On Tuesday August 23rd, Clergy, community leaders, state legislators gathered at the state capitol, to kick-off the campaign to pass referred measure T.
The legislature voted unanimously to place the amendment on the ballot. Currently the state’s constitution, Article 2 Section 26, abolishes slavery. However an exemption in that Article says “There shall never be in this state either slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.”
Measure T would remove that exemption. Sister Sharon Bridgeforth of the Zion Baptist Church, says the removal of that language is important “we want to move the archaic language because allowing slavery is wrong and it’s immoral as a person of faith for me, and so it has really no place in our state.”
Bridgeforth also says that removing the language will provide an opportunity for healing racial divides.
“It gives us an opportunity to really begin to heal racial divides and move forward and creating a beloved community that God has requested of us in the first place.”