, Keith, Byrne, and Wright, signers of the statement from law enforcement officials included the following:

Locke Bell – District Attorney, Prosecutorial District #27A (Gaston County)
Wallace Bradsher – District Attorney, Prosecutorial District #09A (Caswell and Person Counties)
Garry Frank – District Attorney, Prosecutorial District #22B (Davidson and Davie Counties)
Jay Gaither – District Attorney, Prosecutorial District #25 (Burke, Caldwell and Catawba Counties)
Terry Johnson – Sheriff, Alamance County
John Snyder – Former District Attorney, Prosecutorial District #20B (Union County)
Jerry Wilson – District Attorney, Prosecutorial District #24 (Avery, Madison, Mitchell, Watauga, and Yancey Counties)
Carey Winders – Sheriff, Wayne County

“We are pleased that these leading prosecutors and law enforcement officials have stepped forward to make it clear that the Marriage Protection Amendment will have absolutely no impact on victims of domestic violence,” said Tami Fitzgerald, Chairwoman of the Vote FOR Marriage NC campaign. “But we are distressed by the wholly dishonest and false advertising campaign being waged by our opponents. There are 30 state constitutional amendments defining marriage in this country, and not one has resulted in domestic violence protections being denied to unmarried people. Our opponents have completely abandoned campaigning on the marriage issue because they know that an overwhelming majority of North Carolinians support marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Putting our existing definition of marriage into the state constitution is all the amendment does.”

Bishop Burbidge of Raleigh on the N.C. marriage protection amendment

From Catholic Voice NC, Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Raleigh on the North Carolina Marriage Protection amendment:

Vote FOR Marriage #4 from Diocese of Charlotte on Vimeo.

Also check out the earlier videos from Bishop Burbidge and Bishop Peter Jugis of the Diocese of Charlotte.

‘I had an abortion’ T-shirt sparks backlash at college, students wear ‘I haven’t killed a baby’ in protest

All the way from the Daily Mail in the U.K., a story about the University of North Carolina-Wilmington:

T-shirts reading ‘I had an abortion’ were sold at the University of North Carolina Monday, sparking a backlash by fellow students.

In an effort to eliminate the negative stigma attached to abortion, the T-shirts were sold with the hope of helping women too afraid to admit to having the procedure talk about their experience.

However fellow pro-life students, in fervent protest of the shirts, took to wearing their own in response, which said ‘I haven’t killed a baby.’

The pro-choice shirts were part of a book signing and ‘Stories of Choice’ discussion lead by third-wave feminist activist, and abortion rights advocate, Jennifer Baumgardner.

Students angered by the T-shirts thought they promoted praise of a procedure that many deemed ‘unpraiseworthy’….

Read it all, and good for those students who fought back against the abortion culture.  (Just a tip, there’s a reason there’s “negative stigma” to the act of abortion, and for the greater society, that will never go away, nor should it.)

For resources and help for those who have had an abortion, check out Rachel’s Vineyard (a nationwide ministry to those suffering after abortion and in need of emotional and spiritual healing) and the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.

N.C.: Why marriage matters

From Vote FOR Marriage NC:

…While many people would like to believe that proposals to allow same-sex marriage are simply about allowing a different form of marriage to coexist alongside traditional man/woman marriage, they are wrong.   The impact that same-sex marriage will have on society is much deeper and far-reaching then a modest change in the word’s definition.

What is at stake in this debate are two competing definitions of marriage. One definition – advocated by same-sex “marriage” activists – would define marriage as the union of any two people regardless of gender, with the law treating the parties’ genders as irrelevant to the meaning of marriage. The other definition, contained in the proposed constitutional amendment and reflective of North Carolina’s current law and the collective understanding of virtually every nation throughout recorded history, is that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

Under the law, one definition of marriage would not exist alongside the other. Only one of the competing definitions of marriage would legally exist. As noted in a scholarly review published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, “…once the judiciary or legislature adopts ‘the union of any two persons’ as the legal definition of civil marriage, that conception becomes the sole definitional basis for the only law-sanctioned marriage that any couple can enter, whether same-sex or man-woman. Therefore, legally sanctioned genderless marriage, rather than peacefully coexisting with the contemporary man-woman marriage institution, actually displaces and replaces it.”

