RALEIGH, N.C. — A group of civic and religious leaders have formed a campaign committee to urge North Carolinians to pass the marriage protection amendment next May. Organized under the banner “Vote FOR Marriage NC,” initial members of the Executive Committee include the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, Christian Action League, NC Values Coalition, a coalition of African American pastors, and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). The group also includes a multitude of other policy organizations, denominations, and civic groups.
“We very much look forward to a dialogue with North Carolina voters about the importance of preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” said Tami Fitzgerald, Executive Director of NC Values Coalition and a founding member of Vote FOR Marriage NC. “The marriage amendment ensures that voters and not activist judges will decide the definition of marriage in our state. Marriage as the union of one man and one woman has served North Carolina well since before we were a state, and it’s time we respected the institution of marriage enough to protect it in our state constitution.”
Coalition leaders said their campaign would appeal broadly to voters across the state.
“God is the author of marriage, but we aren’t running a campaign to appeal solely to believers in God,” said Rev. Mark Harris, state president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, which voted two weeks ago to endorse the amendment. “Our campaign will appeal to voters of every faith, or no faith, because it will focus on the unique common good that marriage provides to society. Marriage is the glue that holds civilization together, because it helps hold families together. We need to protect and preserve marriage from being redefined by activist judges or politicians.”
A wide appeal to African American voters is expected, according to Patrick Wooden, Pastor of the Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh. He will be working with African American pastors around the State to protect the institution of marriage between one man and one woman, one of their fundamental beliefs, from being re-defined.
A bi-partisan majority of the North Carolina Legislature recently voted to put the issue before voters on the May 2012 primary ballot. Thirty states have adopted marriage amendments preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Every state to consider a marriage amendment has adopted it. North Carolina is the only southern state not to have yet voted on a marriage amendment. Among southern states, the average vote in favor of a marriage amendment is 74%.
“We congratulate the people of North Carolina for securing their right to vote on marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). “NOM looks forward to being part of the coalition urging passage of this important amendment protecting marriage.”