• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Another Vote for Marriage

    Yesterday, North Carolina voters approved an amendment to the state constitution that protects marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

    Unofficial results show more than 60 percent support for the amendment, a result described by the National Organization for Marriage as “an overwhelming endorsement” of the traditional understanding of marriage.

    North Carolina is the 31st state to adopt a marriage amendment.

    State constitutional amendments play an important part in helping to strengthen marriage by protecting marriage from judicial activism in state courts.

    Marriage amendments also settle the marriage question for state lawmakers and reinforce the understanding that marriage as one man and one woman is deeply rooted in American values, history, and traditions.

    North Carolina’s vote for marriage also provides further evidence undermining the myth that same-sex marriage is “inevitable.”

    From California (where voters adopted a marriage amendment in 2008) to Maine (where voters rejected same-sex marriage legislation in 2009) and places between such as Iowa (where in 2010 voters rejected three state supreme court judges who had imposed same-sex marriage in that state), voters consistently support marriage when given the opportunity to vote.

    On one side of this debate is the view that the traditional understanding of marriage is a form of institutionalized bigotry no different from 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 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 that 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 the institution of marriage, “for it is the foundation of the family and of society,” and without it “there would be neither civilization nor progress.”

    By voting to support marriage in their state constitution, voters in North Carolina have demonstrated their view that the institution of marriage remains just as important today.

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    16 Responses to Another Vote for Marriage

    1. ArapaGOP says:

      Heritage: Regulations are bad…accept when they restrict human beings.

      • Mike P. says:

        Perhaps you are familiar with the difference between positive and negative rights? Negative rights are protected when the government restrains itself: i.e., the right to free speech. Positive rights are protected when the government does something: i.e., the 'right' to healthcare. The right to marriage, if it exists, is secured by government action and is therefore a positive right: you go to the government, the government does not go to you. If this is a 'restriction,' so is not giving someone welfare benefits.

    2. kverdeck says:

      Nice try, but I still scratch my head in wonder that conservatives should stand and applaud at the enshrining of a denial of rights in a governing document like a state Constitution. That is the exact opposite of the purpose for which such documents are intended. Especially in this case, where NC Amendment 1 targets not only same-sex marriage, but also heterosexual civil unions and domestic partnerships. Fantastic. North Carolina: the state where you can legally marry your cousin, just not your gay cousin.

      • Stirling says:

        When states ammend it's usually to protect themselves from the Federal government's over-reach. In this case it's not a "denial of rights." It's a protection of the existing rights not to be changed. Your stero-type of the situation is quite liberal as well. ( I'm sure those in NC could say your "racist" in your remarks as well.)

    3. Bobbie says:

      as homosexuality has been around since men discovered it (the beginning of time) all of a sudden marriage interests them in the late 20th century, where homosexuals lost all tolerance for the true meaning of marriage. And for any homosexual claiming to be Christian is bigotry and deceptive. Nothing in the new testament gives credence to the acceptance of homosexuality! In fact, throughout the bible homosexuality expresses to be directly against the will of God!

      What benefits do married people get besides deductions on children parents brought into the world and take responsibility for? Once children turn 18 marriage is actually penalized when there's only one out of two of the married, working!!

      Congratulations, North Carolina! It's too bad respect, tolerance and acceptance of marriage didn't supersede all this tremendous trouble and negative attention in America.

      • alex says:

        If your fundamental argument for HATE is based on YOUR interpretative of the bible, does that seem fair to all us other Christians who support LOVE over all other messages GOD sent "translated" by men? Did the pope's interpretation justify the Spanish inquisition? the crusades? cause neither of those were about LOVE. Not to mention if you look back far enough (before the 12th century) Christian monks were openly gay, and politics only later used the church (and interpretations of the bible) as an excuses for HATING!

        Not to mention I know plenty of friends who would otherwise be in foster homes if not for LOVING gay parents who adopted them. Those same friends do not have the benefit that i do because those parents can not get married. Yet all the gay parents I know are still together while about half the heterosexual ones are divorced.

