Faith Leaders Speak Out Against Anti-LGBT Marriage Amendment in North Carolina
May 23, 2011 by Karin Quimby, Regional Field Director
On May 17th, faith leaders from across the state of North Carolina spoke out against the proposed Anti-LGBT marriage amendment that has been introduced in both the state house and senate (SB 106/HB777) that could prohibit all forms of legal relationship recognition for gay and lesbian couples.
Rep. Marcus Brandon, the first openly gay African American legislator in North Carolina’s history, hosted the press conference. Speaking not only as an elected representative but also as a person of faith, Rep. Brandon emphasized how his faith and that of the religious leaders at the press conference, calls them to recognize the inherent worth and dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and to speak out against this hateful amendment.
The clergy spoke to the harm the proposed amendment will visit upon gay and lesbian families, and the faith-based mobilization occurring throughout the state to oppose it. Rev. Dr. T Anthony Spearman, of Clinton Tabernacle AME Zion Church, talked about how this amendment will harm couples who could be denied even the most basic protections and it harms vulnerable LGBT young people by sending a terrible message that their state and their neighbors consider them second-class citizens unworthy of basic dignity and fair treatment, a message which exacerbates the epidemic of LGBT young people committing suicide.
Rev. Dr. H. Stephen Shoemaker of Myers Park Baptist Church and Bishop Tonyia M. Rawls from Unity Fellowship Church, in Charlotte, also spoke. They were joined by Rev. Dr. Amy Laura Hall, an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and Associate Professor of Theological Ethics Duke Divinity School and Ari Margolis, Assistant Rabbi of Temple Beth Or who all were there to reach out to the legislature in civil, loving dialogue—calling on them to put aside this attack on gay and lesbian families and return to the business at hand of creating jobs and improving the economy.
HRC is partnering with Equality North Carolina in fighting these bills that, if passed, will place a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2012 to outlaw gay and lesbian marriage and possibly any form of relationship recognition. If you are a fair-minded religious leader in North Carolina, please join our religious coalition for marriage equality here.
To watch the press conference, click here.
To get involved in the campaign to defeat the anti-LGBT amendment in North Carolina, please email HRC Southern Regional Field Organizer Jessica Osborn at Jessica.Osborn@hrc.org.
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