The News & Observer published a report from Associated Press writer Tom Breen this morning detailing some of the legal arguments, concerns and questions being considered as North Carolina’s anti-LGBT, anti-family constitutional amendment heads to the ballot in the state’s May 8, 2012, primary elections.
E. Gregory Wallace, who teaches constitutional law at Campbell University’s Wiggins School of Law, was one of several legal commentators Breen sought for comment.
From the piece:
“It’s difficult to predict with any certainty how courts are going to predict constitutional provisions or statutes,” said E. Gregory Wallace, a constitutional law professor at Campbell University’s Wiggins School of Law.
In a decision called Ohio vs. Carswell, the state supreme court ruled that the marriage amendment didn’t invalidate domestic violence laws. The analysis by UNC researchers argues that an Ohio-like situation is possible here, but Wallace said the fact that the matter has been settled in that state makes such an outcome less like in North Carolina.
It’s up to the voters, of course, to determine whether all of the legal back-and-forth amounts to more than speculation, which Wallace argues is probably for the best on such charged topics.
“I think it’s a healthy thing that it’s going directly to the people of North Carolina,” he said. “When you talk about making fundamental change in an institution as old as marriage, that’s probably something that’s best left up to the people themselves.”
Notice that? Every time Wallace comments on the discriminatory amendment he’s either defending it or deflecting concerns over its potential harms.
Meanwhile, legal commentators at the most prestigious and mainstream law school in the state disagree with every point Wallace makes. But, can we be surprised that a Baptist-affiliated law school professor is in favor of the amendment? Of course not.
And, take into consideration Wallace’s support over a decade ago of the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law’s “Marriage Law Project,” and his signature on a letter to the Dutch Parliament admonishing them for considering full marriage equality.
The text of the letter:
TO THE PARLIAMENT OF THE NETHERLANDS: A STATEMENT ON THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE FROM LAW PROFESSORS ACROSS THE WORLD
We are professors of law and jurisprudence at universities across the world. We believe that marriage is the unique union of a man and a woman, a community of life and love. Marriage so understood is built into the fabric of social life, and cannot be arbitrarily redefined by lawmakers. Male-female marriage provides incomparable benefits to society, especially for children and for those who invest their lives in raising their children. Our domestic and international laws should preserve, protect and promote the institution of marriage.
We offer no simple recipe for laws that address non-marital sexual relationships. Our countries address these questions in different ways (indeed your own country has already adopted a wide-ranging Registered Partnership Act). But we are united in the conviction that the legal definition of marriage, as the union of a man and a woman, should not be changed. Redefining marriage to include same-sex unions will introduce unprecedented moral, social and legal confusion into our communities. The casualties of this confusion will be the families and children of the future, and therefore our societies as a whole.
We would remind the Dutch Parliament that many legal scholars, including the undersigned, do support marriage as the union of a man and a woman. In that respect, we represent the beliefs and practices of the overwhelming majority of humanity. No country is an island. Your actions will have fateful consequences not only for Europe, but for every country in the world.