Letters: Paul Stam on Amendment One

Publisher’s Note: We received this Letter to the Editor from Representative Paul Stam in response to an opinion piece by Lori Bush.  Rep. Stam serves the 37th legislative district in Wake County and is majority leader of the N.C. House of Representatives.


Cary, NC – On May 8th the voters will decide whether this provision should be added to the Constitution:

“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.”

Let’s look at what the Amendment does and does not do. It would recognize only domestic legal unions between one man and one woman. The second sentence of the Amendment makes clear that it would not prohibit private companies from entering into private contracts based on relationships chosen by the company. Private employers, for example, could continue to offer domestic partnership or civil union benefits to an employee’s same sex or opposite sex partner. But the Amendment would prohibit the government from forcing a company to provide such benefits. The Amendment would prohibit the government from creating “same sex marriage” by calling it something else, such as a civil union.

The meaning of “legal union” is concrete and clear in the context of family relationships.  In federal law, “‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife…” 1 U.S.C. §7 (1996). This definition is consistent with the long-standing definition: marriage is the “[l]egal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife.”  BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY 876 (5th ed. 1979). The word “domestic” clarifies that other arrangements, such as business partnerships, would not be affected by this amendment.

Any benefits extended by government to a person based on a domestic legal union other than marriage would be prohibited. State Government has never offered benefits to the unmarried. Nine of the 625 local governments have. These cities and counties could still extend employment benefits that benefit non-married domestic households. The extension of such benefits, however, could not be based only upon the status of a domestic relationship other than marriage. For example, a statute could allow a city employee to pick one other person of his or her choice to be the beneficiary for health insurance. Or a county ordinance could allow an employee to pick a beneficiary based on whether they live in the same household.

I have been amazed at other absurd claims made by opponents. Several continue to be repeated in ads and orchestrated letter writing campaigns by opponents. Let’s set the record straight:

1.  The Marriage Amendment will not adversely affect North Carolina’s economy.  A 2011 report by the American Legislative Exchange Council ranked states by economic performance between 1999 and 2009 and by economic outlook. 8 of the top 10 economically performing states have marriage amendments. None have legalized same sex marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships. 9 of the 10 states with the poorest economic growth have legalized same sex marriages or civil unions.

2.  The Marriage Amendment Will Not Affect The Enforcement Of Domestic Violence Laws.  Opponents would have you think the Amendment obliterates our domestic violence law. The cases they use as authority are Ohio cases later overturned by the Ohio Supreme Court. The Marriage Amendment will have no effect on the enforcement of our domestic violence statutes. 30 other states have marriage amendments with domestic violence laws enforced. North Carolina does not even require that there be a romantic or intimate relationship for the statute to apply. N.C.G.S. §50B-1(b)(5) covers “current or former household members.”

3. The Marriage Amendment Will Not Determine the Custody and Visitation Rights of Unmarried Parents Unless Their Behavior Affects the Child.  Custody orders are based on the “parent”/child relationship. Courts base custody and visitation on the “best interest of the child.” N.C.G.S. §50-13.2(2007) The sexual behavior of the parent is not determinative except as it affects the child.

There is a real threat to the institution of marriage.  In several states same sex marriage has been imposed upon the people by courts that have engaged in tortured judicial reasoning –Massachusetts and Iowa, for example. These courts have used state constitutional provisions like ours to reverse the pro marriage policies that were in effect when the state constitution was adopted.

Now it’s happening in North Carolina. Same sex couples in Asheville went to the Courthouse for two weeks last fall seeking to obtain marriage licenses. A lawsuit was filed by the Register of Deeds of Guilford County in December challenging our state’s marriage laws and asking the Court to declare them unconstitutional because they don’t allow same-sex partners to “marry”.  That case is on appeal.

The Marriage Amendment will ensure that marriage between one man and one woman will be determined by the voters and not by a handful of judges. I am voting for it.

Representative Paul Stam
House Majority Leader

63 replies
  1. Lori Bush
    Lori Bush says:

    I believe that one of the most poignant speeches on this subject is by 19 year old Zach Wahl. You all may remember his speech to Iowa lawmakers in 2011, when he made remarks about growing up as a child of gay parents, speaking on his opposition to their proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

    This eloquent young man did something that so many of us cannot do, he spoke from a position of experience and also from the heart, and the youtube video became viral.

