Amendment defender debunks 'activist judge' claim

Posted May 5, 2012

On tonight's On The Record, one of the three Campbell Law professors who authored a paper defending the Marriage Amendment conceded he doesn't believe one of the primary arguments advanced by amendment backers.

From the beginning of their campaign, its supporters have said the amendment is needed because the current state law banning same-sex marriage could be overturned at any time by "activist judges."

Campbell Law Professor Lynn Buzzard doesn't believe that's true in North Carolina.  NC Marriage Amendment On the Record: Marriage Amendment

When asked whether the current ban is in danger of being overturned by the North Carolina Supreme Court, Buzzard replied, "No, I do not think so."

"I don't think at this stage a North Carolina court would strike down the statute," he said.

"But it's not true that this is a redundant constitutional amendment," Buzzard added. "If it was just redundant, we wouldn't have the energy and the passion going on to fight it!"

Amendment backers say it IS redundant. They say it does nothing more than put the existing state law banning same-sex marriage into the constitution.

In fact, the language of the amendment would also ban the state from allowing civil unions or domestic partnerships, and would prohibit city and county governments from offering benefits to the domestic partners of their employees. That change would affect an estimated 80 families, half of them heterosexual, who currently receive DP benefits from 9 municipalities statewide.

It's also worth noting that in all three of the states that have legalized same-sex marriage in the past year (WA, NY, MD), that action was taken by elected lawmakers, not judges. On the Record Extra: Marriage Amendment

The conversation continued online after the TV taping. You can watch the web extra at right.


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  • bberthol May 13, 2012

    The criticisms characterizing David Crabtree and Laura Leslie as "biased" in their questioning of Kami Mueller in the "On the Record" program of May 5 are flat out wrong.

    This is an interview show, not a news report. Mueller is a flak for one of the Pope Foundation's propaganda arms, the "Family Policy Council,” which reportedly received almost a million dollars in the last several years to further Pope’s right wing agenda. Perhaps Crabtree and Leslie might have mentioned that.

    These two WRAL professionals commendably did what we should expect, not letting Ms. Mueller get away with her obvious and cloying religious bias.

    Coupled with the NC Legislature's reducing our public school per pupil expenditure to near the bottom of national rankings (see Gov. Perdue's "Mississippi" comments), one wonders: Are they consciously trying to make us end up a state populated by biased, ignorant dunces?

    Whatever happened to the "New South?"

  • dalemille May 8, 2012

    Yep, you losers, why would someone want what Christians have? Do you really need a papers 2 prove it

  • unclebear83 May 7, 2012

    @ Flow Easy

    Took the words right outta my mouth! :)

  • Come On_Seriously May 7, 2012

    So Judith, should we ban bbq since it is a sin in the bible to touch or eat pork, should we reinstitute slavery, should we throw women in jail who speak in church or don't wear hats to pray? Should we outlaw divorce? It is a big-time sin according to the bible, but since half of all marriages- even those that claim to be religious- end in divorce, we'd fill our jails with sinners pretty quickly. Maybe we should just stone them and be done. If all these things are the word of G/J/HS, where do you draw the line? Why cherry-pick just the verses that conveniently back up bigotry and peoples' personal prejudices? It will be nice when people grow up and stop using religion as a basis of oppression.

  • htomc42 May 7, 2012

    Yes, this amendment -is- redundant, and its a nice little diversion from the rest of important elections happening. Not only that, but its a diversion engineering to draw a hardcore conservative crowd more than likely to vote for R-candidates once they are at the poles. That is the real meaning of this terrible legislation- the "social" conservatives are fiddling while Rome burns.

  • judithfergerson May 6, 2012

    Was it David Crabtree that had the special on Amendment one tonight on WRAL - who said Jesus Christ did not write anything in the Bible on homosexuals? Well Mr. Crabtree from where I stand God and Jesus and the Holy Sprint are One in the same. Futhermore, from what I understand the Lord God Almighty penned every word o...f the Bible through man - therefore, every word in the Bible was spoken by Jesus Christ and yes there is mention of homosexuality in several verses. Therefore, David, I beg to pardon you for your comment BUT Jesus Christ did in that instance mention the word homosexuality in the Bible.

  • yournot May 6, 2012

    No reason to state that marriage is between one man and one woman in the constitution. Polygamy is not legal in the US, gay marriage is already banned in NC, what is the point of restating this? I think this is a plot to distract everyone from the lack of job creation ideas.

  • survivorx2 May 5, 2012

    I thought the whole "On The Record" program this evening was very biased by the WRAL staff. David Crabtree wears his liberal angst and anger on his sleeve. This has been very obvious on most all shows he hosts. He continued to change the subject tonight when the conversation didn't go to his liking and contionuously imposed his personal opinion whenever a guest was speaking. David Crabtree should be more selective of his guest if he wants them to be more agreeable. WRAL wants to appear to be community oriented. Why not do that and leave this distasteful style of debate to the big guys in the media.