North Carolina House Passes Constitutional Amendment Banning Recognition of Any Same-Sex Union

After swiftly pushing the measure through a House Rules Committee and on to the floor, the North Carolina House today passed a constitutional amendment that would ask voters to ban marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships and other relationship recognition for same-sex couples on the May 2012 ballot, Q Notes reports:

Flag_nc The newest version of the amendment, SB 514, moves the ballot date from November 2012 to the primary election in May 2012. Speaker of the House Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) said the date change was a way to “remove politics” from the issue.

“What we’re trying to do is respect the concerns of some who felt like this was purely politically-motivated,” Tillis said at the press conference. “I decided, consulting with a number of people, and we decided that this was the most acceptable form. It was a discussion that involved both chambers. There are some members who were inclined to support the bill and did feel like political considerations were an issue that might cause them not to vote for something they would otherwise support.”

GOP leaders had come under fire for placing the amendment on the ballot during next year’s presidential elections. Critics said they were merely attempting to increase conservative voter turnout.

A Senate committee is expected to take up the measure quickly, and it is expected to pass.

Comments

  1. Jeff says

    Will somebody post the names of the Democratic state senators who voted for the amendment, so that we can call their offices and indicate that we will be making financial contributions to help unseat them during the next election cycle?

  2. Jeff says

    1967 12 June: Loving v. Virginia. U.S. Supreme Court rules (9 to 0) that antimiscegenation laws are unconstitutional within the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    This is the date when it became legal in North Carolina for interracial marriages. That “God” our President wasn’t born in North Carolina or he wouldn’t be a legal person. I was recently in the “Research Triangle” and am surprised that a state with this much brain power could pass something like this.

  3. Jollysocks says

    So, the state GOP is not even going to give Democrats and independents the chance to vote on this? Dems and indies actually have to show up and register as Republicans in order to vote for a law the affects the entire state?? Can we get some clarification on this?

  4. Chris says

    Isn’t May 2012 worse than November, since there really only is a Republican primary (so no Democrats are going to show up)??

  5. Skooter McGoo says

    Boycott N Carolina-check. I know my money will never touch that state again, even to buy gas to drive thru. It’s just another hate state in a ever growing list of GOP anti-gay places not to go. The state it’s self is beautiful, the people apparently are full of bile.

  6. says

    Fascinating. I just watched the “debate.” Aside from the multiple garblings of history by the bill sponsor, who misrepresented CA, IA, VT, and NH history, it was very interesting.

    Only about two bigots were willing to speak — though 75 voted for the amendment.

    One after another almost every opponent spoke. Many women. Many many blacks, including some black preachers spoke against the amendment very eloquently.

  7. Keith says

    We will lose the vote by a wide margin. They know it, we know it, and life in North Carolina will be that much more difficult for same-sex couples. While times may be changing, they certainly aren’t changing in any real, meaningful ways for the LGBT community in this country as far as I can tell. Courts are incredibly slow, if not outright stonewalling, and I find it hard to believe that somewhere, somehow, the US Constitution doesn’t recognize that we are entitled to the same rights and responsibilities as every other citizen. Truly amazing how quickly our backward country has become even more backwards than before…while the rest of the world (except Africa lately), seems to be moving forward at a dizzyingly rapid pace. What happened, and will it ever really get better?

  8. Mark says

    SKOOTER MCGOO

    I’m pretty sure they’ll miss your spending dollars in north carolina. C’mon dude. What does the state have to do with this? We all know this has everything to do with republicans taking control of the state legislature. It could happen anywhere, even in the most liberal state, if you put republicans in office.

    Besides, really when you think about it, 41 states ban gay marriage either through a constitutional amendment or through legislative act (even California). That being the case, you’d better be ready to boycott 80% of the United States as a bigoted, socially backward place.

  9. gayalltheway says

    Just wait till the DOMA cases reach Supreme Court.

    All these state-level constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage will be ruled unconstitutional. This one especially because it bans any kind of same-sex union.

