Letters to the Editor

Jimmy Holcomb: Keep church out of lawmaking

Regarding your Jan. 21 editorial “ Final verdict”: The N&O’s position on same-sex marriage is commendable. If the U.S. Supreme Court rules against these marriages, it won’t mean they’re unconstitutional, only that five justices missed the train that has definitely left the station.

Opponents of marriage equality, like the N.C. Values Coalition, condemn court decisions upholding equality as “activist” and wrong. N.C. Values has missed the train because, according to its website, it isn’t interested in Jeffersonian constitutionality, only Huckabeean biblicality.

Just as with laws forbidding interracial marriage, today’s discrimination is justified almost entirely on religious grounds. But because the Establishment Clause argument is still too hard to win, marriage-equality cases are now argued on “equal protection” grounds.

But the subject of Chris Sgro’s Jan. 23 Point of View “ Wasting time on unfairness” is exactly the reason the 14th Amendment may not fully do the job: Rep. Paul Stam is determined to give magistrates the “religious liberty” to refuse to marry same-sex couples. This increasingly virulent form of “Hobby Lobby liberty” can quickly destroy the wall that we, the citizens, built between church and state.

Our Jeffersonian nation is still possible, but only if we make laws independent of our various, and variable, religions.

Jimmy Holcomb, Efland