Why has virtually every society throughout history defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman?  The answer can be summarized in one word: children.

Protecting the interests of children is the primary reason that government regulates and licenses marriage in the first instance. After all, government does not license or regulate any other form of intimate relationship – not friendship or dating. People are free, under the law, to live as they choose, and engage in sexually intimate relationships with whomever they choose – all without any governmental recognition or regulation.

But 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….

Check it out.

N.C.: The threat to marriage, part deux

From Vote FOR Marriage NC:

…Perhaps most importantly, shifting the focus of our marriage laws away from the interests of children and society as a whole, and onto the desires of the adults involved in a same-sex relationship will result in the most profound long-term consequences. Such a paradigm shift says to children that mothers and fathers don’t matter (especially fathers) – any two “parents” will do. It proclaims the false notion that a man can be a mother and a woman can be a father – that men and women are exactly the same in rearing children. And it undermines the marriage culture by making marriage a meaningless political gesture, rather than a child-affirming social construct.

When marriage ceases to have its historic meaning and understanding, over time fewer and fewer people will marry. We will have an inevitable increase in children born out of wedlock, an increase in fatherlessness, a resulting increase in female and child poverty, and a higher incidence of all the documented social ills associated with children being raised in a home without their married biological parents….

Check it out.

N.C.: Primary ballot will list Marriage Amendment as “Constitutional Amendment,” not “Amendment One”

From Vote FOR Marriage NC, info on how the “marriage amendment” will look on the May 8 ballot:

RALEIGH, N.C.- On Monday [March 26], the State Board of Elections stated that the May primary ballot will list the proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman as “Constitutional Amendment,” not “Amendment One” as opponents of the amendment have falsely reported. Deputy Director Johnnie McLean informed a constituent on Monday that, “The constitutional amendment will appear exactly as it is on the sample ballot. It is unclear who has named it ‘Amendment One’ but it was not the General Assembly nor the Board of Elections.”

“For months, opponents to the marriage amendment have identified the amendment as ‘Amendment One,’ which will only confuse voters on Election Day because those words will not appear on the ballot,” said Tami Fitzgerald, chairwoman of Vote FOR Marriage NC. “Those who have adopted the incorrect term ‘Amendment One’ seek to distract voters from the real issue at hand. Unfortunately, the media has also disseminated this false term. Make no mistake: There is only one ballot question on the primary ballot, and that proposed amendment gives voters the chance to define marriage as the union between one man and one woman in the state constitution. Our campaign is working diligently to keep voters informed on the facts.”

Vote FOR Marriage NC is the referendum committee working to pass the proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage between one man and one woman on May 8th. The campaign is comprised of a multitude of policy organizations, denominations, and civic groups. Its Executive Committee consists of the Christian Action League, NC Values Coalition, a coalition of African American pastors, NC Baptists, and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).

North Carolinians interested in more information about Vote FOR Marriage NC may visit the campaign’s website: www.VoteFORMarriageNC.com.

North Carolina Marriage Protection Amendment misconceptions & facts

From Catholic Voice NC (Diocese of Charlotte):

Misconception: The amendment isn’t necessary.
Fact: Unless North Carolina passes the Marriage Protection Amendment, our present marriage laws are vulnerable to future legislative or judicial decisions overturning them and imposing same-sex marriage here. This is what occurred in several other states, including California, Massachusetts, Iowa, Vermont and Connecticut.

Misconception: Marriage is simply about loving couples making a public commitment of their love.
Fact: Marriage provides an opportunity for a couple in love to declare their commitment to each other, but the government doesn’t regulate marriage to provide a forum for public commitment simply because two people love each other. Marriage is regulated by government because it is the unique social institution based in eternal natural law to channel the biological drive of men and women with its inherent capacity to produce children into family units with the best opportunity of ensuring that any children produced by that sexual union are known and cared for by their biological parents. It is in the interests of children that government regulates and licenses marriage.