    We are on the right side of history.

  10. Michael says

    North Carolina and South Carolina both have never been gay friendly only bigoted ignorant and prejudice period.I live in South Carolina unfortunately and feel bad for my north carolina LGBT neighbors we are basically neighbors considering we’re all Carolinians. I hope something happens before this is passed it saddens but does not surprise me at all that they did this I had a feeling something like this would happen sooner or later either here or in North Carolina. Not one decent person apparently apart of this house either thats crystal clear.

  11. Lukas says

    Uh, Michael. Although it is sad the NC House passed this, don’t lump NC, one of the last states to presumptively pass such an amendment, with SC, which passed such an amendment in 2006. SC is a much more antigay, rightwing state than NC.

  12. Rin says

    Is this headline correct tho? They didn’t pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, did they?

    I thought they passed something stupid that would get it on the ballot, or am I wrong?

    I think there is still time to stop it.

  13. says

    They needed 71 of the 118 votes cast. All 66 Republicans, present, voted for it and they were joined by 10 Democrats. Here are their last names, followed by the counties they represent: Brisson – Bladen, Cumberland
    Crawford – Granville, Vance
    Floyd – Cumberland
    Goodman – Montgomery, Richmond
    Graham – Robeson
    Hill – Brunswick, Columbus
    McGuirt – Anson, Union
    Owens – Camden, Currituck, Pasquotank, Tyrrell
    Pierce – Hoke, Robeson, Scotland
    Spear – Chowan, Dare, Hyde, Washington

  14. Zlick says

    Yes, some clarification from someone who knows North Carolina political rules, please. From what I understand, their House of Representatives passed the bill to put this on the ballot, for May (at the same time as the Republican primary vote), not in November (at the same time as the general election).

    Is there a North Carolina Senate that also has to pass this legislation before it goes on the ballot?

    How do Democrats and Independents vote at the time of the Republican primary? (Certainly it’s got to be illegal, even in North Carolina, to put something on the ballot that all North Carolinians are not entitled to vote on.)

    In any event, it’s going to be amusing to watch how many states have their laws and constitutions struck down for violating the U.S. Constitution when … well, when … well, hopefully before Hell freezes over.

  15. Ken says

    @Zlick: Democrats and Independents can also vote on this. Democrats will also have a primary but Obama will be the only name on the ballot, Independents only vote on the non partisan issues. So what it basically means is almost no Democrats or Independents will show up even though they can. This was moved to the May ballot to guarentee it passes. I think we might have had a chance to defeat it in November, but we have so chance in May.

  16. gaylib says

    zlick, NC does have a Senate that must also pass the bill by a 3/5ths majority. It is likely, but not certain that it will pass the Senate. Primaries in NC are semi-open. Democrats can’t vote in Republican primaries, and vice versa, but unaffiliated voters can vote in either. The amendment vote is open to all voters. The problem is that there are no high level Democratic primaries next year. Democrats would have to go specifically to vote against the amendment. A tall order, even in liberal states. This whole fiasco has been one series of lies, tricks and undemocratic flimflams from the dregs of the tea party swept into office in 2010. Our governor has no veto power over the bill. It is virtually assured to pass by a wide margin. I am a native of NC and this is hardly a surprise. While NC has a reputation of being a purple state and “progressive”, it is, at its core, a hotbed of redneck, racist, good old boys who hate gay people and would do much worst than this amendment if they thought they could get away with it. My partner and I have decided we can no longer live amongst these hate filled animals. We are actively looking to relocate to a friendlier state, most likely New York.

  17. Horatio says

    I’m excited by the vote because of the quick challenge it’s going to face. Even better, Bank of America is going to be twisting in the wind. It’s headquartered in Charlotte (right?) and is likely to have to twist in the wind regarding benefits issues for employees in different legal statuses in different states (California being their biggie with what is likely to happen there). Different benefits packages? Wholesale boycott of gay dollars? They can’t afford much more of that. Their strategy people are not enjoying this.