    I think he said it best….

    “My family really isn’t so different from yours. After all, your family doesn’t derive its sense of worth from being told by the state, “You’re married, congratulations!” The sense of family comes the commitment we make to each other to work through the hard times so we can enjoy the good ones. It comes from the love that binds us. That’s what makes a family.

    “So what you’re voting for here is not to change us. It’s not to change our families, it’s to change how the law views us, how the law treats us. You are voting for the first time in the history of our state to codify discrimination into our constitution, a constitution that but for the proposed amendment is the least amended constitution in the United States of America. You are telling Iowans, “Some among you are second-class citizens who do not have the right to marry the person you love.”

  2. MaryB
    MaryB says:

    Thanks, PattyC, I thought I would provide a link for those who think same-sex marriage is just as good for children. Fathers are very important in the development of children. Statistically,young men without fathers are more likely to end up in prison and young women are more likely to end up pregnant. And how is a child going to be really nurtured without a Mom? I’m sorry, but men are awesome, but nurturing is a mom thing. http://www.allaboutlove.org/natural-marriage.htm

    • kevin
      kevin says:

      Are you intentionally moving the goal posts or was that an accident?

      1. You bring up the point “young men without fathers …” but ignore that 50% of hetero marriages end in divorce while FAR FEWER gay parents split up. Studies show that kids in a two-parent house (sex/sexual preference is irrelevant) fare much better, so why do you assume that kids of gay parents grow up “without fathers”?

      2. You quoted an anti-gay marriage site in defense of your anti-gay marriage beliefs. A site that’s a little more neutral would have been better. For example,


      gay parents raise great kids all the time. And conversely, straight parents raise crappy kids every day.

      3. “…how is a child going to be really nurtured without a Mom”…..really? Again remembering that 50% of straight marriages fail, how about you answer that for them and *THEN* we’ll address it for gay couples.


      4. Why do you assume that passing this will somehow stop gay couples from having kids? No matter what you say or do they’re going to continue to be couples who are committed to each other and their families, but you keep conflating “pass amendment 1!” with “stop gay families!” You’re not going to stop them any more than outlawing straight marriage would stop you from making a family.

      Will someone PLEASE answer my question? WHY DO YOU WANT TO DEFINE MARRIAGE AS ONE MAN/ONE WOMAN? I see a few veiled references to some arguments I’ve heard before but nobody has the guts to come out and give a direct answer. Why not?

  3. jahred boyd
    jahred boyd says:

    Glad to see all the discussion going on, this issue (Amendment 1)is pure hate and religious Dogma being shoved down our throats. So when did NC recognize inter-racial marriages and they’re children?

  4. Jim Miller
    Jim Miller says:

    The Constitution serves the purpose of regulating the government. We The People are regulated by laws. When The People want to regulate the behavior of Government, we amend the Constitution. James Madison once argued that there should be no Bill of Rights because by listing what the government cannot do, some may incorrectly assume that what is not listed within the Bill of Rights will by default become a right of the Government. A good example of James Madison’s concern has manifested itself in the debate regarding The Health Care Bill, which will only be deemed Constitutional if there is a lack of Amendment which specifically states that the government does not have the right to force The People to purchase an insurance policy. But I reach out to you today not about the Health Care Bill, but about the amendment to the North Carolina Constitution which would define marriage as being between one man and one woman.

    As a Social Conservative it is my opinion that homosexuality is nothing more than sexual nonconformity. As a Constitutional Conservative however, I do not believe that the government has any business regulating either sexuality or nonconformity. Even more dear to Social Conservatives than the sanctity of marriage is the sanctity of religion; but it was Constitutional Conservative Thomas Jefferson who said “it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg”. Gay marriage neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. In fact, it’s already illegal in our State.

    For politicians to say that we need to give the government the right to prohibit all citizens from participating in a behavior that neither picks the pockets nor breaks the legs of those whom it offends is utterly and indefensibly Progressive. As for the political argument that North Carolina “is not equipped to handle [gay marriage]”, I must offer an analogy from my own career. I am a Paramedic, and if for some reason I happened to be ill equipped to handle a particular 911 call, under no circumstances would it be acceptable for me to make a policy of simply banning any 911 call that doesn’t fit my pre-existing protocols.