Misconception: The measure prohibits important public benefits for same-sex partners of city and county employees.
Fact: Nothing in the amendment prohibits same-sex couples from any rights or benefits. Local governments and the UNC System may offer (or continue to offer) benefits to same-sex partners of employees or students if they choose to do so by changing the basis upon which benefits are offered.

Misconception: The amendment could invalidate domestic violence programs for unmarried same-sex couples.
Fact: The amendment has nothing to do with domestic violence programs and does not change the law on domestic violence. We would not support it if we believed it did.

Misconception: The amendment could interfere with existing child custody and visitation rights that seek to protect the best interests of children.
Fact: The amendment has nothing to do with existing child custody laws or arrangements. We would not support it if we believed it did.

Misconception: The amendment could result in courts invalidating trusts, wills and end-of-life directives – which are not “private contracts” – in which an unmarried partner is a beneficiary and/or is entrusted with the care of a loved one.
Fact: The amendment has nothing to do with trusts, wills and end-of-life directives. The amendment simply puts our existing definition of marriage into the constitution where it will be protected from future legislative or judicial decisions. We would not support it if it invalidated such contracts.

Misconception: The amendment is bad for business.
Fact: We are concerned about any proposed legislation that would negatively impact employment opportunities in North Carolina, especially in light of our current economic situation. We would not support the proposed amendment if we believed it would imperil employment. According to the information we have received, research shows that states with a marriage protection amendment in their state constitution are the nation’s top performing economic states. This includes eight of the top ten “best states for business” (according to a survey of 556 CEOs) and eight of the top ten states for job growth (according to Moody’s Analytics).

Misconception: The amendment signals to homosexuals that they are second-class citizens.
Fact: Thousands of gays and lesbians have chosen to make North Carolina their home despite the fact that they are unable to marry here. All residents of our state – regardless of sexual orientation – are to be respected and welcomed. Our own teaching as a Church is clear on the inherent dignity of each and every person without exception. Because traditional marriage is so foundational to our identity which is based in eternal natural law, we simply do not believe that marriage can be redefined.

Check it out.

North Carolina Marriage Protection Amendment FAQs

Good FAQ sheet from Catholic Voice NC:

What is the Marriage Protection Amendment?
The North Carolina Marriage Protection Amendment would put our state’s historic definition of marriage into the constitution where it will be protected from being altered or overturned by future legislative or judicial decisions, as has occurred in other states. The measure says, “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.”

When do voters consider the Marriage Protection Amendment?
The measure will appear on the North Carolina primary election ballot on May 8, 2012.

Why is it necessary to enact the amendment now?
The amendment is necessary to prevent future legislative or judicial actions from redefining marriage in North Carolina. For example, last October same-sex couples requested marriage licenses in Asheville, setting up a potential legal challenge to our laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Additionally, without the amendment a same-sex couple “married” in another state could move to North Carolina and file suit, demanding to have state law recognize their “marriage” here.

Does this amendment change the definition of marriage in North Carolina?
No. The amendment takes our current definition of marriage as between one man and one woman and embodies it in the state constitution. Additionally, the amendment ensures that relationships like civil unions and domestic partnerships cannot be considered under the law to be the same as a marriage.

Why is it important to preserve traditional marriage?
The institution of marriage existed before Christ was born and predates government. It has served as the foundation of society for thousands of years. Marriage is also the foundation of the family. Marriage is profoundly in the common good because it brings together the two halves of humanity – men and women- and provides the ideal environment for raising children. Marriage benefits men and women, their children, our economy and the state as a whole. It is not merely a private contract, but a social institution of great public importance.

What is the “Common Good” of Marriage?
Marriage serves a vital and universal societal purpose – to channel biological drive and sexual passion that might otherwise become socially destructive into enduring family units that have the best opportunity to ensure the care and education of any children produced by that biological drive and sexual passion. Indeed, the United States Supreme Court has said that marriage is “fundamental to the very existence and survival of the [human] race.” By encouraging men and women to marry, society helps ensure that children will be known by and cared for by their biological parents. The overwhelming body of social science evidence establishes that children do best when raised by their married mother and father.

