With the May 8th vote on Amendment One approaching, many North Carolinian faith leaders are weighing in and supporting ALL couples and families in the state. Last Sunday (April 30), the Rev. Earl Johnson of Martin Street Baptist Church spent a portion of his sermon giving the facts of the proposed amendment and ten quick reasons to vote against the measure. His reasons included that the state already forbids marriage equality, that the state's top Democrats oppose the measure, and that the constitutional amendment could strip unmarried, straight women of domestic violence protections.
Despite the mainstream media’s portrayal of African-American churches as monolithically anti-LGBT equality, many African-American faith leaders have spoken out in hopes of correcting this assumption. Among those leading the opposition to the amendment in the African-American community is the Rev. William Barber, head of the state chapter of the NAACP. Barber has argued the amendment will codify discrimination in the state's constitution.
During multiple interviews, Rev. Delman Coates has stated his opposition to the amendment, arguing that all the state's citizens deserve equal rights. Other groups representing people of color are coalescing in efforts to protect North Carolina families as well. Pictured below, for example, is a group of 14 African-American interfaith clergy, all of whom are speaking out against North Carolina's Amendment One. Their ad appeared in the Carolina Peacekeeper, a black community newspaper in Guilford County, NC. The group is also planning a rally against Amendment One at the 5000-member Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Greensboro, North Carolina on May 6 at 4:30 p.m. The ad is a striking example of faith leaders of color on the issue of marriage equality.
Faith leaders of various communities have spoken out against Amendment One and many are voicing their opposition online as part of the Protect All North Carolina Families campaign, which offers the resources on how to donate and vote against the measure early.
GLAAD has been working to amplify the pro-LGBT equality voices of faith leaders from all communities. GLAAD applauds these courageous faith leaders who publicly advocate for equality for all North Carolina couples and families.