    While the Obama Administration has divided us by using Federal policy to make people dependent upon the Democrat Party, it is equally unjust to use the status quo of Obama tyranny as an excuse to use social engineering to implement facets of the Republican agenda. A true Constitutional Conservative wants the government to have NO rights over the citizens. If you believe that the Government has the right to tell you what to eat, what to purchase, what car to drive, or who you can spend the rest of your life with, then you are a Progressive and should identify yourself as such.

    Jim Miller

  5. Gary
    Gary says:

    At least the amendment vote will get many out to vote. We did the early thing today, and encountered 12 paid people after leaving Academy St. and entering the gym to vote!
    We were told where to park, where to walk, what not to do, and where to exit, The exit door had three signs. All I can assume is a lot of illiterate/vision impaired voters were expected.
    One paid worker was sitting under a tree with earphones on, but he had a nice reflective vest. These elections are not cheap, and the gov’t provided a bunch of p/t employment for early voting.

    Counters on each ballot machine were at about 2400 this afternoon.

  6. George
    George says:

    If you support the amendment, answer this question: How would you react if a gay majority changed the constitution to say marriage is only recognized between two people of the same gender?

    • PattyC
      PattyC says:

      Sounds like you are advocating for the end of civilization since there will be no children produced and the world will cease to exist went the last living person dies.

      • kevin
        kevin says:


        Exactly how did you get from “legalize gay marriage” to “prevent heterosexual reproduction”?

        5th time…nobody is saying YOU can’t do something, why are you saying *they* can’t?

      • George
        George says:

        So it’s okay for you to discriminate against a gay person, but if a gay person discriminates against you it’s the end of civilization. That’s a fascinating (and hypocritical) mindset.

        Personally I try to live by the golden rule, which is an ethical principle virtually universal across all religions and cultures including my own. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment is he responded that all the laws hang on the idea that we should love our neighbor as ourself. Yep, gay people are our neighbors too.

        It’s funny how there is not even one verse in the Bible that says “gay people shouldn’t get married.” Instead we get stories of love and tolerance. Remember when some people brought Jesus an adulterous woman? I mean homosexuality is mentioned in passing in Leviticus, but adultery is one of the 10 commandments! They figured he was going to unleash a world of pain upon her, right? Nope. He said “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” and suddenly no one wanted to condemn her anymore.

        Some might say all of this is moot anyway because we have separation of church and state — and they’d be right. Like Thomas Jefferson, I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.

        The US Constitution says no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. No state. Any person. Think about that.

  7. Brent
    Brent says:

    For those who wish to respond more directly to the leadership behind Amendment One, you also can comment here:


    (click the tiny little comment bubble on the Amendment One story).

    Comments are moderated…Anyone taking bets on which ones get published?

  8. Brent
    Brent says:

    Stam’s central assertion that marriage is under assault is hokum. To the best of my knowledge, no one is attempting to stop men and women from marrying. Whether or not other forms of legal union exist, marriage will remain legal and men and women will be free to continue to marry.

    Despite what he claims to stand for, Stam is wasting taxpayer dollars and foisting big government intrusion on North Carolinians.

    So as George points out previously, Stam’s actions belie his web site slogan…he’s really for more government and less freedom.

  9. Andrew
    Andrew says:

    Perhaps the states that have legal unions and marriage for gay people like me should rethink reciprocity with states that legislate against marriage equality. If I can’t get married in Connecticut then move to NC and have my union recognized then Connecticut should not recognize any marriages gay or straight performed in states like NC etc. This is only fair. The fact is that reciprocity has been the law of the land for years. Let’s have real reciprocity throughout the land!

  10. James
    James says:

    Apparently, Mr. Stam swore on the consititution to uphold the bible instead of the other way around. Oh yeah, If you say the bible prohibits same sex couples you need to try to not eat shrimp or wear clothes of two different fabrics too?
    he’s confused!
    No hate in my state!

