BY DAWN BAUMGARTNER VAUGHAN, Durham Herald-Sun
DURHAM – Pilgrim United Church of Christ will host a community series this month on “Faith and the Marriage Amendment,” about the proposed North Carolina Amendment 1. If the ballot measure passes May 8, the only valid domestic union recognized by the state will be marriage of a man and a woman.
Pilgrim UCC’s series kicks off Sunday with keynote addresses at 3 p.m. at the church, 3011 Academy Road. Speakers are Jimmy Creech, author of the memoir “Adam’s Gift,” and former United Methodist minister defrocked after blessing a gay union; and Brent Childers, executive director of Faith in America. Childers is a lifelong conservative evangelical Christian who once derided gays and lesbians and now opposes religion-based bigotry.
The rest of the series will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, March 6 through March 27. Those who attend are asked to gather at 6:15 p.m. for heavy hors d’oeuvres. On Tuesday, family law attorney Sharon Thompson will speak on “Legal Perspectives of Amendment 1,” followed by Duke Divinity School theology professor Mary McClintock Fulkerson March 13 on “Theological and Biblical Perspectives on Amendment 1.” The rest of the series includes a panel discussion, “Personal Perspectives,” featuring those who will be directly affected by the amendment on March 20; and “What People of Faith Can Do to Oppose Amendment 1” on March 27 with speakers Ryan Rowe of the Coalition to Protect All North Carolina Families, and the Rev. Rollin Russell, retired UCC minister and volunteer with the N.C. Council of Churches.
The Rev. Ginger Brasher-Cunningham, pastor of Pilgrim UCC, said the issue is dear to her church because they believe all people are treated equally, and “we can’t imagine voting yes for this amendment would serve anyone.” She said they are hosting the series to share why a ‘no’ vote is important for civil rights and justice for all.
Brasher-Cunningham said they hope to reach anyone who has a question about why the amendment is important. “It crosses all kinds of boundaries – many people will be harmed by this,” she said, mentioning that heterosexual domestic partnerships will also be impacted.
“We don’t think we should legislate how people should be in relationship with one another,” Brasher-Cunningham said.
For information on the series, call Pilgrim UCC at (919) 489-1381. Child care will be provided for all events.