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According to reports, North Carolina voters today decided to ban gay marriage.

But Ryan T. Anderson objects to how this is being framed:

How we talk about an issue affects how we think about it. . . . Today’s vote in North Carolina is not about banning anything. Nothing will be made illegal as a result. In all fifty states across the nation two people of the same sex can live together, have their religious community bless their union, and have their workplace offer them various joint benefits—if the religious communities and workplaces in question so desire. Many liberal houses of worship and progressive businesses have voluntarily decided to do so. There’s nothing illegal about this. There’s no ban on it.

What’s at issue is whether the government will recognize such unions as marriages—and then force every citizen and business to do so as well. This isn’t the legalization of something, this is the coercion and compulsion of others to recognize and affirm same-sex unions as marriages. . . .

The same-sex marriage debate is so frequently framed in terms of granting gays and lesbians the freedom to do what they wish that few people realize that they already have that freedom—the question is whether the rest of society will have the freedom to choose which type of relationship to honor as marriage. Public discourse needs to more carefully reflect the issues at stake. . . .

Voters in North Carolina today are not voting to ban anything. They are voting to define what marriage is. They are voting to protect the union of a man and woman as something unique and irreplaceably important.

You can read the whole thing here, including interaction with Vice President Biden’s defense of gay marriage.

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43 thoughts on “Voters in North Carolina Did Not Vote Today on Banning Gay Marriage”

  1. This is a rather weak apology for the good people of North Carolina by Mr. Anderson. But it is typical of New York-based National Review. It’s as though he’s saying it’s really OK for this deviant behaviour to proceed, just let us have our kind of marriage too. There’s only one kind of marriage, that between a man and woman. All other so-called “unions” are illegitimate and sinful.

  2. Gay marriage is a mandate like ObamaCare just by another avenue.

    Using the power of the State to implement the secular Dogma of the Left that would require people of faith to violate their conscience.

  3. Kristin S says:

    I live in NC and every newcast this morning has said something like, “NC voters chose yesterday to officially ban gay marriage.” What?? That’s not what I voted. We voted on that a few years ago. That is not what Amendment 1 was about. I was voting FOR marriage.

  4. pa says:

    One part of the quoted piece should make Christians uncomfortable, I’d think. Voters were not voting “to define what marriage is,” God, presumably, did that, and they were not voting to “protect” marriage (we hear all the time that votes cannot change hearts–there isn’t an exception to protecting marriage…in fact comments above re-stated this point already). Protecting marriage is preaching the gospel and reflecting it in your own homes, not passing laws.
    But presumably, too, the vote did do something. It closed a door on same-sex couples getting a range of economic and legal benefits that come with civil marriage. If this is really a theological issue, an issue about “protecting marriage” then why isn’t the battle against theologically liberal churches that marry same-sex couples? If the law is to be used, wouldn’t consistency demand that we make that illegal? If it bothers you that in some states same-sex couples can legally marry, shouldn’t it bother you more that in every state a same-sex couple can go to their liberal church nearby, be united in marriage, and even serve as leaders in the church teaching others?

  5. JM says:

    Talk about judgmental, unaccepting, discriminatory views. I’m pretty sure God is disappointed at your so-called Christian selves acting as supreme individuals and hand-picking certain arguments out of the Bible to take literally while choosing to completely ignore others. If we want to condemn people for homosexuality, then we also need to condemn those who engage in pre-marital sex and treat them as EQUAL SINS… afterall, a sin is a sin is a sin, right? And GOD will judge at the end, it’s not your job to do so. If we want to take the Bible literally, half of us should have been stoned to death by now. Oh, and women’s rights should probably be revoked since the Bible seems to make our sole purpose to serve the husband. It’s 2012 people and God preached LOVE and ACCEPTANCE!!!!!! Again, it’s not your job to judge and you should be ashamed for advocating INEQUALITY amongst your brothers and sisters. I hate the argument “I like gay people and I don’t discriminate, but I don’t think gays should be allowed to marry”. THAT IS DISCRIMINATION!!!!!!!!!! What about marriages that take place at the courthouse and not in a church!? Are those even valid to you? I think the only union that the government should recognize is a CIVIL UNION and let those who believe in a given faith go above and beyond to seek “holy matrimony” in their own way. This is so sickening… I can’t even stomach the absurd bigotry. Open your hearts and learn to love and accept. God didn’t write the constitution that governs our country of RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, therefore, our various controversial, divisive, and conflicting interpretations of the Bible should not be used to amend it.