Why does the state need to be involved in marriage anyway?
The answer can be summarized in one word: children. Protecting the interests of children is the primary reason that government regulates and licenses marriage in the first instance. Marriage between a man and a woman protects and promotes the well-being of children by allowing the children produced from the sexual union of the two adults to benefit from being raised by both their father and mother. While death and divorce too often prevent it, children do best when raised by a loving mother and father within the bounds of marriage. 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.

Does the amendment prohibit the Legislature from providing for civil unions or domestic partnerships?
Yes, the Amendment prevents legal recognition of any relationships considered to be like marriage.

Does the amendment take away rights for same-sex couples?
No. Marriage has always been defined in North Carolina as the union of one man and one woman. North Carolina law has never allowed civil unions or domestic partnerships as legally binding entities. The Amendment preserves those provisions, but does allow same-sex couples and others to enter into, and enforce, private legal agreements. For instance, a private company could agree to provide health benefits to a same-sex couple and the couple could enforce this agreement in court.

Does the amendment prohibit local governments or the UNC System from
providing benefits to same-sex couples?

Nothing in the amendment prohibits local governments or the UNC System from offering or continuing to offer benefits to same-sex couples of employees or students if they choose to do so by changing the basis upon which benefits are offered.

Does it interfere with benefits that employers provide to same-sex couples?
No. Nothing in the amendment interferes with any benefits that employers provide to same-sex couples.

Will the amendment damage North Carolina’s economy?
North Carolina has consistently been ranked one of the best places to do business. The amendment will not change that because it will not change North Carolina’s current definition of marriage. If anything, the amendment will help our economy. Research shows that states with a marriage protection amendment in their state constitution are our top performing economic states. For example, eight of the top ten “best states for business” according to a survey of 556 CEOs by Chief Executive Magazine have a state marriage amendment in their constitution. Six of the “top ten performing states” for “creating jobs, economic development and prosperity in challenging times” have state marriage amendments in their constitutions, according to a study published by the National Chamber Foundation. According to Moody’s Analytics, eight of the top ten states for job growth have a marriage amendment in their state constitution.

Does the amendment enshrine discrimination into our state constitution?
No. The amendment does not interfere with the way same-sex couples choose to live. It does not prevent local government and the UNC System offering benefits provided they change the basis upon which benefits are offered (which they can). Businesses may continue to offer benefits. The amendment enshrines the belief that marriage is a social institution whose definition cannot be changed by civil law because it is an essential and enduring institution of society that does not change from culture to culture or from generation to generation.


Check it out
.

North Carolina Marriage Protection Amendment fact sheet

From Catholic Voice NC, information on the May 8 vote on the Marriage Protection Amendment:

A bi-partisan majority of the North Carolina Legislature has voted to put the North Carolina Marriage Protection Amendment on the ballot to preserve marriage in our state as the union of one man and one woman. North Carolinians will finally have the opportunity to vote on May 8, 2012, to preserve a traditional definition of marriage, just as 30 other states have already done.

North Carolina Marriage Protection Amendment Language: “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.”

Fact: The State of North Carolina should protect marriage.
Marriage as the union of a man and a woman is uniquely in the common good and serves as the basic building block of civilization and a productive society. Marriage benefits men and women, their children, our economy and the state as a whole. It is not merely a private contract, but a social institution of great public importance.

Fact: Marriage is vulnerable to being redefined by future legislative or judicial decisions.
Judicial decisions in other states have redefined marriage to make it genderless, thus imposing same-sex marriage with no input from the people of those states. This has occurred in Massachusetts, Iowa, Vermont, Connecticut and California. All told, same-sex “marriage” is allowed in six states and the District of Columbia. Any homosexual couple “married” in one of those state could move to North Carolina and sue to have their “marriage” recognized by the State of North Carolina.

Fact: The Marriage Protection Amendment ensures that North Carolinians control the definition of marriage in our state.
By putting the traditional definition of marriage in our state constitution, as 30 other states have already done, we will ensure that voters will control the definition of marriage in our state. This will also prevent a homosexual couple from another state suing to force North Carolina to recognize their “marriage” under state law.

