Local clergy speak out against Amendment One

From the press release:

Rev. Lisa Bovee Kemper of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville and Rev. Joe Hoffman of Asheville’s First Congregational United Church of Christ will hold a press conference on Thursday, April 19th, at 12:00 noon in the sanctuary of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, One Edwin Place, Asheville 28801. The ministers, speaking on behalf of People of Faith for Just Relationships (PFJR), will be joined by clergy and laity from local faith communities to speak against the proposed amendment to North Carolina’s constitution and to highlight its potential harms to families and children.

PFJR was instrumental in bringing last year’s Full Equality Resolution before the Asheville City Council. As a result, the city set up a domestic partners’ registry, an institution that will be affected if North Carolina voters ratify Amendment One on May 8th. It is the group’s on-going work to create a society that affords legal recognition to relationships that do not fall within the amendment’s narrow definition. Therefore, on Saturday, April 21st, beginning at 12:30 pm, PFJR will host an Interfaith Prayer Service at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 20 Oak Street, Asheville 28801, followed by a march to an early voting site.

The North Carolina legislature rejected all previous attempts to define marriage as between one man and one woman in the state’s constitution, and same-sex marriage is already illegal in North Carolina. This amendment would not just write bigotry against lesbian or gay couples into the state’s constitution: as proposed, it would impact unmarried heterosexual couples as well, causing untold difficulties in child custody matters, in domestic violence protections, in visitation and end-of-life decisions, and in issues of real estate and inheritance. According to the state’s Constitutional Amendments Publication Commission, because the term “domestic legal union” is not defined in state law, many cases are simply left for the courts to decide. Court procedures are protracted and generally involve great expense, both to the individual parties in the litigation and to the state’s taxpayers. The emotional burden of such legal procedures on families and, especially, on children is immeasurable. PFJR urges North Carolina voters to vote against Amendment One.


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