North Carolina marriage amendment campaign gets under way
CHARLOTTE — If you are like most voters in North Carolina, you probably are not aware of the fact that a traditional marriage referendum question will be on the May 8 primary ballot.
Your awareness level is about to change.
The marriage protection amendment will enshrine in the state constitution an existing law defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman.
Last year, traditional marriage supporters in the state legislature pushed for the referendum because of a concern that the law could be changed or overruled in the courts – as has been the case in several other states including Connecticut in 2008, Iowa in 2009, and, most recently, California in 2010, when a federal district judge overturned Proposition 8, a 2008 measure passed by California voters to ban same-sex unions. That legal battle remains held up in court.
Pictured: Bishop Peter Jugis recently videotaped the first in series of four educational videos on marriage that he is producing along with Raleigh Bishop Michael Burbidge in advance of the May 8 referendum to define traditional marriage in the state constitution. Read the transcript from the video on page 22. (Patricia L. Guilfoyle | Catholic News Herald)
Placing traditional marriage in the state constitution puts it beyond the reach of the courts and elected officials, as the state constitution can only be changed by popular vote, marriage supporters point out.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, "Over half of the states have passed language defining marriage between a man and a woman in their state constitutions. Arizona is the only state where a constitutional amendment on the ballot in a general election has failed (2006); however, in 2008 the measure ultimately passed. Typically, constitutional amendments have passed with an overwhelming majority."
A communication campaign, coordinated between the Diocese of Charlotte and the Diocese of Raleigh by Catholic Voice North Carolina, is launching this month with the first in a series of four educational videos on YouTube featuring Charlotte Bishop Peter Jugis and Raleigh Bishop Michael Burbidge. Each video highlights important points about the proposed marriage amendment and urges viewers to vote for it.
In the first video, which will be posted to the Diocese of Charlotte's YouTube channel this month, Bishop Jugis explains Church teaching on marriage and emphasizes that Catholics respect the dignity of all persons.
"The Church's position on traditional marriage is not an instance of discrimination or animosity toward homosexual persons. Marriage is based on natural law, a law that can never be changed. Therefore, there will be boundaries that cannot be modified," he said.
Catholic Voice NC isn't alone in its support for marriage. A coalition of churches and public interest groups has formed "Vote FOR Marriage."
Twenty-nine states have defined marriage in their constitutions as the union between one man and woman, with North Carolina and Minnesota eyeing similar moves this year. North Carolina is the only Southern state that does not already support traditional marriage in its constitution.
Twelve states have redefined marriage to include homosexual civil unions or same-sex "marriage," including New York and Rhode Island in 2011.
In addition to the videos, North Carolina Catholics will be seeing bulletin inserts and suggested prayers for the amendment's passage. News articles and advertisements in diocesan publications will appear on a regular basis between now and May. Catholic Voice NC will also be sending out postcards to remind supporters to get out and vote for the May 8 referendum. The bishops will also be in touch with the 6,000 members of Catholic Voice NC via emails and Facebook.
— David Hains, director of communication
Read the text of the proposed marriage amendment at: www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2011/Bills/Senate/PDF/S514v5.pdf
Read a transcript of the first educational video by Bishop Peter Jugis.
Read about the letter from the U.S. Bishops, who have joined other religious leaders around the U.S. in issuing "Marriage and Religious Freedom: Fundamental Goods That Stand or Fall Together."
Membership in Catholic Voice NC is free and open to any resident of the state at www.catholicvoicenc.org.
Deacon James Toner: What we know that ain't so: Holy warWhat we think is the right road
If ever there were an oxymoron – a contradiction in terms – it surely is "holy war." War is always horrible, always a great evil, always morally unjustifiable. The Catechism of the Catholic Church makes...
Batrice Adcock: Marriage should be free, total, faithful and fruitfulIn a sacramental marriage, spouses are called to model their lives and their union not only on the original experience of Adam and Eve before the fall, but more so on the union of Christ and the Church. At a wedding, when a father presents...
The Poor Clares: Reflections on the Year for Consecrated Life: Self-giving love: The gift of chastityReligious men and women, in their radical following of Christ, embrace the three evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience. All the faithful are called to imitate the Lord Jesus by living out these virtues in their daily lives,...
Matthew Hoefling: Religious liberty under assault in our nation's capitalDon't blink or you will miss yet another assault on religious liberty in America, this time in the name of "sexual health," "reproductive rights" and "gender identity" – all according to two innocuously-titled proposed pieces of legislation...
Deacon James H. Toner: What we know that ain't so: Being pastoralWhat we think is the right road What we must prize, beyond all else, are the virtues of tolerance, open-mindedness and tenderheartedness – all of which may be subsumed under the heading of "being pastoral." We are called to love people, meaning...
W.S. "Bill" Melton Jr.: There's nothing I love more than to share the faithAs a Southern writer and humorist who writes a weekly column that appears in several secular newspapers located within the Diocese of Charlotte, I often let people know I'm a Roman Catholic. I'm a convert to the faith from United Methodism,...
Denise Bossert: Welcome people back to the Church by your loveIt is disheartening when people walk away from the Church. Sometimes, when we try to talk, they run at us like some kid on the opposite team in a game of Red Rover. They want to break through our line and pull somebody else from the Church....
LETTERS FROM OUR READERS
Tired rhetoric of race only creates division, not unityIn response to the Jan. 16 commentary "Race, bias and fear of 'the other,'" we were both compelled to write a response. Read original commentary here. As...
Many do not know about St. Gianna Beretta MolloOn July 20, 2014, Archbishop Charles Chaput announced that Pope St. John Paul II and St. Gianna Beretta Mollo have been chosen as the patron saints of the World Meeting of Families which will...
Home School Fine Arts Festival had outstanding quality, jubilant spiritIt was a pleasure to read the Sept. 12 article about the success of the Home School Fine Arts Festival. My husband and I attended the closing theatrical performance as guests, unaffiliated in...
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Roger Arnsparger at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Jason Christian at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. Matthew Kauth at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Christopher Riehl's archive from St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe. Listen to homily podcasts.
- Fr. Joshua Voitus at St. Mary, Mother of God Parish in Sylva, including homilies in Spanish
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Gospel reflection videos from St. Matthew Church
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen and watch homilies from St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy