Faculty follows student leaders, reaches consensus driven by core values

A proposed amendment to the North Carolina (my home state)  state constitution defining marriage as being between a man and a woman will be decided on May 8. This amendment has made strange bedfellows of traditionally liberal and conservative camps who oppose Amendment One.

While I am not surprised that members of the Guilford College faculty are opposed to this amendment, they have taken an unprecedented action. Founded in 1837 as New Garden Board School, the faculty at Guilford has never taken action as a body in response to an issue. Guided by the Quaker (Society of Friends) values of equality and inclusiveness, decision making is reached by consensus. Reaching consensus requires thoughtfulness and respect for all concerns and ideas. The faculty at Guilford is diverse, and includes members of many faiths, as well as those who do choose a faith.

Archdale Hall, faculty offices, April 2012

Lisa McLeod, an associate professor of philosophy, said this about reaching consensus on a resolution, “The Guilford faculty coming to consensus to oppose this amendment should really say something to North Carolinians. We don’t always speak with one voice, and we almost never speak as a body about ‘political’ issues. We were able to make this statement because the amendment represents a backward step in the protection of human rights. The idea that such a regressive move could be enshrined in the state constitution is just intolerable.” (emphasis added)

The Community Senate, the body which represents traditional students on campus, also reached consensus in opposition to the amendment in February.

I hope Amendment One is soundly defeated next week. We are long overdue as a country on so many issues which impact our future. It is high time that we stop worrying about consenting adults who want to get married. Period.


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