• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Marriage Debate Moves to North Carolina

    According to the Alliance Defense Fund, “Sixty-three million Americans have voted on marriage, and in 31 out of 31 states they have protected marriage as the union between one man and one woman.”

    On May 8, North Carolinians will have the same opportunity when they vote on a ballot measure that would amend the North Carolina constitution to protect marriage as one man and one woman.

    Throughout history, and in the law of most jurisdictions in Americastill today, marriage has been understood as a natural institution involving the unique unions of men and women. Legal regulations and social norms concerning entry into and exit from marriage and the incidents and effects of marriage might have changed through time. However, until quite recently, “it was an accepted truth for almost everyone who ever lived, in any society in which marriage existed, that there could be marriages only between participants of different sex.” After all, only unions between individuals of different sexes can naturally produce children and, “but for children, there would be no need of any institution concerned with sex.”

    Today, however, the debate about marriage includes not only whether and how to strengthen marriage but also, more fundamentally, what marriage is. That is the question North Carolina voters will decide on May 8.

    As the debate about marriage continues, increasing numbers of Americans will be forced to confront and decide fundamental issues of law, morality, and culture. On the one side of this debate is the view that marriage as one man and one woman is a form of institutionalized bigotry no better than racism. In this view, it is unjust for the state not to bless same-sex unions with both the benefits and label of “marriage.” Private institutions and individuals who object to facilitating or expressing moral support for same-sex marriage could face potential civil liability and discrimination in access to government benefits. Too often, those who disagree with redefining marriage are also subject to public derision and even threats, intimidation, and other harms.

    On the other side of this debate is the view that marriage is a natural institution that the state does not create but that the state should protect because of society’s civilizational interest in promoting childbearing and the faithfulness of spouses to each other and their dependent children. Proponents of the traditional understanding of marriage focus on the public purposes of marriage, not the private reasons individuals might choose to marry. They also defy intense stereotyping by articulating a wide range of nonreligious reasons for supporting a traditional marriage policy, including that redefining marriage will contribute to an expanded and more intrusive government role in private life. In this view, support for marriage as one man and one woman does not equal animosity against friends, family, and co-workers who experience same-sex attraction. Rather, support for marriage reflects a morally just and constitutionally valid social judgment that the unique union of a husband and wife should be accorded a unique status in culture and law and that doing so provides significant benefits to children and society.

    As the U.S. Supreme Court recognized long ago, “the public is deeply interested” in maintaining the institution of marriage, because “it is the foundation of the family and of society,” and without it “there would be neither civilization nor progress.” Marriage remains just as important to society today.

    State constitutional amendments play an important part in helping to strengthen marriage by:

    • Protecting marriage from judicial activism in state courts,
    • Settling the marriage question for state lawmakers,
    • Reinforcing the understanding that marriage as one man and one woman is deeply rooted in American values, history, and traditions, and
    • Demonstrating a strong public awareness that marriage as one man and one woman should be affirmatively protected in law.

    In addition, efforts to defend the core meaning of marriage as having something to do with mothers, fathers, and children should be coupled with efforts to strengthen marriage in general.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Marriage Debate Moves to North Carolina

    1. Gary Lindsay says:

      Marriage is to establish kinship, and the protections it offers are important because domestic stability if important for societal stability. That is why same-sex couple need civil marriage, and why North Carolina voters should reject this amendment. Further, this amendment bans civil unions and domestic partnership laws. This is not about protecting marriage, this is Gay bashing pure and simple.

      • Bobbie says:

        WHY would you deprive a child the upbringing from each gender? Call it what you like but gays do not fulfill a child's upbringing nor do they fulfill the term marriage! It isn't stopping you from getting married. Gay people hide their true identity or show for attention anyway. You can be gay and marry the opposite gender like marriage calls for. No one is stopping you! I know a very devious man that did that. Left his wife with 4 kids while he establishes his prestige gaining wealth as a coffin rider.

        Him and his buddy and their charm confiscated an elderly woman's will by 71% while she was said to have dementia! He's a "great" nephew. She was a very charitable woman who had a high position in the red cross and in catholic charities. One month before she passed away, he removed some charities and lessened the percentage of others, unbeknown to her as she trusted him. all he had to do was get her to sign as she was dying in a nursing home! He added all the percentages of those charities to himself even dissing his own father who's percentage was higher as his father was very close and knew her all his life! he took full advantage of this lady and her money after her husband died. He immediately moved in! Bad mouthed the nieces she hung out with for years and moved right in. Taking her time and money traveling around the world with his accomplice and the innocence of this woman! Even when she passed he blatantly lied to suggest he was with her while she passed! I took care of her, I was with her.

        Then he did it to his own father dissing his brothers and sisters. There was nothing his sibliings could do because he made sure to be the personal rep and made sure it was "unsupervised." Helping himself without ever letting anyone know what was going on, using his father's estate, hiring a lawyer for himself.

        Sick individual and no one had a clue because he's so prestigious making it easy to hide his phoniness! Then he's got the balls to work for a catholic church! Coffin riders! It runs in the gay community! I do have other stories that are as sick as the devil himself. Without a real confrontation I asked him how he sleeps at night and just like the fake he is he says "fine." then it occurred to me evil doesn't have a conscience but his face sure does break out! Oh AND he did it to his own sister that passed. Truly disgusting people!

    2. Guest says:

      Telling, I think, that your reference to the Supreme Court concerns a ruling from 1888 that affirmed that divorce is legal.

    3. Spiritof76 says:

      Marriage is a religious ceremony from time immemorial. Marriage takes place regardless of the political structure of a country or lack of it. The same people that oppose Nativity display in a public square want the government to interfere with the religious and hence, the moral beliefs of the people.
      The same secular crowd fails to tell us how the natural selection of evolutionary theory which they believe with all the intensity of a religious zealot could possibly favor biologically unproductive same-sex "marriages". This is a subject in which the moral belief and scientific theory cohere to the benfit of humanity.

    4. Charles R. Mighton says:

      It should apply to the adoption of children. A child need both, a man and a woman to grow up and be a balance person, At 87 years I wonder, what the hell is this country headed for????????????????

    5. LevinFan says:

      Even the Values Bus which Heritage and Family Research Council have partnered on has been subject to the threats of same-sex marriage activists, see http://www.redstate.com/kevin_holtsberry/2012/04/… and http://blog.heritage.org/2012/04/17/heritagefrc-b

      Few of those standing for marriage have any intent or interest in "denying rights" to those who identify as homosexual. It's simply about the best environment for children to grow up in, and holding to bedrock social norms in an institution that has existed for millennia. Have same-sex civil unions, contractual relationships, etc. — it's just not marriage nor should it be called such.

    6. Don says:

      Are we overlooking the obvious?. Gays, for the most part are going to continue to be gay. That being the case, let them have their "union", but don't let their arrangement sully the eons old meaning of the word, "marriage" Thats analogous to a nurses aid saying they are an MD, or a Piper-cup pilot stating that he is an airline pilot. . Gays can come up with their own identification/title and "rules of order", perhaps even close to the rules of marriage. However, when it come to children in a gay relationship, I think we have to step-in and deny tha right. Chilren in a gay marriage are missing very essential elements of gowing up. First, they are under and envirornment that endorses gay relationships, which in turn could lean them toward a similiar life style, to which they were not otherwise so inclined. and second, they are denied thecultureal relationships and exposure of living with both a man and a women—that has to lead to confusion and conflicts

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×