Why is it necessary to enact the marriage amendment now?
Unless North Carolina passes the marriage 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.
For example, last October same-sex couples requested marriage licenses in Asheville, setting up a potential legal challenge to our existing state law 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.
Isn't marriage simply about two consenting adults making a commitment?
No. 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, that channels 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 are known and cared for by their biological parents. It is in the interests of children that government regulates and licenses marriage.
Doesn't the amendment make homosexuals second-class citizens?
No. 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 the human race, we simply do not believe that marriage can be redefined.
Would it interfere with benefits for same-sex partners of government employees?
No. Nothing in the amendment interferes with any benefits that employers provide to same-sex couples. 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.
Would it invalidate domestic violence programs for unmarried same-sex couples?
No. 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.
Would it interfere with existing child custody and visitation rights?
No. The amendment has nothing to do with existing child custody laws or arrangements.
Would it result in courts invalidating trusts, wills and end-of-life directives involving same-sex couples?
No. It has nothing to do with trusts, wills and end-of-life directives.
Wouldn't it be bad for business?
We are concerned about any proposed legislation that would negatively impact employment opportunities in the state, especially in light of our current economic situation. 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 10 "best states for business" (according to a survey of 556 CEOs) and eight of the top 10 states for job growth (according to Moody's Analytics).
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 children. Indeed, the U.S. Supreme Court has said 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.
Does it enshrine discrimination into the state constitution?
No. The amendment does not interfere with the way same-sex couples choose to live. It does not prevent local governments from 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.
More about marriage
Read about the marriage amendment
Pope Benedict XVI weighs in on marriage laws in the United States.
Features about local couples:
- Next >>
Father Patrick Winslow: What can we learn from Pope Francis?It appears as if popes have something on their mind when first elected. One might call it a diagnosis and a proposed remedy for current ails. With Pope John Paul II, it was a message of hope to a world filled with fear. One can still hear him...
David Hains: Close that unhealthy health centerThe Gosnell abortion mill in Philadelphia and A Preferred Woman's Health Center in Charlotte have something in common: little regard for human life. It should come as no surprise that women are being mistreated in these facilities since...
Peggy Bowes: Honor thy mother: Devotions to Mary"We never give more honor to Jesus than when we honor His Mother, and we honor her simply and solely to honor Him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son." — St. Louis de Montfort,...
Father Shawn O'Neal: In this debate, remember Church teaching on human rightsAs a means to develop a comprehensive plan to reform our nation's current immigration system, a group of senators has introduced legislation formally called the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013."...
Father Matthew Buettner: Radical ChristianityRecently, the Boston Marathon came to an abrupt end when two bombs exploded near the finish line. Three young people died in the explosion, including an 8-year-old boy who received his first Holy Communion just 11 months ago. Along with these...
The Poor Clares: Joy and sacrificeSt. Paul was a man passionate with zeal and consumed by love for God and desire for the salvation of souls. His actions and words were geared toward one purpose: the claiming of souls from the dominion of the devil, and the deceit used by him...
Brian Williams:The honest 411 on Vatican III recently had the opportunity to take a class about the Second Vatican Council offered through a diocesan adult education program. While much was covered within a relatively short span of four classes, one subject occupied much of our time...
LETTERS FROM OUR READERS
Vatican II called for post-conciliar liturgical adaptationsThe April 26 Catholic News Herald commentary entitled "The Honest 411 on Vatican II" discussed a participant's experience at an adult education series in the diocese. The course, "The 411 on...
Warrior saints are found throughout historyRegarding the April 26 letter criticizing St. Nicholas of Flue, I am disgusted that an American would insinuate that a soldier who distinguishes himself or herself in combat is not following...
Who would be worthy?In a letter in the April 26 Catholic News Herald, St. Nicholas of Flue was referred to as someone who "did not follow those teachings" of Christ because he defended the faith with his sword and...
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy