Recently the Courts have made "Marriage" a Constitutional rights issue. It is the policy of iCaucus to research and put forth solutions based on Constitutional principles utilizing the entirety of the United States Constitution. We don't pick and choose which principles and rights contained therein that are applied. The Courts "weigh" the rights guaranteed in the Constitution to determine which ones are more important and often apply laws of general applicability placing those laws above Constitutional rights. Whether the Courts decisions are being correctly handled or not is not the topic of this discussion. This discussion is to focus on a constitutional solution based on the entirety of rights contained in our U.S. Constitution. In the articles linked below; the courts are using both the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, and appear to be declaring inferior, the First and Tenth Amendment rights in their decisions. The issues brought before us are questions of individual rights, liberty, and freedom guaranteed in our Constitution as a whole. The proposed amendment is also put forth with an understanding that you cannot legislate morality, culture, behavior, or wealth regardless of the attempts to do so. This would violate the very principles we argue on a consistent basis. The proposed amendment is put forth with all of the above principles in mind. This Proposed Amendment has been formed as a collaborative effort between iCaucus and the Committee to Elect Thomas Norton: http://stategroups-icaucus.nationbuilder.com/michigan
North Carolina Domestic Equality Act
(Protection of Marriage/Domestic Partnership Amendment)
In full recognition of the First Amendment of the United States of America recognizing the free exercise of religion, and the freedom religious persons and institutions have from government persecution, and in recognition of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution granting equal protection under the law, we hereby purpose:
For the purposes of removing the State from religious affairs and recognizing in State law the equality of any relationship between two consenting adults, be it resolved that the State will no longer recognize the term “Marriage” for legal and legislative purposes. “Marriage” as the current law recognizes it, will be replaced with “Domestic Partnership” and receive the full legal ramifications of the former in current state law, to exclude the limitations on gender. Any couples of the State’s legal consenting age may apply for and receive a Domestic Partnership agreement from the State.
The term “Marriage” will be relegated to the religious institutions within the State and left to their interpretation and regulation. The State will no longer recognize religious ideologies in the regulation of legal couplings now deemed Domestic Partnerships. Further, the State will no longer interfere in the interests or practices of religious institutions within the State. Said institutions being free to operate according to their own personal belief and conscience, the State recognizes the right of religious institutions and the clergy to operate freely within the bounds of the law and without State interference or fear of molestation. No religious institution or their clergy may be compelled by the state (or the courts), through legislation or edict, to perform any ceremony or otherwise act against their religious practices for what the state deems in the” interest of society” up to and including laws of general applicability that do not comply with all rights and freedoms guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution..
Furthermore the state cannot refuse for any reason any adult couples right to enter into a domestic partnership (except where non-gender related qualifications violate state law). Domestic Partnership is entered into through license with the certification of a (notary) and signature of a witness at the time of signing and can have a future effective date based upon the date of either a religious or civil ceremony that is scheduled. The state is not to perform the religious ceremonies or license any other individual to perform such. The state may designate authority to any civil servant they choose to preside over non-religious ceremonies. The domestic partnership agreement shall serve the purpose for the legal coupling under law.
Michigan Ballot that would be similar to NC's: http://stategroups-icaucus.nationbuilder.com/mi_dpa
Same Sex Marriage Suit: Asheville Clergy member takes stand against same sex marriage ban: http://www.wlos.com/shared/news/features/top-stories/stories/wlos_samesex-marriage-suit-16513.shtml
The Durham News: Lawsuit challenges gay-marriage ban on religious grounds, Mark Schultz: http://www.thedurhamnews.com/2014/05/19/3872269/mayors-in-orange-co-support-action.html
Charlotte Observer: Rabbis group joins nc same sex marriage suit: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/06/03/4952335/rabbis-group-joins-nc-same-sex.html#.U48oefldWSo
ACLU Challenges Amendment One: http://equalitync.org/latest/
Washington Post: Same sex marriage an issue in north carolina elections maybe: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
blogs/she-the-people/wp/2014/ 05/16/same-sex-marriage-an- issue-in-north-carolina- elections-maybe/
Other articles: Google pages of challenges to NC marriage amendment one: https://www.google.com/webhp?
source=search_app#q=gay+ marriage+legal+challenges+to+ marriage+amendment+nc
- OTHER CASESNorth Carolina’s other two legal challenges to the state’s marriage laws have been filed in federal court in Greensboro.Because Greensboro is a different judicial district, those cases cannot be consolidated with the faith-based complaint filed in Charlotte.In the end, all three may take a back seat to a Virginia case before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.The three-judge panel is reviewing a case against Virginia's same-sex marriage ban. If the judges strike down that ban, as many legal experts expect them to do, they also could erase similar bans in West Virginia and the Carolinas, which are part of the Judicial Fourth Circuit. A ruling is expected by fall.Charlotte Observer staff writer Michael Gordon
19 States with Legal Gay Marriage and 31 States with Same-Sex Marriage Bans
(dates reflect when laws took effect)