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NC same-sex couples keeping close eye on Supreme Court

Posted March 26, 2013

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— Gay rights advocates held a vigil outside the Wake County Courthouse Tuesday evening, the same day the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a California case on the constitutionality of state bans on same-sex marriage.

North Carolina voters approved a constitutional amendment last year that defined marriage in the state as being between a man and woman only. Thirty-eight other states also have laws or constitutional prohibitions against gay marriage, and the definition of what qualifies as marriage is where the emotion and the debate reside.

Dave Parnell and Jeff Evans, for example, have been together for 24 years. The Raleigh couple was married in Vermont last year, but North Carolina's amendment means their marriage isn't recognized in their home state.

They said they're hopeful for a landmark Supreme Court ruling to redefine marriage.

"There are benefits that come with this that make a big difference in how we live our lives and making sure we can take of each other," Evans said.

"We would like to be recognized as the couple we are," Parnell said. "We’d like the security going into the next phases of life knowing those protections are there."

Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said same-sex couples are already eligible for many of the rights they seek through marriage.

Dave Parnell and Jeff Evans, same-sex couple Definition of marriage elicits emotional responses

"What I honestly believe it's all about is affirming homosexual relationships and normalizing those relationships," Creech said, adding that any change also would affect parenting nationwide.

"Are we to say now, after thousands and thousands of years, that children don’t need a mother and father?" he asked. "I’ve known a lot of men who’ve made good fathers, but I’ve never known one man yet who made a good mama."

Creech noted that, if the Supreme Court declares bans on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional, any business or church that disagrees with gay marriage will suddenly be outside the law.

"It's about redefining an institution that's at the heart of and fundamental to our culture," he said. "It has so many ramifications."

Parnell and Evans said they don't expect to change peoples' minds, but they would like to see their marriage license mean something in North Carolina.

"We know people pretty much have their heels dug in," Parnell said.

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  • belovedsparrow Mar 28, 2013

    50 years ago the issue was whether blacks deserved the same rights as whites. Today it is whether homosexuals deserve the same rights as heterosexuals. The answer then: yes. The answer now: yes. The answer always: yes. We are humans, we deserve the same rights. Period.
    nativeNCgrl

    I have many black friends whom I know would personally be offended at the suggestion that being black is something that compares in the slightest with choosing to live a lifestyle that attempts to pervert everything that marriage is.

  • belovedsparrow Mar 28, 2013

    "they still have the first amendment to protect their borderline hate speech."

    Who here has said anything about hate? I get so sick and tired of you people accusing us of hatred. All we do is defend the decency and morals that people seem to have completely forgotten about in this day and age.

    You can accuse someone of hate when we do something specificly to you. But all we do is tell you the truth. You just dont want to hear it. So yeah... we've got our first ammendment rights still. At least for now until you get so offended that you decided we shouldn't be alowed to speak at all.

  • MonkeyFace Mar 28, 2013

    The Supreme Court ruled in Roe V. Wade that it was "legal" to murder unborn babies. 55 million dead babies later the blood is on the hands of those 5 unelected judges. We are a diminished nation because of their immoral ruling.--------so what youre saying cbuckrun is that you would rather have thousands upon thousands MORE kids being orphans? Waiting and hopeing for some on to adopt them? Why should kids be brought in this world with out a family to love them? People make mistakes, we are humans after all. Birthcontrol isn't 100%. Things happen. Its a woman's personal choice. *gasp* Just like being gay. Just like being straight. There will be no dooms day if TWO PEOPLE THAT LOVE EACH OTHER GET MARRIED!

  • atheistswillrule Mar 27, 2013

    Under their "logic" how is marriage between cousins anymore abnormal than "marriage" between people of the same sex? cbuckyoung

    Because when cousins marry, they are at high risk for producing children that could have cameo roles in the remake of the movie "Deliverance". When gay people marry, they either already have a child or they adopt one, or they don't want one, but at least they don't produce kids with marginal I.Q.'s and features like a Picasso painting.

  • mmtlash Mar 27, 2013

    I visited NY for the first time ever last week, where gay marriage is allowed and it's not the end of the world up there. Life goes on, the difference is gay people are allowed to marry their partners. It's not even a big deal up there now that SSM is permitted.

  • xxxxxxxxxxxxx Mar 27, 2013

    people will be able to "marry" their cousins...

    As a matter of fact, it is not illegal for second cousins to marry and in many states it is legal for first cousins to marry.

  • Mon Account Mar 27, 2013

    Seems like some of these 'logical' arguments that are hinged on easily thwarted lines of reasoning (slippery slope, etc) are still prevalent. I thought that in the past few years they have been examined and analyzed enough to debunk them, and that increasing support for gay marriage was an indicator of the public becoming educated.

    Either people are not getting wiser, or the few who think like it's last century are becoming quite scared of the change that is unstoppable and are trying the 'squeaky wheel' method.

  • simplelogic Mar 27, 2013

    I have to wonder how Abraham, the founder of the world's three major religions, would feel about being called a "heathen".

  • junkmail5 Mar 27, 2013

    In another slippery slope outcome of the pending court ruling is that soon under the flawed pronounment that "homosexual marriage" is about "marriage equality" is that people will be able to "marry" their cousins or the radicals will shreak "intolerance"- chuckyoung

    Except in the dozens of other states and nations that have allowed same sex marriage none of those insane slippery slope arguments has happened. At all.

    Because sane people understand the difference between two consenting adults being allowed to marry, and someone trying to marry their goldfish.

    Why don't you?

  • junkmail5 Mar 27, 2013

    The Equal Protection clause would cover one married man and woman having the same standing before the court as another married man and woman- chuckyoung

    No it wouldn't. Because you shouldn't discriminate based on gender any more than race.

    otherwise you could say 'equal protection covers one white man and one white woman having the same standing as one black man and one black woman and there's no equal protection requiring interracial marriage to be legal'

    So yes, it's EXACTLY an equal rights/protection issue.

    The Supreme Court ruled in Roe V. Wade that it was "legal" to murder unborn babies- chuckyoung

    No, they didn't... they ruled it was legal to terminate a fetus that wasn't viable outside the womb of the person carrying it.

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