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Soundoff: Defense of Marriage Act

North Carolina voters will be given a chance to vote on the Republican-sponsored N.C. Defense of Marriage Act in the upcoming election. This bill would amend the state constitution to define marriage as strictly a union between a man and a woman. The Chronicle's Jack Mercola spoke with Duke students on the issue.

“Marriage between a man and a 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."

—North Carolina Defense of Marriage Act

“I think the real question is, ‘Should the marriage of same-sex couples be regulated by the government?’ I don’t think personal beliefs should have anything to do with the laws, or, in this case, constitutional amendments, that we pass. The question facing voters should not be, ‘Is this amendment acceptable to me?’ but rather, ‘Is this amendment acceptable to the U.S. Constitution, in an objective sense?’.… I believe that the marriage of same-sex couples should not be recognized by the government because I believe that marriage of any kind should not be recognized by the government.”

—Ryan Gaylord, freshman

"I think the legality of same-sex marriage is a human rights issue as marriage—specifically in the United States—offers certain privileges to a couple that can not obtained outside of that legal bond. Furthermore, not allowing a certain group of people within a countries population the same rights as the rest is discrimination. By creating laws that set apart same-sex couples we are creating a hierarchy of power relations that systematizes further discrimination and rights violations."

—Addie Wyngaarden, senior

“To recognize that all of your fellow citizens are worthy of respect is not partisan. To demand that they have equal rights is not partisan.”

—Elena Botella, junior

“[Same-sex marriage is a partisan issue], but only because the American political climate is such that politicians feel they have to cling to party lines for the sake of their own reelections, which I have to respect since I would do the same in their positions.”

—Jay Kennedy, freshman

"Marriage is the union of one man and one woman at one time. No other relationship shall be recognized as a valid marriage by the State."

—Paul Stam, North Carolina House Majority Leader (R-Wake)

“Marriage is merely a term used to describe the loving bond between two people that wish to spend their lives together. Marriage doesn't involve race or appearance, and antiquated notions that homosexuality is a choice is comparable to saying that being black, Asian or any other race is a choice. Besides, the counterargument that traditional marriage needs to be preserved is ridiculous. What is a traditional marriage? Every past culture has a different definition. The issue isn't to define what marriage is, but the meaning behind it—giving someone the ability to have legal benefits and proudly and publicly proclaim their love.… North Carolina is no San Francisco, but from what I've experienced, it's a rather accepting state.”

—Cameron Mazza, freshman

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