To the Editor:
On May 8, the citizens of North Carolina will have the opportunity to vote on the proposed state constitutional amendment on marriage. It has been my observation that there are varying degrees of confusion regarding this issue.
Lynn R. Buzzard, William A. Woodruff, and E. Gregory Wallace, three legal scholars from Campbell University School of Law, published a paper on April 18, regarding this proposed amendment in an effort “to help clarify for North Carolina voters the Amendment’s legal meaning and likely effects.” In light of some of the negative commentary we have witnessed, I would like to share with you the conclusion drawn by these academics: “We believe that the Amendment debate has been distorted by concerns over certain legal consequences that are highly unlikely to occur.”
Thirty-one states have adopted marriage amendments. In 2006, Idaho adopted a marriage amendment with virtually the same wording as North Carolina’s proposed Amendment: “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.” To date there have been no reported appellate cases, with the exception of Ohio, where the concern in question was resolved “by not applying the marriage amendment to domestic violence laws.” This should help to allay concerns that North Carolina’s proposed Marriage Amendment will lead to numerous lawsuits (as has been frequently disseminated in the media).
In closing, may I state for you what the proposed North Carolina Marriage Amendment does: It defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman. Nothing more. Nothing less. On May 8, 2012, please vote for the proposed marriage amendment.
(Editor’s note: The amendment in question will be on the ballot as Amendment 1.)