    Further, there are so many other places where this disparity is going to come and bite state officials in the nose. It’s going to be very difficult to do business with people in North Carolina if this passes. And I hope it does. What do the road signs say? “Temporary inconvenience, long-term improvement.” If you have to break something, SHATTER it so it rebuilds healthily.

  18. gaylib says

    It is important to point out, as well, that several of the Democratic delegates who voted for this hate bill did so because they moved the vote to the May primary. They wanted to be able to attack gay people without complicating Barack Obama’s chances at reelection in the state. They are as despicable, if not more so, than the Republicans. Without their votes, this could not have passed.

  19. Dan L says

    Quote: “So, the state GOP is not even going to give Democrats and independents the chance to vote on this? Dems and indies actually have to show up and register as Republicans in order to vote for a law the affects the entire state?? Can we get some clarification on this?”

    Democrats and Independents can vote on the amendment, too, but of course the Democratic primary will likely be uncontested for President, the one everyone cares about that drives turnout (there will still be Democratic contested races for other offices). Yes, this ruse about “taking the politics out of it” was anything BUT, as now they’ve put it in a lower overall turnout election where Republicans will have far more reason to go out and vote than Democrats. Thankfully, in NC, Independents can vote in the primary and even pick which party’s primary they wish to vote in. Still the underhanded way in which this was whisked through with no room for public comment or discussion shows that the GOP is afraid they might actually lose it if it were held in November. A recent poll showed more than half of NC’ians oppose the amendment. WE are a Purple state that’s getting Bluer, but unfortunately, like so many other states, Tea Partiers were swept into office in 2010 on economic promises (which they have ignored in favor or ultraconservative social issues.

  20. Dan L says

    QUOTE: “Boycott N Carolina-check. I know my money will never touch that state again, even to buy gas to drive thru. It’s just another hate state in a ever growing list of GOP anti-gay places not to go. The state it’s self is beautiful, the people apparently are full of bile.”

    Thanks for stereotyping 9 million people, Skooter! Everybody knows that every single person in the state thinks in lockstep, right?

    The truth is (though I hate to shatter your stereotypes), the latest poll showed that more than 50% of North Carolinans are AGAINST this amendment, but the Republican legislature (a majority for the first time in 100 years) has taken their chance to ram through all sorts of conservative issues in this session, knowing they may lose the majority in 2012.

    BTW, is NC is such a backwards state, then why have we held out longer than 31 other states in passing an anti-marriage amendment, huh? Don’t you think it would have already passed years ago if “the people are full of bile”? In fact, the excellent work of Equality NC and friendly Democratic legislators kept this amendment off the Legislature floor for seven years in a row–sorry to use facts to trump your stereotypes. NC has many, many open-minded people, but also many who are not, and as we all know from National politics as well as politics in most other states, Right-wingers stop at no dirty tricks to push thrugh their bigoted agendas. NC is not the first state now the last to have this happen so underhandedly–please learn a little about politics and open your mind about people in NC.

  21. Stewart says

    At the risk of splitting hairs, the only thing that this amendment does is allow the issue to ballot in the upcoming elections. The house did not, in fact, vote to ban gay marriage. I’m as frustrated as anyone, but it’s important not to incite unnecessarily.

  22. Dan L says

    QUOTE: “Not one decent person apparently apart of this house either thats crystal clear.”

    Um, Michael, did you LISTEN to the representatives on that WRAL feed posted above? Did you know NC has an openly gay Representative who spoke very eloquently, as well as many other straight ones? I there is “not on decent person” in the house, then why wasn’t the vote unanimous? How do you explain the 42 who voted against it, Michael?

  23. Dan L says

    QUOTE: “Is this headline correct tho? They didn’t pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, did they?

    I thought they passed something stupid that would get it on the ballot, or am I wrong?

    I think there is still time to stop it.”