  11. Betsy
    Betsy says:

    This is just one more case of our government (federal, state or local) spending time legislating personal issues instead of addressing the important issues we elected them to solve–like jobs, the budget, etc. It’s time to get out of our bedrooms and into the economy. Every poll I”ve ever seen shows that the VAST majority of Americans feel that gay couples should be an accepted part of our community and have the same rights as heterosexual couples. Why can’t our legislators accept this instead of insisting that they have control of our morals?

    • PattyC
      PattyC says:

      Given that same-sex marriage is already banned in 30 of the 50 states in the United States and, domestic unions are banned in about 14 states, you really should check the validity of your “polls”. What polls are you referencing? Even the liberal N&O would cite the public policy institute poll that says the majority of North Carolinians favor the marriage amendment.

      • Robert Campbell
        Robert Campbell says:

        PattyC – A simple google query will point you to this:
        Which states “Support has increased steadily for more than a decade, with supporters first achieving a majority in 2010.” The nice thing is that article cites other articles for the points being made. Polls taken as recently as April 2012 show that 47% support same-sex marriage and 43% oppose it (this is a decline in opposition).

        And, just because something is allowed or banned doesn’t make it right. Discrimination in all its forms is bad for us as citizens. How will you explain to the child of a same sex couple that they are somehow less equal to a heterosexual couple?

  12. Rebecca
    Rebecca says:

    I do not understand why an amendment to the state constitution is necessary to “protect marriage” when same-sex marriage is already unrecognized by the State of North Carolina. I am firm believer that constitutional amendments that restrict the personal rights of citizens are a bad idea. The level of bigotry that debate over this amendment has revealed is jaw-dropping to say the least. If this amendment passes, I will truly be embarrassed about being an NC citizen.

    I also agree with previous commentary that this amendment is simply a red herring to avoid serious creation and implementation of strategies to improve things that actually matter like the economy and education.

    • PattyC
      PattyC says:

      You probably meant same-sex marriage is NOT recognized by the State of North Carolina and, that NC already defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman.

      Well, the State of Massachusetts also had marriage defined as the union of a man and a woman when State Judges saw to it that Same-Sex marriage became legal there in 2004. Legalizing same-sex marriage will provide a government incentive to encourage people to be married as same-sex couples.

      If you would be embarrased to live in a State that defines in it’s State Constitution that Marriage is the union of a man and a woman, there are 30 other states in the USA that you should avoid moving to.

      • Robert Campbell
        Robert Campbell says:

        You state a scenario that makes it sound like judges go looking for reasons to overturn law. They do not. There must be a case to get a ruling that makes a law (or amendment for that matter) valid or invalid.
        The NC constitution, Art. 1, Section 1 begins:
        We hold it to be self-evident that all persons are created equal;

        Note that it doesn’t read some persons, it states ALL persons are equal.

        So, how do you reconcile advocating FOR something that clearly makes certain people unequal with this section of the same constitution? I guess a judge will have to decide.

      • George
        George says:

        “Legalizing same-sex marriage will provide a government incentive to encourage people to be married as same-sex couples.”

        Sounds good to me.

  13. Laura Seliga
    Laura Seliga says:

    I disagree with conclusion in bold. This amendment can’t be a threat to the institution of marriage. It is, after all, something God joined together, man’s temporary laws are arbitrary.
    I tend a vote on how a campaign responds to the opposition and puts out information, and the signs that read ‘amendment one harms children’ are pretty clear statement on how pernicious their politics are. Just calling it amendment one is obfuscation and maybe even a misnomer (according to the last post). Saying it harms children is silly at least a and lie at worst.
    We have many gay friends (who are amazingly still friends with us despite our purely biblical views on the subject of their sexuality). We are commanded to love all people and give our hearts and resources to them in need and in friendship. I’m no hater, lol, I will vote for this amendment because it is the right thing to do and I will feel good about it because the campaign against it has been so divisive.

      • L
        L says:

        I reviewed the link. Thanks, George. Of course, my vote will be primarily on the merit of the amendment, I should have worded it that the delivery of messages tends to sway me (that’s what they are meant to do) and in the case of the ‘against’ campaign it backfired. I recognize mud-slinging, simple conjecture and flimsy dramatic arguments to provide sensationalism and I tend to steer away from that. Not that the ‘for’ campaign hasn’t done any of those things (it is politics after all). We make up our own minds about which arguments are most sensible and least distorted. Here’s the other sides’ site: http://www.voteformarriagenc.com/ Not as fancy, but you can look into it if you want.

