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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The controversy over Amendment One continued all the way to some polling places.

Many precincts vote at churches, and many churches have campaigned openly in favor of the amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Some opponents to the amendment say signs like one at Devon Park United Methodist Church made them feel uncomfortable about voting at their designated precinct.

“I saw the sign and I mean, I don’t know, I feel like a voting place should be neutral,” voter Jonathan Reed sadi.

A poll worker at Devon Park Methodist said the church did not have to change its sign because it is a polling place.

A group from Wilmington Pride organized outside the poll to encourage voters to feel safe and supported while voting at the church.

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30 Comments on "VOTE 2012: Pro-amendment church signs raise questions at polling places"

NC Adult
2015 years 10 months ago

See North Carolina, This is why we can’t have nice things. We want to sit at the grownup table with the rest of the states in the Union, but instead we vote for things that put us back 20s. Meaning, around thanksgiving time, we have to sit at the kids table with Alabama and Mississippi. :(

R. Alexander
2015 years 10 months ago

Take polling places out of churches please.

Josh in Kansas
2015 years 10 months ago

It is their property. But as a non profit organization under the United States government, they should either
1). Refrain from participating OPENLY in matters involving state
– OR –
2). They should lose their non profit status
From the IRS 501(c)(3) Exemption Requirements:
” In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.”

2015 years 10 months ago

It’s their property and kudos to them for allowing it to be used as a polling place. Is there really any danger of someone showing up and deciding how to vote based on a single sign – especially when the typical polling place is packed with electioneers and signs?

2015 years 10 months ago

I voted against the amendment, but see nothing wrong with the church displaying this sign. Good God, it’s a CHURCH! What did they think the church would support? It’s not like the Bible isn’t clear on the subject.

2015 years 10 months ago

Don’t think any signs should be up at polling places…..only info with the facts in case voters need any last minute education.

pissed in nc
2015 years 10 months ago

really if you are a polling place then your views should be kept out of it . and if ignorance is able to win then N.C. is more backwoods and out of touch with reality then i thought we all need to stand up and protest all churches that have used there polling spots to help there agenda grab your signs and lets make a difference. I cant believe people cant see why this is wrong god didn’t say you could judge. but i guess we forget that part of the bible when its convenient.

Guest 65
2015 years 10 months ago

NO SURE NOT BUT LOL never never have i ever seen this before voting to lazy to go for like others open up ever year for voting but you dont

TR Nunley
2015 years 10 months ago

Okay…what some straight people don’t understand is that its dangerous to be gay in North Carolina….preachers even think we should be harmed. So why wouldn’t we be scared? You make fun of our children, you take away our rights, you fire us even if we are good workers, we are second class citizens, you beat us, you kill us and you place condeming messages when all we want to do is vote for our rights on religious sign….you think we feel safe? If anyone thinks that gay is a choice….just look around. We don’t choose to be discriminated….we are discriminated because we are GAY. And I will personally speak out against hateful messages that harm my family everyday….my family is the gay community.

Polly II
2015 years 10 months ago

Dear Lindsey,
Since no let me repeat NO laws were broken according to the election board you and the NAACP can just go and cry to someone else. Since the church’s sign was outside of the electioneering area I guess they were well within the law to pretty much do or say what ever they want too. It’s kind of like the people standing outside trying to convince dumb voters to make up their minds who to vote for at the last minute. They have the right as citizens to voice their opinion too. So take your cry baby ways and tell it to someone who cares. Who knows this could have been a sermon topic. Why don’t you attend services and find out?
Just another thought. If all of these people that are signing the petition to repeal the Law had of voted than it never would have passed to begin with. Spilled milk! Don’t like it then vote it out. Oh, too late!

2015 years 10 months ago

Bethany: yes everyone is entitled to their opinions, even churches, however on election days, churches are paid $125 to be a neutral, unbiased place for citizens to cast ballots and vote. The sign that the church had up was illegal and the Board of Elections was notified several times. And Yes, clearly you do not know of anyone who is gay or who has been attacked by bible-thumping crazies. It is actually quite common. Educate yourself before you assume you know the reality of things.

2015 years 10 months ago

Wrong! Churches are paid $125 to help defray utility and janitorial costs (for the use of their facility). They don’t receive “payment” to be “a neutral, unbiased place for citizens to cast ballots and vote”.

The sign was NOT illegal and was more than the required number of feet away from the voting location. It was actually closer to the road, than the voting area.

It sounds like you’re the one who needs to “educate yourself before you assume you know the reality of things”.

2015 years 10 months ago

That sign was ruled lawful. You are the one who needs to get educate before assuming you know the reality of things.

2015 years 10 months ago

Whats all this crap about feeling safe. What do some of these people think, that the pastor is going to come out and throw hymn books at them. Get real people. Its still America and everybody has a right to their opinion even the churches!

Bethany's answer
2015 years 10 months ago


Churches are not allowed an opinion in political matters, look up the Johnson Amendment in the IRS tax code. If they preach politics, they could lose their tax free status. Also, let’s not forget the money they received for BEING a polling place as well yesterday from the county.

2015 years 10 months ago

Oh Please! Because someone’s opinion is different from yours they are automatically a bigot??? Hey, are you a spy for the NAACP?

Grand Ole Party
2015 years 10 months ago

You may in fact have the next polling place at the Democratic headquarters, see us Republicans are not sheep. It doesn’t matter where the polling station is, we vote how we want, not how we are told. I am really sorry you were FORCED to step foot on church property. However I think most of us define FORCED very different from you. You lost, you will live. Deal with it and stop whining.

Kelley McNeill
2015 years 10 months ago

Polling places, however temporary, are acting as an agent of the State. By virtue of this fact, they should be neutral. So using churches as polling places is just a bad idea.

I resent being forced to step foot on the property of an institution with which I disagree just so I can exercise my constitutional right to vote!

Imagine if the next time we vote, we have the polling place at the Democratic headquarters or the Planned Parenthood headquarters. Do you think everyone would be ok with that?

Our Board of Elections should do a better job of insuring the neutrality of polling sites. As for the “other political signs”, yeah, they were 10 times smaller than the church marquee and they were temporary, disposable signs and not mounted to stationary, permanent fixtures of the polling place. There are State and local laws that restrict sign sizes and placements…it is time we address restrictions against using stationary and permanent structures on which to mount political signs for polling places.

This establishment has non-profit, tax-exempt status. As a taxpayer, I find it morally reprehensible that this establishment fails to remain politically neutral when acting on behalf of the county as a polling place. If Devon Park really had an interest in fairness and promoting civil rights, their big marquee would have read: New Hanover County Polling Place. Vote Here!

2015 years 10 months ago

God allows us to judge. He gave us laws to abide by, but He knew not everyone would follow those laws, so that’s why he established judges and a court system in the Bible. What He said was that BEFORE we judge we need to take out the speck that’s in our own eye.

I would suggest you go back to church to learn the true Word from God, and not rhetoric and hearsay passed down from others who are probably not even Christians. In love, I ask you to find out for yourself.

2015 years 10 months ago

this is the reason the churches have less and less people going only jesus christ himself has a right to judge anyone no one else but him and i know that he loves everyone no matter what they choose to do in there life jesus died for us before we were alive and still he died for us loving us so know matter what your choices are in life jesus loves us so people in churches like this should step back and leave jesus to his work and our judgment days will only be with him

2015 years 10 months ago

Jesus never condoned sin. And I don’t know about you, but I could not in good conscience to to the polls yesterday and condone what God’s Word condemns. But if you want to stick to your feel-good approach to religion, that’s your business.

2015 years 10 months ago

Jesus would have wanted you to use at least one comma.

Jonathan Reed
2015 years 10 months ago

Here’s what i find hilarious. This wasn’t a victory against gay marriage. This wasn’t a victory because there is already a law in place that prohibits gays from getting married. So this is in place to stop them from doing something they can’t already do.

What this does is shoot in the foot are the people who voted for it. Hey women, guess what. Now you can’t be single mothers. I’ll repeat that. Because marriage is between a man and a woman, you now officially need a MAN in your life, legally, to have kids, to keep your kids, and to adopt kids. Should someone in your neighbor hood decide to use this law to take your kids way… kiss them and pray to God that they find a nice married couple to take care of them.

Any Re-married couples out there with spouses who have kids that aren’t yours? Ie, a Man remarried a woman who already had a kid. Guess what, you now no longer have the right to make decisions, medically, for that kid. EVER. And God for bit, (and i do mean this, really don’t want this to happen to anyone) but God for bit that she passes away, because you are won’t be allowed to take care of them. this also goes for you covering them under your health care.

Common law marriages are now out the window, ie a couple living together for 7 years are by law married. NOW HOLD ON A SECOND, don’t just cheer yet. This means that All domestic battery charges on a man beating a woman now drop to a minor offense, and for the future, well… better hope they don’t get fist happy, because marriage is between a man and a woman and this law says you shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

So yeah, this law has really helped the sanctity of marriage, the kids, and straight people every where.
Pat yourselves on the back.

Grand Ole Party
2015 years 10 months ago

Listen we all know you don’t find this hilarious, you have been crying non-stop since it passed. How about you and Bob just pack up and move to some state where you can marry and stop your whining. Oh and on another note it’s not “God for bit”….It’s God forbid. Your lack of intelligence is astounding.

2015 years 10 months ago

Just because a church displays a sign doesn’t mean that you have to follow through on what they are advertising. They have signs up 24/7 all year round about church services, and most people choose to ignore those. You have your own mind and your own opinion. Vote your own conscience. If you don’t like the sign, look the other way or don’t vote. It’s up to you.

Why should the church always be the one making concessions? If you stop all the churches from using their facilities to vote, you’ll have to vote at schools or public buildings. Good luck on that. There’s very little parking in those places.

Honesly, the longer I live the most people amaze me.

2015 years 10 months ago

I hope you read this comment 20 years from now so you can see how bigoted you and all the people that voted for this amendment sound.

2015 years 10 months ago

NC I am so proud of you. Pastor William Pearsall you deserve hats off for not cowarding to political correctness. I have no ill remarks toward the gay community and give total respect to you as an individual and citiizen. However, I voted for Amendment One and it has been passed in NC defining marriage between a male and female. For those who do not know. Who cares about tax-exempt status. It is not needed to be tax exempt. The only reason churches has 501c3 is for cooperations to donate. If you are a religious organization you still get tax-exempt status regardless.
NC residents you are awesome. Be proud your vote counted and it was heard.

2015 years 10 months ago

I’m glad the churches are taking a stand for the amendment, and against what is morally wrong in our country.

2015 years 10 months ago

The people at that church have just as much right to share their views as anyone else. I applaud them for standing up for God’s Word.

2015 years 10 months ago

It generally referenced the subject matter of the Amendment but never specifically mentioned the Amendment and didn’t imply how one should vote. Good luck with that in trying to get their tax exempt status revoked. Also, get angry about Media Matters as they aggressively take political stances and are a 501(c)(3). There’s some low hanging fruit for you. Finally, that particular polling place’s total votes were against the amendment so again, Much Ado About Nothing.


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