Yesterday, North Carolina’s Marriage Amendment (called Amendment One), passed by 61% of the residents of the state, was overturned by a district judge from Asheville, NC. The case on which Judge Max Cogburn (a Barack Obama appointee) ruled is one from Charlotte, NC. Two other cases, both from Greensboro, NC, are pending. It was believed that those two cases, under the jurisdiction of another district judge, William Osteen, would be decided first. However, as Osteen delayed his decision, in order to allow two North Carolina state legislators (House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger) time to present arguments defending the Marriage Amendment, Judge Cogburn issued his ruling.
Exactly where this leaves the status of North Carolina’s Marriage Amendment is unclear. What is clear, at this point, is that Tillis and Berger are moving forward with possible appeal. Both Tillis and Berger released the following statement. “While we recognize the tremendous passion on all sides of this issue, we promised to defend the will of North Carolina voters because they – not judges and not politicians – define marriage as between one man and one woman and placed that in our state constitution.” Additionally, the two men stated, “It is disappointing this decision was made without North Carolina’s law receiving its day in court, and we will continue to work to ensure the voice of the voters is heard.”
John Eastman, a California attorney, who is representing Tillis and Berger, said that both men are contemplating their options and that this issue is NOT OVER! Two possibilities remain potentially open. First, the two lawmakers can appeal Judge Cogburn’s refusal to allow them to join the Charlotte case. Second, Judge Osteen could allow Tillis and Berger to intervene in behalf of the Amendment! Tillis and Berger’s involvement became necessary because of the unwillingness of NC Attorney General Roy Cooper to defend the Amendment.
Though the future of marriage in NC remains uncertain, one thing is NOT! Judicial activism is alive and well!!! When a district judge can overturn the overwhelming will of North Carolina voters, we have a definite problem! Judicial tyranny MUST be stopped! If it is not, then there is absolutely no reason for residents of a state to VOTE on ANYTHING, if their will can be so indiscriminately overruled!
According to the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, those powers not specifically granted to the federal government, by the constitution, are reserved to the individual states or the people. Defining marriage is DEFINITELY NOT within the jurisdiction/responsibility of the federal government! So, it is obviously a matter for the states. Whether California, Nevada, Utah, Virginia, or North Carolina, it is the responsibility of the citizens of those individual states to define marriage! When the citizens of said states no longer have a voice, because activist judges erase their voice via their legislating from the bench, we are headed at break neck speed toward a constitutional crisis! So, stay tuned, and above all PRAY!
One last comment is in order. Thom Tillis and Phil Berger have acted admirably in defending our Marriage Amendment! So, come November, remember that fact as you head to the polls! And, thank you, Misters Tillis and Berger, for stiffening your spines and standing courageously for the law–a definition of marriage (only between one man and one woman) that coincides exactly with what God’s Word says!
President, HOPE Ministries International
President, North Carolina Pastors Network (NCPN)