N.C. Libertarians Oppose Amendment One

The North Carolina Libertarian Party unanimously passed a resolution opposing the proposed state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage at its annual convention held Saturday in Durham. Rather than fulfilling the “great value” of a constitution, which is to protect individual rights, the amendment would deny rights to segment of the population and discriminate against a minority.

The Libertarians not only urged voters to defeat the amendment, which will be on the May 8 primary ballot, they also encouraged those planning marriage to “shun and disparage the licensure of the state,” in other words to not get a state marriage license. “A free and proud people do not ask the State for permission to marry,” the resolution says.

The resolution also reiterates the party platform plank calling for repeal of marriage license laws altogether to honor the principle that “couples are married when they declare they are.”

The party is a member of the Coalition to Protect North Carolina Families working to defeat the amendment, know as Amendment One. It would define marriage between a man and women as the only “domestic legal union” recognized by state law.

The resolution also asserts the amendment would violate the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition against impairing the obligation of contracts for many couples married in other states.” In addition, the amendment advances “no legitimate governmental interest” and is so vaguely worded that “no one can predict the scope of its harm.”

The Resolution

Whereas, the great value of constitutions is the protection they provide for individual rights; and

Whereas, North Carolina’s proposed Amendment One contrarily denies rights for a segment of the population; and

Whereas, North Carolina’s proposed Amendment One will put the state in conflict with the U. S. Constitution’s prohibition against impairing the obligation of contracts for many couples married in other states; and

Whereas, North Carolina’s proposed Amendment One discriminates against a minority of the population; and

Whereas, North Carolina’s proposed Amendment One advances no legitimate governmental interest; and

Whereas, North Carolina’s proposed Amendment One is so vaguely worded that no one can predict the scope of its harm; and

Whereas, a free and proud people do not ask their State for permission to marry; and

Whereas, for many centuries, common law marriage provided the basis for governments to recognize family unions

Therefore the Libertarian Party of North Carolina forthrigthly declares it is

Resolved, that North Carolina’s proposed Amendment One should be defeated at the polls; and

Resolved, that betrothed couples in North Carolina are encouraged to shun and disparage the licensure of the state; and

Resolved, that the laws of our state should be changed to recognize and honor the principle that couples are married when they declare that they are, no prior permission of the state being required.


  1. If approved, the proposed measure would amend Article 14 of the North Carolina Constitution by adding a new section:

    “Sec. 6. Marriage.
    Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.”

    There are several good practical and legal cases to be made against Amendment One (Bothwell, Coalition to Protect NC Families). I oppose the adoption of Amendment One into the North Carolina Constitution on moral grounds.

    1. Amendment One directly subverts government’s only proper function in a free society, which is the protection of individual rights, and, instead, allows government to violate unalienable individual rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness based purely on religious grounds.

    2. Amendment One violates individual rights by preventing free adults from using their best judgment regarding social contracts. Individuals have the right of association, the right of contract and the right of freedom of action without interference by others or by the government.

    3. Amendment One represents the conflation of church and state by codifying religious precepts in a law that forces everyone to adopt, in practice, the religious views of a majority. Law should at all times reflect a strict separation of religion and government.

    4. Amendment One treats unequally under the law a segment of society based purely on sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is a subset of individuality and, as such, should be beyond the reach of the law. The individual human person is the primary category deserving of the legal protections of a limited government and no law should be made to single out subordinate characteristics for special, or unequal, consideration. A homosexual who injures no one else’s rights is a FIRST CLASS CITIZEN. The rights of both heterosexuals and homosexuals should be protected in the same way the rights of both Buddhists and Christians should be protected.

    5. Amendment One represents a resort to the use of force in human relations. Government should prevent and adjudicate the initiation of force in society and should not be the source of it. The initiation of force, in both the private and public spheres, is the abrogation of freedom and is an improper method of influence in a free society. Those objecting to gay marriage should attempt to use persuasion, not force, and let the argument lie where it falls.

    6. Amendment One appeals to mob rule to determine right and wrong by delegating the right to violate rights through an electoral process. Civil rights should not be subjected to a vote. No individual, no majority, no society, no government has the right to violate rights.

    It is for these reasons that Amendment One is immoral and should be opposed by all defenders of liberty.


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