  14. Hal Goodtree
    Hal Goodtree says:

    Thanks all for taking the time to comment on this story and add to the discussion. Just a reminder that you can agree to disagree, but keep it respectful. Check our Comments Policy for more information.

    Patty – good question about naming. Thanks for the info on what to look for on the ballot. I always wish government would use more everyday language. Common sense.

    • PattyC
      PattyC says:

      You’re welcome. Btw, Mr. Stam never calls the proposed Amendment “Amendment One” but, the media frequently uses the reference.

  15. PattyC
    PattyC says:

    I understand that the NC State Constitution of 1971 has been amended 28 times. This Bill would amend Article 14 of the NC State constitution. On the Ballot it is under “Referendum” and “Constitutional Amendment”

    Though Representative Stam does not call the Amendment “Amendment One”, I wonder why the public so often refers to this Bill as “Amendment One”. Would it not make more sense to call it “Amendment 6”?

    • George
      George says:

      I am under the impression that it is the first amendment proposed in the calendar year. Are you saying it is the sixth?

      • PattyC
        PattyC says:

        How many Amendment One’s are there in the Constitution of the United States?

  16. Steve
    Steve says:

    The proposed Amendment banning recognition of same-gender domestic legal unions is a desperate attempt to promote religious dogma and delay the inevitable: widespread public acceptance of the fact that recognizing gay marriage is beneficial not only to gay individuals, but also to the general public welfare. As our society has become more humane toward homosexuals, people have also become more familiar, less ignorant, and consequently, less fearful of gays and gay relationships. They recognize that their children won’t become gay after seeing gay couples together or being treated as equals, and that gay people aren’t going to become straight – much less have successful straight marriages – through persecution, shame, medical treatment, or anything that could be implemented in law. If legal recognition of committed monogamous relationships between straight people is good for society, be it out of ethical treatment of those with deep emotional attachments or to discourage the hazards of promiscuity – the same public benefit applies to gay couples. Honoring the choice to enter this commitment strengthens the social institution of marriage regardless of who the consenting adults happen to be.

  17. Brooke Meyer
    Brooke Meyer says:

    “The Marriage Amendment will ensure that marriage between one man and one woman will be determined by the voters and not by a handful of judges.” Representative Paul Stam, House Majority Leader

    This is going to be BIG news for the Bridal Industry. Used to be, a Judge could marry you, now you’ll need Voters. And I bet the Voters will each want a check from the Groom. Worse, you’ll have to feed them. As usual, they’ll probably try to save money by haggling with the Photographer so I’m against it. I say, have a destination wedding somewhere were they don’t have Voters, like Afghanistan. Weddings are easy to photograph there. If you miss focus on a bride in a Burka, nobody knows! And no complaints from Mother In Laws, they’re all muffled under the Burkas. Except bookings are really hard to get in Kabul so just forget the whole thing and stick with the Judge.

    • PattyC
      PattyC says:

      Wake Up Brooke. Same-sex Marriage has already been made legal by judges in 7 U.S. states including Massachusetts, California, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Vermont. You’re just holding the door open for it to happen in North Carolina.

      • kevin
        kevin says:

        “You’re just holding the door open for it to happen in North Carolina.”

        You say that like it’s a bad thing but you refuse to explain WHY it would be bad. Please, tell us exactly why, in your eyes, same-sex marriage is bad.

          • kevin
            kevin says:

            Fairness, equity, freedom, and a firm belief that if it’s not hurting anyone else, you should be allowed to do it.

            Not recognizing gay marriage isn’t fair, it isn’t equitable, and it doesn’t represent any kind of freedom. Fact is gay marriage doesn’t hurt you one bit, so why are you against it? That’s the third time I’ve asked you and I expect another deflection…….. I’m hoping/expecting that everyone will see your (non)answer for exactly what it is.

