Pastors from across North Carolina held a press conference on the Capitol Grounds in Raleigh on July 15 to urge Governor Pat McCrory do everything in his power to protect and defend North Carolina’s marriage laws, including the state’s Marriage Protection Amendment. The event, organized by the North Carolina Pastors Network (NCPN), highlighted pastors who were instrumental in the effort to secure the definition of marriage as “the union of one man and one woman” in the North Carolina Constitution by a 61 percent vote in May 2012.
“It is with great concern and great passion that I join other pastors in standing here today believing that North Carolina’s Governor Pat McCrory should stand ready and willing to pull out all stops to defend the marriage amendment written into our State Constitution in 2012,” said Dr. Mark Harris, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte. “We look to Governor McCrory for his leadership and for his courage in fulfilling his oath to protect and defend the constitution of our great state.”
The pastors called on Governor McCrory to be proactive about defending North Carolina’s marriage laws, which are under attack. The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to issue a ruling on the constitutionality of Virginia’s marriage amendment before the end of July. This ruling could impact North Carolina’s marriage laws, as the Tar Heel State falls under the jurisdiction of the Fourth Circuit. Additionally, three lawsuits have been filed in federal district courts in North Carolina seeking to overturn the state’s marriage laws.
“The people have spoken loud and clear,” said Rev. Patrick Wooden, senior pastor of Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh. “We do not want marriage in the State of North Carolina redefined.”
Dr. Mark Creech, Executive Director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina and a key figure in the marriage amendment campaign, stated, “May 8, 2012 was a great day for marriage, a great day for North Carolina and a great day for America. The campaign to protect marriage in this state … traveled a long, long journey to victory.” Considering recent actions by courts to overturn marriage laws in other states, including voter-approved constitutional amendments, Creech continued, “It is a sad, sad day when a government which was meant to be of the people, by the people and for the people has become a government of the courts, by the courts and for the courts.” Now the courts are acting as if they are “above the people, above the constitution and above almighty God, Himself,” he said.
Other speakers included Dr. Kenneth Carrico, Executive Director of NCPN, and Pastor Bate Garman of Life Church in Morganton, who read a statement on behalf of NCPN president Dave Kistler.
“The North Carolina Family Policy Council applauds these and other pastors across the state for taking a solid stand for marriage and the protection of our marriage laws from judicial activism,” responded John L. Rustin, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “We join these pastors in imploring Governor McCrory and his administration to prepare to take whatever action is necessary to defend our marriage laws, including our Marriage Protection Amendment from unelected judges sitting on activists courts. The people of North Carolina spoke clearly just two years ago when they approved our marriage amendment by 61 percent of the vote, and we must all joint together to ensure that marriage in our state remains the union of one man and one woman!”