Policy Statement on a Constitutional Amendment Regarding Marriage

Adopted by the Executive Board of the North Carolina Council of Churches, March 2, 2004

The North Carolina Council of Churches opposes a Marriage Amendment to the federal or state constitution because it would enshrine at the constitutional level discrimination based on sexual orientation. In addition, we find it to be a highly charged, politically motivated, divisive measure.

We are not attempting with today’s statement to resolve all of the questions around issues of homosexuality, same-gender marriage or civil union. However, as the Executive Board said in 1991 in “A Policy Statement Regarding Violence, Harassment, and Discrimination Against Gay Men and Lesbians”:

“…Intolerance cannot be tolerated.  Silence and passivity by the churches allow hostility, and are unfaithful responses to the Christian gospel.  Justice, respect, and freedom must be claimed and pursued for all persons in the service of the justice and peace of God’s sovereignty in history…

“…The North Carolina Council of Churches rejects the fear, prejudice, and hatred that foster societal and religious attitudes which either encourage, condone, or ignore violence and discrimination against gay men and lesbians.

“The Council stands with gay men and lesbians in their struggle to achieve equal human and civil rights under the laws of North Carolina and of the United States…

“…We unite in affirming that no person or class of persons should be subjected to violence, harassment, and discrimination because of sexual orientation.  ‘The church’s firm support of civil rights for gay persons ought not depend upon agreement concerning the theological and ethical appropriateness of the homosexual orientation or of specific same-sex acts.  Civil rights support ought to be considered an expression of Christian concern for basic social justice’…”

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