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As if we didn't know this to be the case, thanks to Pam Spaulding and her blog, Pam's House Blend and the unwitting assistance of one of the chief bigots behind North Carolina's Amendment One, the Pastor Patrick Wooden of Upper Room God of Church in Christ, the cat is now, as they say, out of the bag.

Pam was in the audience for a Leadership Triangle Forum on the amendment earlier today in Raleigh, NC. Panelists represented both sides of the debate; among them was Pastor Wooden (somehow there is something ironic about that appellation but...well, never mind).

While this will be a brief diary I've chosen to go past the fold in order to expand things just a bit and give a bit of commentary of my own. So continue, please below the great orange squiggle for the money quote.

To summarize Pam's summary a bit more, points were raised on both sides. Opponents cited concerns regarding the effect on unmarried couples while supporters as usual invoked God and the bible and the supposed sanctity of marriage. The suggestion was made at one point that, if the latter were so fragile, wouldn't a ban on divorce be in order. Naturally the question was deflected.

Wooden first attempted to make the claim that the amendment would not, despite the stated intention of its legislative proponent, ban civil unions and domestic partnerships. But here is the money quote that I'll give you in full (it's only a paragraph in length so I'm assuming fair use will not be an issue):

I had submitted a question (on an index card) for the Q&A, hoping it would be directed to Wooden. just for kicks. I asked, if we leave the whole church/state separation out of this, if he thought A1 was promoting religious discrimination against churches that would like to marry same-sex couples in NC. My card was picked and yep, he took the bait. His answer was, without hesitation: “Those other churches aren’t reading the God’s bible right.” People of faith – Wooden’s way is the ONLY way to read God’s Holy Book (his version, anyway).[emphasis in the original]
So there we have it. The folks who want to keep gays and lesbians from being legally wed are intent on establishing THEIR religion in full defiance of the US Constitution. Despite the fact that couples have been forming relationships long before the advent of language, let alone religious faiths, and despite the fact that a marriage in the United States is a civil matter that does not in any way require the participation of a religious institution, for these people it's all about religion. And any religion that supports marriage equality is "wrong."

I rest my case.

Originally posted to sfbob on Tue May 01, 2012 at 12:12 PM PDT.

Also republished by Anglican Kossacks and Spiritual Organization of Unapologetic Liberals at Daily Kos.

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