        Call it what you want but your passion against gays comes from HATE, making your sir a HATER! The sooner you come to that understanding the sooner you can get back on the LOVE train. Peace my brother, and my you some day open your heart and free your soul.

    4. Jim says:

      Didn't Orwell warn about newspeak in "1984?" Union means one thing, marriage another. The NC vote was just another rejection of this latest attempt by the left to capriously change the language.

      • Jeff says:

        Orwell warned about double-speak, the substitution of a more palatable word or phrase for another in order to hide the true impact of the word. In this case, "religious ideals" for "bigotry."

    5. Stirling says:

      Congrats N.C in re-afirming your commitment to Mariage (and God).

      It really is a sign of the times when states have to protect themselves from the onslaught of Liberal perversion of the word of God. If gays would accept and respect traditions, rather then want to replace them entirely (or pervert existing ones) they may be more "accepted".

      The disturbing fact that in trying to be "accepted" is the insideous way that every part of the Liberal media and education is being propagandized to be "pro gay." Pro-gay groups seem to be far liberal and think the country is stupid and needs brain-washing to accept it (which is wrong, and will always be wrong.) If gays won't accept (Like Liberals) that people will always have different opinions and may not want their agenda then they will fail everytime to change peoples views.

    6. John says:

      I can't even begin to write down what's wrong your article. Nothing here compels me to even consider that same sex marriage is wrong. I get the impression that the right's position against abortion is as strong as it is against gay marriage, but at least the arguments against abortion are compelling. The arguments against same sex marriage are: settles the argument for lawmakers (voting to support same sex would do the same thing), a law to reinforce the understanding that marriage is deeply rooted in American traditions (if it's deeply rooted, why do we need a law?), protecting marriage from judicial activism (what could the judges do? Give them the same rights as man-woman marriages. Do you think we're going to see preferential treatment for same-sex marriages?)…

      Oh I can't continue because the arguments are just so ludicrous. Allowing same-sex marriages is no threat to man-woman marriages. Just because it makes some people uncomfortable is no reason to prohibit it from others.

      • Stirling says:

        "Allowing same-sex marriage" puts traditional religion (and freedom of Religion) in a compromising position John.. Those religions that's teachings belive that Gays or mariage of gays is an abonination to God (and will not marry gays) should not be "required" or "mandated" by government to do so.

        • Pragmatic says:

          If this is your reasoning then we should allow polygamy for those whose religion says it's okay. What you're saying is that it puts YOUR religion in a compromising positions. This is why we have freedom of religion in this country – to protect the minority from being oppressed by the opposing majority

      • Bobbie says:

        why wasn't homosexuality included in marriage when marriage was established? Because sexual preference isn't what marriage is!!! Grow up! Accept and tolerate true definitions which is the root of this evolved stupidity!

        • Pragmatic says:

          I agree, why wasn't homosexuality included in marriage when marriage was established. I assumed it would be included with the ability to marry more than one woman, marry a teenager (13 and such), and beat your wife (as long as you're married of course).

          Don't be foolish, the definition of marriage has evolved over time. Also, this isn't about religion it's about having the same rights under the law.

          • Bobbie says:

            personal issues within a married relationship doesn't change the definition, bright eyes!! Only people with low self esteem would make such a circus out of their own ignorance!

            People do have the same rights under the law! When people put a descriptive word in front of their kind of "people" "gay people" you're still under the same rights as "PEOPLE!!" When you have a word (and this one in direct contrast) like "gay" begging to fit into a word (marriage,) it doesn't, the fight is demanding bias/discriminating rights in favor of their specific kind which in return adds to the socialist government ignorance and intolerance is dragging us into. Hello? Anybody home? ANYBODY?

            It's ridiculous to witness those in high leadership roles feeding low self esteem instead of building esteem to humbly accept and tolerate the meaning of a simple word that only evolves those whose lives are under the true definition. To change a definition and call it evolution is instigating confusion and danger when it draws unconstitutional government controlled attention.

    7. Patti Stone says:

      If they really want to "protect" what traditional marriage, they should make divorce illegal. The greatest threat to traditional marriage is a divorce rate of over 40%.

    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.

    ×