    1. Gavin Brown says:

      That comment was pretty judgmental.

      1. JM says:

        I apologize for coming across upset, but I am hurt and disappointed and frustrated. I hurt for the many North Carolinians, Americans, HUMANS that we discriminate against daily and we get away with it because we can argue that God doesn’t approve of something? I just don’t understand why that’s our job to say what God does or does not approve of nor do I understand why it only applies to *some* scriptures within the Bible. It’s not fair to allow religious freedom in our country (freedom to practice any type of religion or NONE at all), yet we want to govern based on a particular religion. That’s not fair. And denying basic and equal rights, based on religion, is hypocrisy and oppression.

        I’m all for people having a right to their opinions and views, religious or otherwise. I respect and appreciate that right. However, when those opinions and views are used to keep others from having equal rights, it seems immoral and unjust and unloving. I don’t agree with some things, one-night stands, for instance, but I certainly don’t think a law should be made against it because who am I to say how a person should live their life? It’s as simple as “if you don’t agree with it, then don’t do it”… if people disagree with homosexuality, for religious reasons or otherwise, then don’t engage in a homosexual relationship. Simple as that. Gay marriage will do absolutely nothing to harm the sacredness of straight marriage… heterosexual marriage will still be just as valid and beautiful and wonderful and sacred, even if gays can also marry.

        I just don’t understand the hatred and discrimination. I thought God’s message was for us to love each other, so that’s how I try to live MY life. And I am teaching my son the same. God made us ALL and we are all special and worthy of equal rights.

      2. MIke says:

        Jim, just to highlight your own words, I felt your post was “judgmental, unaccepting, discriminatory” and showing “hatred and discrimination” toward me. Just sayn.

        1. JM says:

          I think that comment is for me… I’m not Jim, I’m a woman. Not being snarky about that, just pointing it out to avoid confusion. Funny thing is that I usually play the part of ‘peacemaker’ who does whatever necessary to avoid conflict and confrontation, but this issue really does turn my stomach and simply shouldn’t even be a political/government debate, in my opinion. Our government should be trying to fix the real issues of our nation (economy, foreign policy, crime, jobs) rather than trying to dictate people’s relationships.

          Anyway, I digress….

          I’m certainly not trying to keep you from having any rights, Mike. I completely respect your right to believe what you want and practice whatever religion you choose. And I believe in your right to voice your opinion. I believe in your right to marry who you want and enjoy all of the benefits that come with that sacred union, regardless of what you believe. I also wish you the best in life and hope that you are happy, because we all deserve happiness.

          Where the harm comes is when we allow religion (which is not practiced by all people) to dictate laws. You can disagree with gays all you want, that’s your prerogative, the discrimination and unconstitutional inequality comes in when you try to take away their civil rights, as humans, based on subjective, religious beliefs. Not to mention it sends the message that some people are second-class citizens and should not be treated equally. And we wonder why teenagers are committing suicide… It breaks my heart. I love all of God’s people and think we all deserve equal rights and equal treatment, even when our views are completely different. I’m thankful to belong to a church that believes this as well…

          My son is in kindergarten. And if one day he were to come to me and tell me that he is gay, it wouldn’t change at all the fact that my son is HUMAN and deserves EVERY RIGHT that all other humans deserve. It saddens me that not every parent feels the same way and I just hope and pray that children in these situations can find strength and courage and support somewhere…

    2. Michael says:

      Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE,and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

      1. JM says:

        And that is your religious belief, which is not held, nor is it required to be held, by all Americans. Therefore, I fully respect your beliefs and I applaud you for holding true to your beliefs and living by those words, however, they are still subjective and religious, and should not be used to govern a nation of religious freedom.

        So, I’m just curious, if I interpret those words literally, should divorce be illegal? And what about pre-marital sex?

        1. Michael C. says:

          But you beg the question – why should your view be allowed? One at least appeals to God, a personal God at that, who has given us a law to follow.

          You view appeals to self, you think this way or that, but I think a different way – why should I follow what you think? I am not being snarky, just pointing out that you haven’t given us a reason for or justification for anything you said except that you believe it to be wrong. Whereas clear exegesis can show you at least what the Bible says (and assume by proxy, what God says).

          Divorce should be made much harder in this country than it is. But the Bible does allow unfaithfulness as grounds for divorce.

          Also remember that homosexual unions were not made illegal – they were already illegal in NC. This prevents advocate judges (like CA) from changing the laws when they see fit.

          1. JM says:

            Yes, I’m aware that same-sex marriages were already illegal in NC, but I am afraid a lot of people thought it WAS about that and were not educated on the real change. My true concern in the vague wording of the amendment is for that of innocent children and victims of abuse because this amendment impacts ALL civil unions and domestic partnerships, gay AND straight.

            Michael, I’m not asking you to justify your views. You have a right to them. Period. And I don’t have to justify mine. Although I believe that my justification is as simple as God = Love and my goal is to love and accept all people and do my part to be a good person. I’m not interested in judging people that are different than me (not my job) or attempting to take away their rights. I am the kind of person who always has a smile for the person I pass in the street and genuinely believe that people are inherently good. I’m not out to put people down. I have a wide range of friends… straight, gay, Christian (Catholic, Presbyterian, Mormon, Methodist, Quaker, Baptist, etc), agnostic, democrat, republican, independent, married, divorced, you name it… and I think they all contribute to this world and make it a better place in some way or another. And regardless of their beliefs, I think that they all deserve equal rights.

            I’m also not asking you to follow the way that I think. I outright said that I respect your views and your opinions, which means that I’m not asking you to change them. All I’m asking is that we refrain from condoning the treatment of a group of humans as second-class citizens who are underserving of equal rights simply because they hold different views and beliefs.

            Just an FYI… The last time North Carolina amended its constitution in regards to marriage, it was to ban interracial marriage. I’m hoping that we eventually look back on this as well and wonder “what were we thinking?”. Because, in the end, we’re all human and have a right to be treated as such.

            1. Michael says:

              The same God that = love also said:

              Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE,and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

            2. Tyler Smart says:

              ===All I’m asking is that we refrain from condoning the treatment of a group of humans as second-class citizens who are underserving of equal rights simply because they hold different views and beliefs.

              This is incredibly naive. Outlawing an activity != second class citizens. What if pedophiles said “I feel second class b/c I feel like God made me this way– I must have sex with 5 year olds” Pedophiles are human beings but their behavior is outlawed for a reason.

              From the Christian perspective Christ came to break down racial barriers (see his teaching on the good Samaritan). Race is not a problem, marry inter-racially if you want; the NC ban on it was wrong.

              Jesus however affirmed the teaching of Genesis 1-3 that a man was to be joined with his wife (woman) and this was God’s intention from the beginning.

              So interracial marriage is OK; gay marriage is an oxymoron as marriage is by definition the way Jesus thought of it (b/t a man and a woman)

              This is not even mentioning all of the other issues associated with homosexual relationships like the sodomic diseases, the incredible unfaithfulness (in like 99% of relationships) and other issues that crop up.

  6. Jay says:

    “But presumably, too, the vote did do something. It closed a door on same-sex couples getting a range of economic and legal benefits that come with civil marriage.”

    Exactly, and the quoted article seems to ignore this.

  7. Cyberdude says:

    I live in NC and this is a pathetic view of what the issue is. The point is that why should I have to pay the same taxes as everyone else if I am not allowed to have the same rights and priviledges as everyone else…. oh, let me correct — I don’t pay the same tax; I PAY MORE because I am not allowed to be married in NC.

    You want to “protect marriage” as you call it? Then you need to make divorce illegal.

    1. Wait, why aren’t you being allowed to marry?! That makes me very upset.

  8. Cyberdude says:

    And by the way, I find it rich that all of you people want to holler “separation of church and state” when the government is trying to walk on your rights, but the church is the first to stick it’s nose in everyone else’s business and get involved in politics when it wants to force its views on everone.

    1. Michael C. says:

      In my understanding most people who champion church/state separation are in fact non-Christians who do not want the encroachment of Christian morality. From again, my understanding this concept was from Jefferson, a deist, and it isn’t something that is in the Constitution. Merely that the Government would not make a single denomination a national church. Though presumably state churches were still OK.

      As far as being involved in other business, the same goes for the reverse, once marriage is redefined, people are penalized when they won’t support it. The issue has always been either we keep marriage as it is, or we force everyone to agree with the new definition (which is really a non-definition). Either way both sides are fighting to enforce their views on the other. The question is whose authority structure do we trust?

  9. Here’s the Church’s teaching on marriage from the Book of Common Prayer (with references from Holy Scripture):

  10. Rhea says:

    Love is love. This is why I hate Religion, and always will. Who has the right to tell us who we can love? If someone falls in love with someone of they same sex, they SHOULD have the right to be with them. Should we just ban all marriage?
    People certainly believe some strange things. It breaks me heart to see people not have the rights to see their loved ones after they die. That’s not fair.

    1. J.Clark says:

      Rhea, we need your help. You get it. Love is the greatest of all. Help us understand why anyone would stop one person from loving another. I know a grown man who “loved” a young girl (well under age). Why should anyone stop him from loving her? Can you show us where the line is drawn and from what authority do you speak? We need to know what authority you have all these truths on so we can differentiate between you and the other 3.7 billion views on love. Thanks for helping us out.
      sincerely, J.

      1. James Rednour says:

        What a foul comment. You are comparing the actions of two CONSENTING adults to the action of a child molester? You are disturbed.

        1. J.Clark says:

          James, thanks for pointing that out. That’s what we need help figuring out. I actually have several close gay friends who tell me that most gay men they know (including themselves) desire to be with under age boys. This is their testimony not mine. What we need help with from you is to know the boundary. What if the under age boy consents? Should it then be ok? Be sure to let us know why and what authority you have about these things.
          sincerely needing to be enlightened, J.

          1. James Rednour says:

            Stop being so condescending. You obviously have a reading comprehension problem as I clearly stated consenting ADULTS. Stop throwing up strawmen to support your ridiculous arguments. Anyone who assaults a child be they heterosexual or homosexual ought to be thrown away for good.

            Now, do you have any RATIONAL argument you would like to make?

            1. J.Clark says:

              James, thanks again. You keep bringing us back to reason and I appreciate that. So another question for our help: Who gets to decide what a “consenting adult” is? Thanks for the help. Please let us know from what authority you are speaking from. I’m sure you mentioned it already but I must have passed it over already. Some of my friends also wanted to know why you are discriminating against a lot of other kinds of lifestyle like the “pro man and woman marriage” crowd, the “polygamist” crowd, the “north american man-boy association,” etc.. My friends seem to think you are narrow minded and shallow in your thinking. Some even say you are a bigot of sorts but I wouldn’t go that far. Thanks again, J.

    2. Love Wins says:

      Yes, and why aren’t people able to marry more than one partner if they love and consent? People should be able to do what they want, whether thats have sex with a horse or whatever, as long as it makes them happy people have the right to do what they want and no state or religion should tell them otherwise. They should mind their own business. The state and religion should serve our interests and needs, and God if he is real and loving he would serve our interests and want us to be happy, not force us to love him in the way that glorifies and pleases him and how could he know what will give us the most joy anyways?

