The Marriage Protection Amendment, as it appears on the ballot:

Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and
     one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.


The Marriage Protection Amendment, full text:

Sec. 6. Marriage.
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.


Rebuttal to Gov. Perdue's statement opposing the Marriage Protection Amendment

This is a sentence-by-sentence analysis of Gov. Bev Perdue's 11-sentence statement in opposition to the Marriage Protection Amendment.  Gov. Perdue's words are in blue italics (and the audio is here). Here's what she said, with my replies:

[1,2] “Hi, I'm Governor Bev Perdue. Amendment One is a proposed Constitutional Amendment that can harm families and businesses across North Carolina.”


  1. It's not called “Amendment One.”
  2. It will not change NC law regarding either families or businesses.
  3. Only one State in the Southeast lacks a traditional marriage definition in its State Constitution, and that's the State with by far the highest unemployment rate in the region: North Carolina. States with traditional marriage definitions in their Constitutions have, on average, much healthier economies than those which don't.

[3] “Whatever your personal, moral, or religious views may be, writing discrimination into North Carolina's Constitution is just plain wrong.”

False. It does not write discrimination into our Constitution. Instead, it protects the traditional definition of marriage from being changed by activist judges, on the basis of a deliberate misinterpretation of our laws, as happened in Massachusetts (5/17/2004), Connecticut (10/11/2008), and Iowa (4/27/2009).

[4] “It would ban the State from recognizing civil unions, strip away domestic partner benefits, and it actually could eliminate legal protections for all unmarried couples in this State.”

False. The Amendment does not prohibit providing so-called “domestic partner benefits,” and it does not affect anyone's current legal protections.

Unmarried “domestic partnerships” currently have no legal protection in North Carolina, because they are illegal. A handful of NC municipalities have established so-called “domestic partnership registries,” but they confer no benefits or legal protections, and they are of dubious legality, because unmarried sexual cohabitation is prohibited by NC statute:

G.S. 14-184.  Fornication and adultery.
If any man and woman, not being married to each other, shall lewdly and lasciviously associate, bed and cohabit together, they shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor:  Provided, that the admissions or confessions of one shall not be received in evidence against the other.

G.S. 14-177.  Crime against nature.
If any person shall commit the crime against nature, with mankind or beast, he shall be punished as a Class I felon.

This Amendment will not change those statutes, nor will it prevent the Legislature from changing them in the future.

[5] “This will harm the security and stability of North Carolina families, like never before.”

False. It will protect North Carolina families from activist judges.

NC laws governing families will not immediately change, regardless of whether this Amendment passes or fails. But if it fails, activist judges are far more likely to legalize same-sex marriage in North Carolina, with very negative effects on NC families, especially children.

Currently, although unmarried people are not prohibited from adopting children, married couples get priority. If non-traditional relationships are recognized as the legal equivalent of marriage, then same-sex couples, and perhaps polygamous families, will have the same priority for adopting children as heterosexual married couples.

Legalizing homosexual marriage (or its equivalent under another name) would be very bad for children:

  1. because it would deprive many children of healthy parental role models; and
  2. because, based on the unfortunate experience of Massachusetts parents, it would lead to heavy-handed indoctrination of schoolchildren against traditional morality, and legal barriers to Christian adoption services; and
  3. because it would make it much easier for homosexual couples like Durham's Frank Lombard and his partner, Kenneth Shipp, to adopt young boys for sexual exploitation. (If you're unfamiliar with that horrific case, google their names.)

[6] “The amendment could also harm children, because some children of unmarried parents could lose their healthcare, and their prescription drug coverage.”

False. This amendment specifically protects such “contracts between private parties.”

[7] “The amendment, I believe, is dangerous for women.”

False, and completely baseless.

[8] “There is a real risk that some of the laws we have on the books now, to protect the victims of domestic violence, may no longer apply to many women in this State.”

False. This amendment will not affect such laws in any way. Even some (honest) opponents of the Amendment say this "risk" is nonsense. Also, here's a press release & legal analysis by a group of Campbell University law professors, reaching the same conclusion.

[9] “Our Constitution was written to guarantee rights, not to take them away.”

False. She's rewriting NC history. The first purpose of the NC Constitution is plainly stated in the Preamble. The purpose of the NC Constitution is to secure God's blessings for us and our posterity:

We, the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for the preservation of the American Union and the existence of our civil, political and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those blessings to us and our posterity, do, for the more certain security thereof and for the better government of this State, ordain and establish this Constitution.

Flouting God's Law is not the best way to secure His blessings.

[10] “So, on May 8th, I'll be casting my vote against Amendment One.”

It's not called “Amendment One.”

[11] “I hope you will join me and do the same.”

I hope you will not.


Dave Burton
Cary, NC
(email me)


Q: Whom should you believe about the meaning of this Amendment? Its supporters, or its opponents? More importantly, which interpretation will the courts accept?

A: That of its supporters. It is a firmly established principle of legal interpretation that a Constitution or law should be interpreted “according to the safe and honest meaning [as understood] at the time of its adoption, -- a meaning to be found in the explanations of those who advocated, not those who opposed it...”  Thomas Jefferson, 3/27/1801

Statements by opponents of a bill “cannot be relied upon as indicative of legislative intent.” National Labor Relations Board v. Thompson Products, 141 F.2d 794, 798 (9th Cir. 1944).

“If resort to legislative history is had, the statements of those who supported the legislation and secured its passage will be accepted in determining its meaning.” Union Starch & Refining Co. v. National Labor Relations Board, 186 F.2d 1008, 1012 (7th Cir. 1951). See also Duplex Co. v. Deering, 254 U.S. 443, 474475 (1921).

For more on the NC Marriage Protection Amendment, see: