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Wake Forest chapter of American Constitution Society co-sponsors ‘Amendment One: The Facts’ on Friday, April 20

The Wake Forest University School of Law will host “Amendment One: The Facts” at noon on Friday, April 20, in Room 1312 of the Worrell Professional Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Designed to educate Wake Forest law students and the community about the proposed amendment, the panel of speakers will share both legal and faith-based issues surrounding the legislation. The list of presenters includes Landis Wade (’83), partner at McGuire Woods LLP; Shannon Gilreath, Wake Forest professor of law and women’s and gender studies; Dr. Angela Yarber, pastor for preaching and worship at Wake Forest Baptist Church; and Suzanne Reynolds, executive associate dean of academic affairs at Wake Forest University School of Law.

Reynolds said she encourages law students and community members to participate in the upcoming event so they know what purpose the amendment will serve. She said people need to realize that a vote in favor of this amendment will not ban same-sex marriage in North Carolina because it already is banned. She also noted that the only way that law would change would be by federal action requiring all states to legalize same-sex marriages.

Reynolds said the problem with the amendment, however, is the fact that it would deny many same-sex families the benefits that other families enjoy. She said the latest polls show that nearly 60 percent are in favor of the amendment, but she said that number continues to slip as more people realize that the amendment would discriminate against these families.

“As people get more information, I think they will be against the amendment because they will realize that it is making a negative statement and is mean-spirited,” Reynolds said. “The state has declared that it will protect all families from domestic violence and will extend healthcare to all families without regard to their sexual orientation, but this amendment would put all of that in doubt.”

“Amendment One: The Facts” is being co-sponsored by the American Constitution Society at Wake Forest law school and the law school’s OUTLAW student organization. Mark Vaders (’13), membership chair for the Wake Forest chapter, said members were eager to be part of the event since their goal is to “promote the vitality of the U.S. Constitution and the fundamental values it expresses.” He said the chapter takes no formal stance on the amendment, but rather seeks to educate the community so citizens can make an informed decision.

“We decided to co-sponsor the Amendment One event at the law school because of the nature of our club and its mission,” said Anna Szamosi (’13), Wake Forest chapter president. “Our purpose is to create a forum for dialogue and education about constitutional issues. Naturally, we thought an event exploring this proposed amendment to the state’s constitution would be a big hit and it could help students and faculty learn more about what they will be voting on come May 8.”

Reynolds shared those sentiments while applauding Wade for his efforts on the project.

“I am proud that Landis had the interest to share the truth and the ability to bring publicity to this event,” Reynolds said. “I was only too happy to help him do that.”

The mission of the newly former Wake Forest law school chapter of the American Constitution Society is to highlight constitutional issues in the federal and state arenas that could have effects on the rights and liberties of individuals. ACS strives to ensure that the legal system includes the important values of compassion and respect for the individual in all decisions, laws, and regulations. The purpose of our events is create dialogue on court decisions or statutes that may implicate individual rights and to educate students at Wake Forest law school on how their rights are advanced or restricted by those laws.