From CHARLOTTE OBSERVER:
North Carolina already has a law against same-sex marriage. But it will be the last Southern state to vote on putting the ban into its constitution. Last week, groups continued lining up on both sides. Money has poured in from out of state. Some 30 states have voted on a similar amendment; all have passed.
For 20 minutes at the 11 a.m. service at Myers Park Baptist, last Sunday, the Rev. Steve Shoemaker gave a sermon he called "The Opposite of Love." In it he made his case for North Carolina to break from the pack. He said the amendment contradicts Baptist root doctrine of personal and religious freedom. He also argued that it contradicts North Carolina's long tradition for individual liberties (the state wouldn't sign the Constitution until the Bill of Rights was added).
On a day when the lyrics of the hymns and the words of the Scripture readings spoke of loving and accepting your neighbor, Shoemaker said the amendment "reinforces cruel and harmful attitudes about gay people and their families," and "builds discrimination into the fundamental legal document of our state."
"I am troubled when religious people seek to turn their interpretation of their sacred scriptures into civil law," he said, part of a sermon that drew a round of applause at its close. "The tyranny of a religious majority can turn a democracy into a theocracy. A religious institution should define 'holy matrimony' for its members. It is another thing to encode their interpretation of scripture into the law of the land."