We are completing work on this issue of Family North Carolina as citizens across the State and country are beginning an eightmonth debate on marriage in light of the Legislature’s passage of the Marriage Protection Amendment bill. The first few weeks of the campaign over marriage protection provide a reminder of just how important good and proper education is to a functioning and just society. We hope that this publication assists you in continuing your education in the pursuit of truth.
As legislators prepared to return to Raleigh to consider potential changes to the State’s Constitution, rumors swirled that the General Assembly was considering changes to the State’s compact with the Cherokee Indians in Western North Carolina that would allow for a dramatic change in the amount and kind of gambling permitted in the State. While legislators failed to take up any bills related to gambling in the state, past experience tells us this is not a dead issue. This summer, ADF Blackstone Fellow Kyle Jensen immersed himself in North Carolina’s gambling history and law to examine just what it would mean historically, legally, and socially if such changes come to pass. His feature article explores his important findings, ultimately arguing that allowing Las Vegas-style gambling would present high costs and make for irresponsible public policy.
America’s love of liberty has, unfortunately, found itself hijacked by those who seek an unencumbered freedom to engage in and expect legal acceptance of any and all sexual activity. The increasingly hostile encroachment on the importance of marriage best signifies the observation that “Disorder in society is a result of disorder in the family.” The newest front in this disordering is polygamy, which has picked up on the homosexual rights’ success in Lawrence v. Texas as justification to further their push to legalize yet another distortion of marriage. Attorney Mary Summa delves into why this movement for so-called “sexual liberty” may actually spell the end of liberty, and why efforts to legalize polygamy may, ultimately, be the death-knell of the push for samesex “marriage.”
The homosexual rights movement is growing increasingly desperate in its attempts to prevent North Carolina citizens from having the opportunity to protect marriage in the State’s Constitution. The most recent red herring they are throwing out is that protecting marriage will hurt business—a demonstrably false claim that National Organization for Marriage chairman Maggie Gallagher eviscerates head-on. Maggie’s response is one to keep close as the voters’ campaign to approve a Marriage Protection Amendment heats up.
Marriage is not the only issue where North Carolinians are being given a voice. The pro-life movement is ultimately about saving lives. Kami Mueller examines how the landmark passage of a “Choose Life” license plate this year will move this goal forward. Her piece provides an intimate look into the work of the State’s pregnancy resource centers, who are on the frontlines of the effort to support mothers and their children.
See the Courts page for a review of how the Marriage Protection Amendment received legislative consideration and approval after eight long years. Additionally, you will find an update on Planned Parenthood’s claims that it is entitled to government funds denied to it in this year’s State budget, as well as their challenge of the “Choose Life” license plate. We have also outlined the North Carolina government prayer case that is making its way to the Supreme Court, and the battle over funding for the State’s Pre-K program.
As expected, this issue includes the 2011 Votes Paper, which tracks legislators’ votes on top familyrelated legislation considered this session—including the Marriage Protection Amendment bill which sends a constitutional amendment to the people for a vote. From a budget that was balanced without increasing taxes, to several common-sense pro-life measures, and changes to provide parents more choice in education, it was a busy and fruitful legislative summer session.
Finally, be sure to catch Bill Brooks’ commentary outlining what needs to happen between now and May to ensure that North Carolina becomes the 31st state in the nation to preserve the definition of marriage in its Constitution. It will be a long, challenging, and hard-fought battle, requiring Christians to jump out of their church pews and into their communities to ensure the protection of society’s most foundational institution.
If you live in one of the several local municipalities that are holding elections in October, be sure to vote. October will be good practice for casting your primary ballots for marriage in May! As always, remember to share this issue of Family North Carolina with your family, pastor, neighbor, coworker, or friend.
Brittany Farrell is assistant director of policy for the North Carolina Family Policy Council and editor of Family North Carolina.