The New Yorker Looks at NC Amendment One Fight
May 3, 2012 by HRC staff
Post submitted by Dan Rafter, Former HRC Associate Director of Communications
The New Yorker is the latest national publication to weigh in on the fight against the discriminatory Amendment One in North Carolina. Anne Stringfield explains why the fight to defend LGBT couples – and protect all unmarried families in North Carolina – is so personal for her. She also looks at how the coalition has successfully engaged communities of faith in the Tar Heel State:
The Coalition has targeted exactly the voters who those opposing gay rights have counted on most in past campaigns: religious communities. One of the Coalition’s first hires was a director of faith outreach, and so far, more than four hundred bishops, ministers, rabbis, and so forth have signed on as “people of faith against Amendment One.” Many have made videos or issued statements explaining why they’ve made this decision. In addition to the expected fund- and consciousness-raising events around the state (parties, art exhibits, beer tastings), sermons and Bible study groups have become part of the anti-amendment conversation. One of the most eloquent Coalition supporters is Reverend Dr. William Barber II, the head of the N.A.A.C.P. in North Carolina. The N.A.A.C.P. was among the first organizations to join the Coalition (along with more usual suspects like the A.C.L.U., colleges and universities, and libertarian groups), again defying the hopes and expectations of anti-gay-marriage activists who have said in the past that they considered the African-American community to be a likely ally. Dr. Barber has been crisscrossing the state making speeches that include passages on practical morality like this:
[The N.A.A.C.P.’s] position is based on our mission statement, which calls for the equality of rights of persons. The issue of same-sex marriage is a matter of conscience, a matter of religious and moral perspective. It should be worked out within one’s own conscience, within one’s own faith, within one’s own heart, within one’s own faith community. The North Carolina legislature is not the modern-day Council of Nicaea. And we should not want it to be. Public policy, not personal morality, is what we ought to address in the legislature.
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