Charlotte clergy to preach Amendment One

The leaders of Clergy for Equality, representing twelve faith traditions in North Carolina, are against a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in that state. This Sunday, 30 clergy in Charlotte will speak against it from their pulpits.

The Charlotte Observer:

The debate over same-sex marriage in North Carolina will sweep through worship services this weekend as a coalition of Charlotte-area clergy pledged a plan action against Amendment One.

“Clergy for Equality,” a group of 30 leaders representing 12 faith traditions, announced Thursday that they plan to oppose the amendment through sermons, liturgy and prayer delivered through Sunday.

The group also has planned a news conference on Monday near the Square in uptown Charlotte.

“This proposal would severely undermine our state’s reputation as an inclusive environment where all of our creator’s children can thrive,” said member Rev. Dr. Nancy Kraft of Trinity Lutheran Church in a statement released by the group.

“It is ill-timed, poorly crafted and utterly unnecessary. Its dangers are untested and it reflects negatively on who we believe most North Carolinians seek to be in the world.”

Added the Rev. Dr. Chris Ayers of Wedgewood Baptist Church: “Together, we stand for fairness, justice and compassion, while this proposal represents the opposite. We call all North Carolinians to join us in protecting the liberties in our state Constitution by voting against Amendment One.

Here is the statement from Clergy for Equality:

Statement of NC Clergy and Faith Leaders Against the Anti-LGBT Constitutional Amendment

As people of faith, clergy and leaders in our faith traditions, we are mandated by God to demonstrate and protect love in all its forms and to stand for justice for all of creation. In faithful response to this calling, we commit ourselves, along with thousands of other Christians, Jews, Muslims and other people of faith around North Carolina, to these basic principles:

While we respect the fact that debate and discussion continue in many of our religious communities as to the scriptural, theological and liturgical issues involved, we draw on our many faith traditions to arrive at a common conviction. We oppose the use of sacred texts and religious traditions to deny legal equity to gay and lesbian people.

We oppose any amendment to the North Carolina Constitution that would prohibit gay and lesbian couples from receiving the protections like health benefits and hospital visitation afforded by recognition of their relationships.

We affirm freedom of conscience in this matter. We recognize that the state may not require religious clergy to officiate at, or bless, gay and lesbian marriages. Likewise, a denial of state civil recognition dishonors the religious convictions of those clergy, supported by their faith communities, who officiate at and bless gay and lesbian marriages.

As people of faith, we, the undersigned, urge the North Carolina State Legislature to protect families in North Carolina by opposing the anti-LGBT constitutional amendment (organizations listed for identification purposes only):

Stan C. Kimer, President, NC Council of Churches, Raleigh, N.C.

Rev. Dr. T Anthony Spearman, Chair, Religious Affairs, NC-NAACP, Senior Pastor, Clinton Tabernacle AME Zion Church, Hickory, N.C.

The Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, Raleigh, N.C.

The Rt. Rev. Clifton Daniel, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina, Kinston, N.C.

The Rt. Rev. G. Porter Taylor, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina, Asheville, N.C.

Bishop Tonyia M. Rawls, Prelate of the Southern Jurisdiction, Unity Fellowship Church Movement, Charlotte, N.C.

Dr. Sam Roberson, General Presbyter/Stated Clerk, Charlotte Presbytery, Charlotte, N.C.

Bishop Donagrant L. McCluney, Progressive Pentecostal Church of the Triad, Greensboro, N.C.

Comments (6)

I do not intend for this to be inflammatory, although I can see the potential, but I wonder why the churches take such a stand to affirm same-sex unions and then remain silent on abortion rights. I don't understand why some matters of public policy are worth taking a stand on and other important issues are not.

As a member of The Diocese of Western NC. Happy to see this and know that all three dioceses in NC support this statement.

Regrettably the NC religious leaders restricted their focus to gay/lesbian partnerships. The fact is that any limited income retired couples who can not afford marriage because of the loss of one of their two Social Security eligibilities, is also an issue in this Amendment, as are unmarried couples with children who face the possibility of losing their children down the road. This is a complicated and dangerous proposal as it writes into the constitution a prohibition on several groups of people based on a very restrictive interpretation of scripture and the history of marriage in the Judeo-Christian tradition. There is no need for this outrage and it is one more attempt to disregard the separation of religion and the state. Most of my friends and neighbors are offended and embarassed by this development.

[Off-topic: the previous thread is missing its Commenting function. JC Fisher]

Ooops, I meant the NEXT thread! (the one re Cell Phones). JC Fisher

The Rev. Cyndi Banks, rector at St. Luke's, Boone, NC, has YouTube video of a presentation to her congregation in opposition to Amendment One. It is 47 minutes, but it's one of the most cogent and compelling arguments for same-gender marriage I have seen. Find it at http://youtu.be/4RkfUP6BoNo

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