      • Brooke Meyer
        Brooke Meyer says:

        Same Sex marriage is really, really boring, the same thing over and over. You should spice things up occasionally! My first wife once accused me of being a different species but that is just TOO spicy, so I agree, Same Sex Marriage is a big problem. By the way, I had a Judge for my second marriage and it’s worked out fine if you know what I mean ;-). A few months ago, I even Photographed a Wedding in the Wake County Courthouse ( by a Judge instead of a Voter) and they still seem happy. I hope it doesn’t turn into one of those Same Sex Marriages. Booooring!

  18. Robert Campbell
    Robert Campbell says:

    So, the wife of the representative who helped write this amendment stated that the reason this is so important is because the Caucasian race is diminishing and needs to reproduce.


    I’m just thinking that rep Stam might want to rethink his support of a a discriminatory amendment crafted by people who appear more concerned about white power. No matter how you look at this amendment, it is damaging to our people and our state.

    Our state constitution must not continue to be used as a tool of oppression. NC has had enough of that already.

  19. Thom Haynes
    Thom Haynes says:

    Vote AGAINST. Don’t be a hater. Gays deserve the same rights as straights re: legal marriage or civil unions, whatever you call it

  20. Joanie Conwell
    Joanie Conwell says:

    Amendment One WILL hurt our state, if it passes. Instead of being known as the state with startling blue skies, fresh air, thriving towns, strong universities, and friendly people, North Carolina will(again) be known throughout the country and the world as a place where bigotry and fear prevail.

      • Joanie Conwell
        Joanie Conwell says:

        Just to clarify: you admit that the amendment is a display of bigotry and fear, but maintain that bigotry and fear are okay because others are also doing it? Racking my brain to think of when else in history that might have happened.

  21. George
    George says:

    Mr. Stam’s website says he supports “more freedom, less government.” I can only assume that this is a typo.

  22. Bruce Spader
    Bruce Spader says:

    First of all, why has this person expended some much time, his and that of others, for something already covered by law? And potentially created further overheads where litigation for clarification will be required? Haven’t there been much more important issues to the citizens of our state, namely economy, job and education that haven’t gotten addressed, because a few people feel we don’t already have enough government in our lives? Don’t like this man, and the divisiveness he creates, and hope whatever influence he has in our legislative processes soon fades away. We’ll be better off for it.

  23. BW
    BW says:

    My question to Paul Stam is why is all this effort being made to focus on a discriminatory amendment and not more effort being put into actual job creation? Aren’t North Carolina citizens more concerned about jobs, education, healthcare, etc.? Instead of quoting ALEC, consider how someone like NC native and entrepreneur Chris Hughes (one of the founders of FACEBOOK) would feel about starting a company and creating jobs in our state. But don’t take my word for it, consider the following:

    FROM an April 24 commentary:
    Jim Rogers, CEO of multi-billion dollar Fortune 500 company Duke Energy headquartered in Charlotte, made something of a splash when he spoke out against North Carolina’s proposed anti-gay marriage referendum Amendment One. He made the remarks at a business networking meeting, and made the case it would not be good for recruiting talent to the state and allow them to remain competitive with states like New York, Illinois and California, that do, to one degree or another, legally acknowledge same-sex relationships.
    He crossed over from simply objecting into BLASTING THE AMENDMENT when he went on to say:

    “I’m old-fashioned: I believe we’re all the children of God and we shouldn’t have special rules for some and not for others. We have to recognize differences in people and celebrate those differences. That’s just something I believe.
    “And I’ll go a step further – and this is going to be somewhat controversial when I say this. If this amendment passes, we’re going to look back 20 years from now, or 10 years from now, and we’re going to think about that amendment the same way we think about the Jim Crow laws that were passed in this state many, many years ago.”

  24. Steven Goodridge
    Steven Goodridge says:

    The proposed Amendment banning recognition of same-gender domestic legal unions is a desperate attempt by mostly ignorant people to promote religious dogma and delay the inevitable: widespread public acceptance of the fact that recognizing gay marriage is beneficial not only to gay individuals, but also to the general public welfare. As our society has become more humane toward homosexuals, people have also become more familiar, less ignorant, and consequently, less fearful of gays and gay relationships. They recognize that their children won’t become gay after seeing gay couples together or being treated as equals, and that gay people aren’t going to become straight – much less have successful straight marriages – through persecution, shame, medical treatment, or anything that could be implemented in law. If legal recognition of committed monogamous relationships between straight people is good for society, be it out of ethical treatment of those with deep emotional attachments or to discourage the hazards of promiscuity – the same public benefit applies to gay couples. Honoring the choice to enter this commitment strengthens the social institution of marriage regardless of who the consenting adults happen to be.