    The HOUSE passed the ballot initiative. The Senate votes tomorrow (which will probably, though not 100% definitely, pass as well) and it will go on the ballot in the May primary.

    However, EVERY ballot initiative dealing with same-sex marriage in EVERY state, even California, of course, has passed. The Far Right (mostly out of state) spends millions to pour hateful advertising into the state, making all number of hateful claims about what horrible things will happen to “good Christian people” if they don’t vote to support the amendment (never mind that state law already bans recognition of same-sex marriage, so the amendment is redundant on that front). We are going to be subjected to lies, bigotry, and horrible “slippery slope” arguments, from out-of-state groups such as the Nationl Organization for Marriage, the Morman Church, “Focus on the Family” and many others. It will get very, very ugly here and many people who have no real problem with gay people and our relationships will be swayed to vote for the amendment because “better safe than sorry” think will think.

    So you are correct that it is not a “done deal”, but if it makes it to the ballot, it might as well be so. Particularly since they are putting this not in the general election when turnout is high, but in the Primary in May when more Republicans will be voting because there won’t be any real democratic primary contest for President, while there will likely be one for Republicans. It is very grim, and very out of character for the views of MOST of the people of this state, despite the ignorant stereotypes posted by some above you.

  24. Boone says

    Jobs, anyone? Anyone? HELLO?!?! Putting people back to work? Anyone? Cleaning up after Irene? Anyone? Is there a Republican anywhere in the South who isn’t a redneck bigot more concerned about harming families than putting their constituents back to work?

  25. Skooter McGoo says

    @Dan L I think I’ve seen all I need to see about the people of NC. I’ll just stay away and let you enjoy your state, no need for me to ever be there, thanks anyway.

  26. mld says

    i was seriously considering nc for work this spring. looks like ill be moving all of those chips to a new color.

  27. John says

    My husband is from North Carolina, and we have considered retiring to Asheville (a gay-friendly town) to be near family (most of whom are extremely supportive). If this passes, we will have to reconsider our options.
    So tired of dealing with ignorant bigots.

  28. whiwo says

    @Boone with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country (10.1%) you’d think the NC legislature would be working on bringing jobs to the state.

    Folks, this IS your Tea Party in action. Don’t believe the hype that they don’t care about social issues. The only thing these folks care about is abortion, gay marriage and jumping into your bedroom and women’s wombs so they can control what you do. They want limited government only if it doesn’t affect their lives. For everyone else, big government is just fine.

    Don’t tread on me my ass!

  29. sarah says

    20 years from now (if DOMA isn’t ruled unconstitutional by then), we’ll have our own Mason-Dixon line again, this time separated by marriage rights.

  30. Dan L says

    Quote: ”
    20 years from now (if DOMA isn’t ruled unconstitutional by then), we’ll have our own Mason-Dixon line again, this time separated by marriage rights”

    You’ll have a hard time drawing a “Mason-Dixon” line around the states with marriage amendments, since they reach up to Oregon and Idaho, through the Plains states, and also include the “Blue” Great Lakes states.

    Or were you under the misinformed impression that ONLY Southern states had this amendment? See map below:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/37/Constitutional_bans_on_same-sex_unions_types_US.svg/800px-Constitutional_bans_on_same-sex_unions_types_US.svg.png

  31. grego says

    Wonder if things would have been different if Hillary had got the nomination and the election? Ugh. this is so frustrating.

  32. Maureen Kurtz says

    Please don’t stereotype North Carolinians. By that logic (ie, hate all of us b/c our government has been hijacked by the right wing), I should hate all of Wisconsin b/c of Scott Walker.

    This referendum will be DEFEATED in May 2012.

    In answer to earlier post: No Democratic senators voted for this. From Daily Kos: Breakdown of the roll call vote now available on the NC General Assembly web site. Vote was strict party lines, with 3 Dems and 1 Repub not voting due to excused absence. http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/voteHistory/RollCallVoteTranscript.pl?sSession=2011&sChamber=S&RCS=933