It is important to read the text of the actual amendment. Unlike much legislation, it is very short. Only two sentences:
Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.
First I want to say that absolutely every human being - every color, every religion, every sexual orientation, every ideology, every income level, every nationality, every ability or disability - is made in the image of God. This means Christians should treat others with kindness, love, and compassion. We should seek the good of others more than ourselves. This includes those with whom we have profound disagreements.
An Issue of Equality?
Since people are made in the image of God they deserve equality. But, what we are talking about does not involve taking away anyone’s rights. Gay people have exactly the same rights that heterosexuals do. Any American is free to marry someone of the opposite sex if they are not currently married or closely related to each other. Except in a few states, no American, gay or straight can marry someone of the same sex. That’s why it is not accurate to argue for equality in this case. This is a situation where certain groups want gay people to have special rights, rights above and beyond what all Americans currently enjoy. That is also why it is very inaccurate to attempt to link the LBGT movement to the civil rights movement a generation ago. At that time, people of color did not have the same rights. In many cases they were not allowed to vote or stay in a hotel (among other things) because they were not white. This current issue is profoundly different. Gay people are allowed to get married, just like straight people, to another unmarried person of the opposite sex. Straight people are denied the right to get married to someone of the same sex. They are also denied the right to get married to someone who is already married. This is not discriminatory, it is just not marriage.
In Idaho and Ohio, an amendment with nearly identical wording passed. There, as in NC, opponents to the amendment used similar scare tactics (domestic abuse, parental rights, etc...) and the the scenarios they had spun never actually happened. Some make reference to Ohio’s similarly worded amendment as opening the door for domestic violence. However, they fail to remind people that in 2007 the Ohio Supreme Court said that the marriage amendment did not overturn any domestic violence laws. Of the 30 states with marriage amendments, and in every one of these states the domestic violence laws continue to be enforced.
That is why it is quite misleading to suggest that, despite the fact that the marriage amendment has passed in the other 30 states, some kind of horror scenario could happen here in NC.
What about Big Government?
As a conservative, I generally believe that people are better off with a smaller government. That is precisely one of the reasons I support the amendment. Marriage itself is a public institution. The question is not “should the government define marriage”. The government is always going to have to have a definition of marriage. The courts use it to determine many things in the way they rule, such as in cases that involve children. So the question is not “should the government define marriage?” The reality is that the government is going to define marriage regardless of the existence of this amendment. The courts will decide or the people will decide. The point of the amendment is that it gives the people an opportunity to tell the government what to do rather than the courts telling the people what to do. If we leave the law as it stands, it is very possible that the law could be overturned by a court ruling at some point in the future (as has already happened in several states). On the other hand, a constitutional amendment is much more difficult to overturn and the courts would be subject to it. That is why the law as it stands is not sufficient.
Some will argue that we should not "legislate morality", but all legislation is a legislation of morality. We, as a society, are saying that something should or should not be a certain way. If you believe in any kind of legislation, you believe in legislating morality. The question is not "should we legislate morality?" the question is "what kind of morality are you going to legislate?" As a Christian, I believe that God's way is always the best way for all people. I also care about people. Therefore, if I believe God's way is best for people, then I will vote accordingly.
I am voting in favor of the marriage amendment because I believe it is good for everyone in our society.