Fact: Defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman is already the law in North Carolina.
While the current marriage law in North Carolina permits only traditional marriage, it can be changed by a judicial or legislative act. The Marriage Protection Amendment simply puts into our state constitution the traditional definition of marriage, thereby prohibiting judges and legislators from attempting to give other relationships the legal status of marriage. Judges elsewhere have attempted to use the existence of “civil unions” or “domestic partnerships” as a legal means to redefine marriage. The Marriage Protection Amendment provides that those types of relationships will not be considered marriage-like relationships under the law.

Fact: The Marriage Protection Amendment does not take away any rights from same-sex couples.
Marriage has always been defined in North Carolina as the union of one man and one woman. North Carolina law has never allowed civil unions or domestic partnerships as legally binding entities. The Amendment preserves those provisions, but does allow same-sex couples and others to enter into, and enforce, private legal agreements. For instance, a private company could agree to provide health benefits to same-sex couples, and the couple could enforce this agreement in court. Nothing in the Amendment prohibits local governments or the UNC System from offering or continuing to offer benefits to same-sex partners of employees or students if they choose to do so by changing the basis upon which benefits are offered.

Fact: Children do best when raised by their married mother and father.
The overwhelming body of social science evidence shows that children, raised by their married mother and father, experience less poverty, commit far fewer suicides and far fewer crimes and are half as likely to become pregnant out of wedlock. They also develop better academically and socially and are healthier physically and emotionally when they become adults.

Fact: North Carolina is the only southern state that has not defined marriage in its state constitution.
The Marriage Protection Amendment will allow voters in North Carolina to preserve and protect the traditional definition of marriage in our state. Please vote for the amendment on May 8, 2012 so we may join 30 other states in protecting traditional marriage.

N.C. Catholic bishops react to President Obama’s statement on marriage

In response to President Obama’s public opposition to the North Carolina Marriage Protection Amendment, Bishop Peter Jugis of the Diocese of Charlotte and Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Raleigh have issued the following letter:

March 21, 2012

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Last week, President Barack Obama took the unusual step of commenting on a state ballot initiative. His stated opposition to the referendum on the marriage amendment in North Carolina is a grave disappointment, as it is reported to be the first time that the President has entered into this issue on the state level, further escalating the increasing confusion on the part of some in our society to the very nature of marriage itself.

As Catholics, we are FOR marriage, as we believe it is a vocation in which God calls couples to faithfully and permanently embrace a fruitful union in a mutual self-giving bond of love, according to His purposes.  It is not only the union itself that is essential to these purposes, but also the life to which spouses are called to be open, the gift of children.  Children have the right to the indispensable place of fatherhood and motherhood in their lives as they grow, are loved, nurtured and formed by those whose unique vocation it is to be a father and a mother through the bond of one man and one woman in marriage.  As our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI,  has stated, children have the fundamental right to grow up with the understanding of the proper place of sexuality in human relationships.  He recently emphasized that “Children are the greatest treasure and the future of every society: truly caring for them means recognizing our responsibility to teach, defend and live the moral virtues which are the key to human fulfillment.”

In his comments on the upcoming referendum in our State, the President regrettably characterized the marriage amendment as a matter of discrimination.  While we are respectful of the Office of the President, we strongly disagree with this assessment.  As Cardinal Timothy Dolan, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, recently stated, “The Catholic Church recognizes the immeasurable personal dignity and equal worth of all individuals, including those with same-sex attraction, and we reject all hatred and unjust treatment against any person.  Our profound regard for marriage, as the complementary and fruitful union of a man and a woman does not negate our concern for the well-being of all people, but reinforces it.  While all persons merit our full respect, no other relationships provide for the common good what marriage between husband and wife provides.”

Join us in our support FOR the sacred vocation of marriage and what it means for us and for the future of our great State.  We urge you to visit our Catholic Voice NC website for more information and to vote FOR the referendum on May 8th.

Sincerely in Christ,


The Most Reverend  Michael F. Burbidge
Bishop of Raleigh


The Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis
Bishop of Charlotte

Check it out.