      1. James Rednour says:

        Yes, why aren’t people able to marry more than one person? Do you own their bodies? Then who are you to dictate the terms of a relationship that any number of consenting adults want to enter into? The subject of bestiality is absurd because the horse is being agressed upon. The state should not deny rights to a certain group of citizens that are freely available to others. Christians should stop using the state to defend marriage for God. I’m sure he can handle it on his own. The church is free to marry or not marry whomever they choose, but the state should not have the same luxury because a church is a voluntary organization whereas the state is compulsory.

        1. JK says:


          So, you think polygamy is okay? What about incest? That’s two consenting adults, right?

          I don’t agree with the tone some of the other conservative folks above have used in this comment trail, but I do agree with some of their logic. If you redefine marriage as something other than the biblical idea of a union b/t a man and a woman, what standard do you use?

          You say that the standard is between 2 consenting adults (which would *have* to include incest and polygamy)? Why stop there? Why not 2 consenting people (i.e. a 40 year old and a 14 year old)? What basis do you have to set your standard?

          1. James Rednour says:

            It doesn’t matter whether I think polygamy or incest is OK or not (I don’t, BTW). If consenting adults choose to enter into a relationship that I find distasteful for whatever reason, unless their actions are harming others then I have no right to dictate to them what they can and cannot do, and I certainly do not have the right to use the state (which seeks to replace God’s law in every possible avenue) to force them to desist. BTW, two of the three patriarchs were polygamists, of course.

            And before someone tells me that allowing gays to marry will hurt everyone because it will cause a moral breakdown in society, gays can hardly do a better job than heterosexuals have done in this regard.

          2. James Rednour says:

            I’m ignoring your comment about child/adult relationships because virtually everyone (Christian and non-Christian alike) acknowledges that these relationships are inappropriate. Most children do not have the strength of will to resist adult advances against them and they certainly do not have the life experiences (i.e. wisdom) necessary to understand what is happening to them and what the repercussions are.

            1. JK says:


              Thanks for your response. I can tell that you are really upset about this whole situation. I’m sorry if you or someone you’re close to has been hurt by all this. I know the conversation can be emotionally weighty, and I’m saddened by much of the tone (and words) on both sides of the argument.

              If you would, let me ask you two questions. First, you define marriage as 2 consenting adults. But how do you define what an adult is? There was a case not too long ago where a 16 year old was tried as an adult in a court room. Why not hold the same standard for marriage? I think we both agree that a 15 year old marrying a 40 yr old is wrong. But what basis do you have for making it illegal? WHY is it wrong? Is it because you think so? Is it because a majority of the US thinks so? What if the consensus were to change in 100 years, would it be okay then?

              Second, you said that you think polygamy and incest are wrong, but shouldn’t be illegal. Where do you draw the line between something that is just “not okay” (like you said polygamy and incest are) and something that is illegal? Isn’t that the bigger question underlying the homosexual/marriage debate? Is your standard “As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, it should be legal”? (That’s definitely NOT the standard of the US legal code…) So, what’s the standard?

              Christians have a standard of morality that is outside themselves. I know that we can’t always agree on what that standard is and sadly we admittedly never live up to that standard perfectly, but that doesn’t mean we don’t strive to live it out. Most of the folks whom I’ve talked to who want to revise the traditional definition of marriage don’t hold to any standard other than public opinion. I see a major logical flaw with that, and I’m trying to understand it.

              Thanks, again, for the dialogue.

      2. Michael says:

        “how could he know what will give us the most joy anyways?”

        He who created them from the beginning.

        “People should be able to do what they want, whether thats have sex with a horse or whatever…”

        Whatever they want? What about sex with children? Babies? Houses? Cars?

