Happy holidays! We hope your Christmas and Hanukkah weekend went by as smooth as ever. Folks are still celebrating Kwanzaa and New Year’s is just around the corner, but we’re back here at qnotes, ready to get down to business as the days slip by toward 2012. With holiday break over and work piling up, here’s a couple things you might have missed over the past couple days…

A civil debate?

Rev. Mark Harris, pastor of Charlotte’s First Baptist Church and president of the N.C. Baptist State Convention, told The Charlotte Observer yesterday that he wants a civil debate on the impending anti-LGBT constitutional amendment.

From the paper:

In that capacity [as president of the Baptist Convention], [Harris] is sure to be a point man in the campaign for a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages. The amendment, on the May 8 primary ballot, would restrict the state’s recognition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman. It would also place more restrictions on civil unions and domestic partnerships and make it more difficult for future legislators to rescind.

He understands the debate will be emotional on both sides.

“But I hope we can express our positions – keep the conversation to the facts and our principles – and do it in a civil way,” Harris, 45, said. “It doesn’t mean I’m going to change someone else’s position or they’re going to change mine.

“But in America, we all ought to be able to express ourselves without things getting out of hand.”

Protect NC Families, the coalition leading opposition to the amendment responded.

From a statement:

“We agree with Mark Harris’ assertion that we should keep the Amendment conversation factual – and do it in a civil way. Nevertheless, this type of discourse is something not seen in other states, especially from an industry willing to pit people’s religion – as well as gross misinformation – against families. We must be willing to honor the very real emotions, including pain and fear, that these types of discriminatory measures naturally evoke, especially when North Carolina’s particular Amendment is not only a permanent ban on marriage equality and civil unions – relationship recognitions that a majority of North Carolinians support – but also strips basic benefits and protections from loving couples, women, and children, and causes substantial economic harms to families, business and the perception of the state as a whole. No one of faith – or otherwise – will sit back while families lose their health insurance, domestic violence victims lose their protections, and loving couples lose their ability to see each other in the hospital. We can’t and we won’t let that happen. We will make sure that the families of NC are protected from this harmful, extreme amendment.”

In the crosshairs…

Columbia, S.C.-based blogger Alvin McEwen picks up on a recent concerning graphic used in a N.C. Family Policy Council publication. In it, a straight couple is seen with crosshairs squared over them.

“Maybe it’s just me, but civil debates on marriage equality don’t necessarily encompass images of an assassin targeting newlyweds,” McEwen writes, alluding to those recent comments by N.C. Baptist State Convention President Mark Harris.

Visit Alvin’s pad to see the graphic and read more of his commentary…

UNC student challenges Speaker Tillis

N.C. Psychological Association opposes amendment

The North Carolina Psychological Association has come out in opposition to the proposed anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment. In a letter (read it here), the group outlines four reasons why the amendment is bad for LGBT people, LGBT-led families and the state.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.