N.C. nanny state: Preschooler’s homemade lunch replaced with cafeteria “nuggets” [UPDATED]

[UPDATE] My suspicious nature says, “Follow the money.” Who has the contract to provide food and is getting taxpayer money for every meal they give out? From the John W. Pope Civitas Institute, more on the story:

A mother in Hoke County complains her daughter was forced to eat a school lunch because a government inspector determined her home-made lunch did not meet nutrition requirements. In fact, all of the students in the NC Pre-K program classroom at West Hoke Elementary School in Raeford had to accept a school lunch in addition to their lunches brought from home.

NC Pre-K (before this year known as More at Four) is a state-funded education program designed to “enhance school readiness” for four year-olds.

The mother, who doesn’t wish to be identified at this time, says she made her daughter a lunch that contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, apple juice and potato chips. A state inspector assessing the pre-K program at the school said the girl also needed a vegetable, so the inspector ordered a full school lunch tray for her. While the four-year-old was still allowed to eat her home lunch, the girl was forced to take a helping of chicken nuggets, milk, a fruit and a vegetable to supplement her sack lunch.

The mother says the girl was so intimidated by the inspection process that she was too scared to eat all of her homemade lunch. The girl ate only the chicken nuggets provided to her by the school, so she still didn’t eat a vegetable.

The mother says her daughter doesn’t like vegetables and – like most four year olds – will only eat them at home under close supervision….

The mother added, “It’s just a headache to keep arguing and fighting. I’ve even wrote a note to her teachers and said do not give my daughter anything else unless it comes out of her lunchbox and they are still going against me and putting a milk in front of her every day.

“Friday she came home and said ‘Mom, they give me vegetable soup and a milk,’” said the mother.

“So I went to the cafeteria to make sure she had no fee and it’s not being charged to her account yet,” she continued, ” but what concerned me was that I got a letter from the principal and it says students who do not bring a healthy lunch will be offered the missing portions which may result in a fee from the cafeteria. So if I don’t stay on top of her account on a weekly basis there’s that opportunity that charges could be put on her account and then if I let it go too far then it’s like I’m going to have a big battle.”…

[Original] I mean, how nutritious do you think the school’s “nuggets” were? And tell me again why the state is inspecting children’s lunch boxes? From the Carolina Journal:

State agent inspects sack lunches, forces preschoolers to purchase cafeteria food instead

A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because a state employee told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.

The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the agent who was inspecting all lunch boxes in her More at Four classroom that day.

The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs — including in-home day care centers — to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.

When home-packed lunches do not include all of the required items, child care providers must supplement them with the missing ones.

The girl’s mother — who said she wishes to remain anonymous to protect her daughter from retaliation — said she received a note from the school stating that students who did not bring a “healthy lunch” would be offered the missing portions, which could result in a fee from the cafeteria, in her case $1.25.

“I don’t feel that I should pay for a cafeteria lunch when I provide lunch for her from home,” the mother wrote in a complaint to her state representative, Republican G.L. Pridgen of Robeson County.

The girl’s grandmother, who sometimes helps pack her lunch, told Carolina Journal that she is a petite, picky 4-year-old who eats white whole wheat bread and is not big on vegetables.

“What got me so mad is, number one, don’t tell my kid I’m not packing her lunch box properly,” the girl’s mother told CJ. “I pack her lunchbox according to what she eats. It always consists of a fruit. It never consists of a vegetable. She eats vegetables at home because I have to watch her because she doesn’t really care for vegetables.”

When the girl came home with her lunch untouched, her mother wanted to know what she ate instead. Three chicken nuggets, the girl answered. Everything else on her cafeteria tray went to waste.

“She came home with her whole sandwich I had packed, because she chose to eat the nuggets on the lunch tray, because they put it in front of her,” her mother said. “You’re telling a 4-year-old. ‘oh. you’re lunch isn’t right,’ and she’s thinking there’s something wrong with her food.”…

Read it all. I think her lunch from home sounded pretty good. Glad my child’s out of elementary school. (And the state agent telling the girl the lunch her mother packed wasn’t good enough undercuts parental authority big time!)

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You may have thought that the federal budget crisis was over with the passage last week of the budget compromise bill. You would be wrong. That continuing resolution just funds the government through this week—to April 15. Then the process begins all over again. …

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