  11. Jay C says:

    You may want to re-read the First Amendment on what Separation of Church and State mean. You are entitled to your opinion, but the opinion of many is that bigotry exists within this law. Whether you “meant” it or not. Is it just a coincidence that your definition of “marriage” should also try to negate the words “unions” and “partnerships” of others? Or is that just a happy side effect of eliminating the right of two loving adults to have any relationship whatsoever? Because you want a Traditional marriage to be upheld. Then call is Traditional Marriage and make what others want New Marriage. If that were really your goal. Who made YOU and those with your opinions the voice of God? I have a relationship with God, and he is almighty, all loving, all accepting and FOR ALL people, regardless of faith, gender, sexual preference, or color. It WILL HURT families that are in domestic partnerships, hetero or gay, and it will hurt civil unions. I think my God would be ashamed at how you have all interpreted his intentions. And anyone who thinks they didn’t intend to hurt gay couples is sadly either too ignorant to know better, or choosing to think they are not bigots. Period. You don’t have to tell me I’m being judgmental, because I am judging you. I’m just not trying to get laws passed against you. Because having an opinion shouldn’t give me the right to have a negative effect on how you live your life. Call a spade a spade.

    1. J.Clark says:

      Jay C, thanks for pointing out how your judgment is different from everyone else’s, I was a bit confused at first. You say you believe in God and I’m glad about that. Is it the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Is it the God of Paul? If it is, then can you clarify this verse so that I can understand your stance better:
      I Corinthians 6:9 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

      thanks in advance, J.

    2. Michael C. says:

      I assume you are referencing the First Amendment, which is what I was doing which simply states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. It is as I said put their to prevent a national church.

      And at least you are being honest, but what authority structure are you applying to? The whole point of this discussion can be boiled down to: why? Why does your opinion matter more than mine? Why does my view of marriage not get equal opportunity as yours – especially in a democratic society.

      The Bible, generally allows two parties to argue with a common frame of reference (there exists an arbitrator) – being revelation, from a personal, and loving God, to us – for our good. It is clear in its definition of what marriage is (man and woman) and clear in what constitutes as deviations from it (adultery and homosexuality).

      God accepts sinners but never just as sinners, Jesus’s great mission was one of breaking the chains of sin to present us holy (it took the death of the Son of God to do that). That means all sins (adultery, heterosexual lust, homosexuality, theft, murder, hatred, etc). If you believe in Jesus you have to believe that you are a broken person in need of a savior – I do. I am certainly a sinner saved by grace.

  12. Jay Clevert says:

    I don’t use the bible to justify my political beliefs. Or get baited by someone trying to determine my affiliation so they can dissect it. Religion is part of my belief system. I don’t have the same faith as you, but that does not make mine any less faithful. I don’t hide behind it or or use it to form every sentence I speak. I just wanted you to hear another opinion about why religion is not at issue, it’s the law that should reflect rights. I seek truth outside the bible as well.
    “I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the LAW, ALL Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.”

    1. J.Clark says:

      Jay, I think you were addressing me but not real sure so I’ll give a bit of chase.. You said you don’t use the Bible to justify your political beliefs and that is perfectly fine with me. What I want to know is what do you use? Stalin? Kant? Charlie Brown? Does it come from outer space? Are you some kind of island of independent genius? I also believe that you are faithful to your religion. I have no doubts about that and I don’t even know you. But what I want to know is why are you demanding something of us that is opposite of what “our” religion informs us to do. You are telling us to “not let our religion inform our politics” (paraphrase)except our religion tells us that it should inform everything we do. I need to change the language a bit though to be true to our religion: Our God says to be light in a dark world, salt of Earth. He says, “In a crooked and depraved generation shine like stars.” Should we obey you or God? Let us know so we can make a decision. thanks, J.

  13. Harold A. Carpenter says:

    Very well written, Instead of trying to tear this country apart with every controversial issue our leadership needs to try to pull us together as one nation.

  14. Very interesting comments. Here’s a short article that I think cuts through the fog and states the Christian view of marriage well:

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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