  25. Cindy Sinkez
    Cindy Sinkez says:

    I appreciate Mr. Stam’s point of view. I disagree with his conclustion. Just because there is some longstanding law doesn’t make it correct in modern times. In Providence Ohio there is a law that you can’t sell a toothbrush and toothpaste to the same customer on a Sunday. http://www.cracked.com/funny-4595-6-strange-laws-still-books/
    This is not a threat to any marriage. My family will be voting against discrimination and for accepting that there are all kinds of familes. I agree with Mrs. Bush that our constitution deserves better than this.

    • PattyC
      PattyC says:

      You are voting to allow for same-sex marriage to become legal in your town the way it has happened in 7 other US states. Your Town Clerk may be required to sign marriage certificates for same-sex couples. You are giving teachers in your public school the right to teach your children about same-sex families and homosexual relationships. If you think that is the family model that children should have, then vote against the amendment.

      • John
        John says:

        Of course I want my children to learn that there are many types of families, of course I want them to know that black people exist, gay people exist. Of course I want them to know that there is nothing wrong with being born gay. Of course I want them to know that gay people are law-abiding, tax-paying, highly productive citizens of this country. What is your problem with the gays? being gay causes absolutely no harm to anyone or anything in society

      • Cindy Sinkez
        Cindy Sinkez says:

        My children are aware that the world is made up of all kinds of people. My children and I have friends who are gay, straight, black, white and many other nationalities. My children are open minded and have been raised to understand that the world isn’t perfect but we make the best of it that we can. Discrimination has no place in the constitution. So to answer your question my children model what they live and they live a life of acceptance.

  26. Jeff
    Jeff says:

    I still haven’t heard anything that would convince me that this amendment will in any way benefit the people of NC. Will it reduce divorce or domestic violence among married couples? To me it’s simple bigotry and discrimination, circa 21st century.

  27. kevin
    kevin says:

    I really only have two questions, “why do you want marriage to be defined as being ‘between one man and one woman?'” and “how does giving gay couples the same state-sanctioned rights as straight couples threaten the institution of marriage?”

    I subscribed…I’d love an answer from Rep Stam

    • PattyC
      PattyC says:

      I lived in the state of Massachusetts in 2004 when same-sex marriage became legal there without any input from the citizens of Massachusetts. Within the year, public schools at all levels were teaching and promoting the homosexual lifestyle without any obligation of providing parental consent. Second grade students were expected to read about a same-sex family as they were just learning to read.

      Four years later, MassEquity, a homosexual rights lobby, was able to persuade the State to provide $500,000 in additional funding to address the “dramatic rise” of HIV/AIDS cases there.

      The Netherlands have had same-sex marriage legalized for over a decade. You should go there to visit and see how many children you can find who were raised by both a Father and a Mother.

      • John
        John says:

        Massachusetts also has a dramatically lower rate of divorce than NC and has been dropping every since they passed marriage equality. In America, 50% of hetero marriages end up in divorce, with the result being millions of children live with a single parent. If you really cared about marriage, and if you really were not a homophobe, you would support a constitutional amendment banning divorce!

      • George
        George says:

        Patty, you may be interested to learn that the number of new HIV/AIDS cases in Massachusetts decreased every year from 2000 to 2010, with a total decrease of 45% over the decade.

        Source: Mass. Dept. of Public Health http://www.mass.gov/dph/aids

        • PattyC
          PattyC says:

          Check with MassEquity and ask the homosexual lobby group why they would write their supporters about the success in lobbying the 2008 MA State Legislature to provide additional funding for the “dramatic rise” in HIV/AIDS cases.

        • PattyC
          PattyC says:

          Too many sections on the State website George. In which section, article & paragraph did you find that info?

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