Faith In Action

 

Thoughts on the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook elementary School. 

 Following is a link to the American Friends Service Committee, Acting in Faith blog.

AFSC Acting in Faith: Love All the Children

 

 

Winston-Salem Monthly Meeting of Friends has been led to publish the following minute of concern regarding Amendment One proposed to the NC State Constitution. The amendment states:  Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.

As a Quaker community of faith, Winston-Salem Friends Meeting opposes the proposed North Carolina Constitutional Amendment One.

For more than three centuries, the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) has held a deep concern for justice in social and economic relationships.  This concern is based on the belief that there is that of God in every person.   Our historical testimony of equality for all people leads Friends to consider any legislation that marginalizes any group a matter of spiritual concern that requires remedial action.

We believe that the Constitution of the State of North Carolina should not be amended in order to codify discrimination against anyone.  We believe it is the responsibility of our faith community and of the state to support, nurture, and encourage all families, not to isolate, alienate, and damage non-traditional families.

Legislation of this type alienates young people who are gay or lesbian. The media coverage on suicides of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender students accentuates the need for our society to prevent harassment and discrimination.  Ensuring that the amendment does not pass is critical to prevent further tragedies to vulnerable young persons in our schools and society at large.

 The unintended outcomes of this amendment could bring devastating economic and social consequences to thousands of NC families.  Marriage for gay and lesbian couples is already banned in our state. But the impact of the amendment is so broad that it snares not only gay and lesbian couples and their children in its legal net, but also any unmarried couple and their children.

Amendment One bans recognition of all legal relationships other than marriage—prohibiting North Carolina from ever recognizing civil unions and domestic partnerships. Thousands of North Carolinians rely on these legal protections.  Removing these rights creates far-reaching and long-lasting harms for families from all walks of life.  Amendment One would interfere with protections for unmarried couples to visit one another in the hospital and to make emergency medical and financial decisions if one partner is incapacitated.

Winston-Salem Friends have prayerfully considered this amendment and its ramifications and recommend voting against Amendment One.