This past week, Duke College Republicans, Duke Democrats and Blue Devils United sat down for a dialogue about Amendment One facilitated by the Center for Multicultural Affairs. After an hour of discourse, we came to realize that we are all in agreement on some important aspects of this discussion. We believe it is the responsibility of North Carolina’s government to afford the current legal privileges of state-sponsored marriage to all committed couples, regardless of gender. We believe that these privileges are best conferred on all couples through civil unions that are legal in nature.

Furthermore, because marriage is a deeply personal and spiritual commitment, conferring marriage should be the responsibility of faith communities, families and free organizations of private citizens, not the responsibility of the government. In an ideal world, the government would not be involved in marriage, but would recognize all couples through civil unions. As organizations, we are committed to working for a state where all families are treated equally, regardless of their status in a religious marriage. Of course, we must also work to preserve the religious freedoms of all faith traditions. No faith community should ever be required to marry a couple in violation of their conscience. In accordance with these beliefs, we oppose North Carolina Amendment One. It limits both same-sex and opposite-sex couples’ legal recognition through civil unions and it interferes with religious freedom by further entangling the government with religious marriage. As organizations, we hope members of the Duke community will vote against NC Amendment One during on-campus early voting from April 19 until May 5 in the West Union building.

Taylor Imperiale, Trinity ’14, Chair of Duke College Republicans

Jacob Tobia, Trinity ’14, Blue Devils United

Elena Botella, Trinity ’13, President of Duke Democrats