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Source: The IRD
May 8, 2012
By Jeff Walton
North Carolina voters head to the polls today in order to weigh a proposed amendment to the state constitution defining marriage between one man and one woman as the only recognized domestic legal union. The state's Episcopal Church leaders have been visible opponents to the measure, as were California's Episcopal Church bishops during the Proposition 8 campaign that ended a brief window of same-sex marriages in that state.
North Carolina already has a statute banning same-sex marriage. A vote in favor of the amendment on May 8 would codify the law into the state's constitution, making it less likely to be overturned by legislative action or the courts. The amendment was referred to the statewide ballot by the North Carolina House, which voted 75-42 in favor and the State Senate that followed with 30-16 approval in September.
In January, the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina's annual convention approved a resolution opposing the measure, citing "the Episcopal Church's historical support of gay and lesbian persons as children of God and entitled to full civil rights." The resolution passed on a voice vote.
The diocesan resolution pointed to language from the church's 2006 General Convention in Columbus, Ohio that opposed "any state or federal constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex civil marriage or civil unions."
In late April, all three Episcopal Church bishops in North Carolina signed a joint letter opposing the constitutional measure.
Bishop Michael B. Curry of the Diocese of North Carolina; Clifton Daniel of the Diocese of East Carolina and G. Porter Taylor of the Diocese of Western North Carolina cited scripture in their letter.
"Jesus has taught us that the greatest and most important of all the commandments of God are to love God and to love our neighbor," the letter reads. Quoting Matthew Chapter 22 verses 37-40, the letter continues, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." . . .
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