April 29

I appreciate the encouraging comments on the sermon this past Sunday. The issue of Biblical morality and the sanctity of marriage is certainly an important one. If you were unable to hear the message Sunday, or would like to further consider my thoughts, you can access it at our website or call the office and request a CD. You can also access read a printed version in “My Notes” on my Facebook page.

As you can already tell we will be seeing and hearing a lot of ads and information about the proposed Marriage Amendment in the next couple weeks before the actual vote on May 8th. Early voting has already begun.

Remember that not everything on the TV/radio/Internet is completely accurate. With that in mind here are the web sites I included last week that look at this issue from both sides.

One of the articles I’ve seen recently is authored by three law professors at Campbell School of Law in Raleigh. This is part of their introduction.

Maxine Eichner, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law, issued a 27-page statement in November 2011 detailing her views on the potentially harmful legal impact of the proposed Amendment. She says that the Amendment would not only ban same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships, but also would threaten a wide range of benefits or protections given to unmarried couples, whether heterosexual or homosexual, including existing domestic violence laws. Professor Eichner’s views have been widely disseminated in the media.

The reason for this paper is a narrow one. We do not endorse or oppose the proposed Amendment. There are thoughtful arguments on both sides, and we encourage a robust public debate about the Amendment. Our aim instead is to help clarify for North Carolina voters the Amendment’s legal meaning and likely effects. We believe that the Amendment debate has been distorted by concerns over certain legal consequences that are highly unlikely to occur. While the apparent aim of the proposed Amendment could have been stated with greater clarity, we do not think its terms justify these concerns. We emphasize again that it is not up to us to tell anyone how to vote on the proposed Amendment. We offer this paper only as a modest attempt to explain the meaning and likely effects of the Amendment, should it pass. We believe that North Carolina voters are best served by having accurate legal information about the Amendment, so that they can properly consider the Amendment’s pros and cons and then vote their conscience.

As part of their presentation the authors discuss some of the 30 states that already have similar amendments, and speak to several of the issues that are being discussed through ads and news stories here in North Carolina. I would encourage you to take a look at this article as well as look at other material as you consider this important vote. The article, as well as footnote information to access Prof. Eichner’s paper, can be found at this website.

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

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