Supporter of Amendment One Speaks Out
A few weeks from now, North Carolinians will go to the polls to decide whether to add an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman, and banning civil unions. State law already defines marriage as only between a man and a woman, but proponents of the measure called Amendment One, saying it would be an additional safeguard to protect traditional unions. In the first of a two-part series profiling volunteers for and against the amendment, Jessica Jones introduces us to one who's for it.
Jessica Jones: It's a weekend night at Durham's Mount Zion Christian Church, where singers are leading the congregation in their favorite hymns. This is Mount Zion's weekly get-together for Bible study and tonight there's a special guest- 32-year-old Kevin Daniels. He's president of the North Carolina chapter of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, a conservative black Republican group. Daniels also volunteers for Vote For Marriage NC, the main group supporting Amendment One.
Kevin Daniels: We've been hearing a lot of people come out publicly and speak against the marriage amendment, from Mayor Bill Bell, to President Obama, NAACP, and there's a lot of pastors that are actually preaching against this marriage amendment.
Daniels, who's a devout Christian, tells the congregation that's just not right. As a boy, he attended a Baptist church, but then fell away from regular worship. When he met his wife about six years ago, he started attending her church. Daniels tells the audience he'd like to have more conversations with pastors who're against Amendment One.
Daniels: I just wanna ask them the question, where in the word of God can they support their position of same sex marriage.
Daniels cites verses from Genesis in the Bible, in which God created Adam and then Eve to be Adam's wife. He thinks pastors opposed to the amendment know they don't have a Biblical leg to stand on.
Daniels: They cannot find a scripture in the Bible, which says that a man and a man can get married, or a woman and a woman can get married, and they won't find that anywhere. So they have to make it about civil rights, they have to make it about children, they have to make it about business, they have to make it about everything else but the Bible.
Daniels has noticed some anti-Amendment One literature that focuses on civil rights. He says that offends him as an African-American. He thinks it's not fair to compare the campaign for same-sex marriage to discrimination faced by blacks. But Daniels says that doesn't mean he hates gay people. He has a cousin in New York who's in a legal same-sex marriage.
Daniels: And I love 'em to death. And we disagree but they know what I do and I know that they're married to someone of the same sex. They're still my cousin that's my family and that's not going to change, the love that I have for that individual.
The Bible comes before all else to Daniels. He frequently quotes scripture from memory. Daniels says many verses serve as metaphors and illustrate rituals people don't follow today. But he believes Biblical verses about marriage being between a man and a woman are still relevant in today's world. And Daniels is worried the state statute defining marriage as between a man and a woman could get overturned.
Daniels: We're afraid that that's going to happen here. Where one judge says that it's unconstitutional. And you know what, the law is unconstitutional. If you go to the US Constitution or the state constitution, you will not find anything in there that will support this law.
Daniels says that's why Amendment One needs to be added to the state constitution. So right until the May 8th primary, he plans to focus most of his energy on supporting the amendment.
Daniels: Prayer changes things, and I'm a firm believer in that. And I always ask God for his will to be done. And whether it passes or not, life goes on after that. And I will continue to proclaim and defend the word of God.
Daniels believes ultimately the fate of the amendment is in God's hands.