North Carolina Senate Passes Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment 30-16; Measure to Go Before Voters


The North Carolina Senate just passed the anti-gay marriage amendment by a vote of 30-16. The measure was passed by the House yesterday.

Q Notes reports:

Opening debate, primary sponsor Sen. James Forrester (R-Gaston) said he was thankful to get the opportunity to hear his bill. “This is the eighth year I put in this bill,” Forrester said. “The bill never had a hearing. I’m very happy to have this bill before us at the time.”

Forrester said the amendment was intended to defend the “an institution in our society based upon the complementary male and female loin.” “Moms and dads are not interchangeable,” Forrester continued. “Two dads don’t make a mom. Two moms don’t make a dad. Children need both a father and a mother.”

The measure will now go before voters in May 2012.

The White House released a statement to the Washington Blade in response to the amendment via spokesman Shin Inouye:

“The President has long believed that gay and lesbian couples deserve the same rights and legal protections as straight couples. That’s why he has called for repeal of the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ and determined that his Administration would no longer defend the constitutionality of DOMA in the courts. He has also said that the states should determine for themselves how best to uphold the rights of their own citizens…While the President does not weigh in on every single action taken by legislative bodies in our country, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples. The President believes strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away.”

You may have missed…
NC Lawmakers Rip Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment Before Measure is Passed: VIDEO [tr]
NC House Passes Amendment Banning Recognition of Any Same-Sex Union [tr]
NAACP Condemns North Carolina Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment [tr]
Gay Facebook Founder and NC Native Chris Hughes Speaks Out, Donates Against Amendment [tr]


  1. I'm Layla Miller I Know Stuff says

    The letter of the law versus the spirit of the law

    The letter of the law versus the spirit of the law is an idiomatic antithesis. When one obeys the letter of the law but not the spirit, one is obeying the literal interpretation of the words (the “letter”) of the law, but not the intent of those who wrote the law. Conversely, when one obeys the spirit of the law but not the letter, one is doing what the authors of the law intended, though not adhering to the literal wording.

    “Law” originally referred to legislative statute, but in the idiom may refer to any kind of rule. Intentionally following the letter of the law but not the spirit may be accomplished through exploiting technicalities, loopholes, and ambiguous language. Following the letter of the law but not the spirit is also a tactic used by oppressive governments.

  2. I'm Layla Miller I Know Stuff says

    Pathologicals and Prejudice

    In The Anatomy of Prejudices Elizabeth Young-Bruehl looks at such “primary prejudices” as sexism, racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia. She argues that they fall into one or another combination of categories: obsessional, hysterical, or narcissistic.

    Obsessional (Malcontent) prejudice, by her definition, sees its objects as omnipresent conspirators or enemies set on one’s destruction, who therefore must be eliminated.

    Hysterical (Histrionic) prejudice interprets the hated individuals as “other, as inferior, and as sexually threatening”. Racism is the best example of hysterical prejudice.

    Narcissistic prejudice “cannot tolerate the idea that there exist people who are not like them”. She argues that homophobia alone fits all these categories, and this might help account for its persistence and prevalence.
    –Vannessa Baird, The No-Nonsense Guide to Sexual Diversity, pg 72

    The folk wisdom is that the most homophobic people are those who are repressing their own latent homosexuality. Certainly there is anecdotal evidence to support this. Homophobia does tend to occur most strongly in tight-knit macho units of men where homoeroticism is very much in the air, but homosexuality is strictly forbidden. These men need to deny any sexual component to their bonding and can increase their solidarity by turning violently on “fags” or “queers” who are defined as completely alien. This is a phenomenon found amongst teenage gangs, police and soldiers.
    –Vannessa Baird, The No-Nonsense Guide to Sexual Diversity, pg 72

    One reason sexuality and gender conformity are the cause of so much attention by fundamentalist forces, wherever they may be, is that examples of people making individual choices are too challenging. Autonomy — especially for women — is a threat to authoritarian and patriarchal control.
    –Vannessa Baird, The No-Nonsense Guide to Sexual Diversity, pg 81

  3. Dastius Krazitauc says

    Rich F., I hate idiots who think things like this only happen in the South.

    These non-Southern states have constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage: Alaska, Oregon, California, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

  4. Jerry says

    They wanted to leave us at one point, could we just let them go ? nooooooooooooh, we had to be all keep the perfect union and sheeeeet. WTF, wish they would try to leave now we’d be all “sure go ahead, don’t worry just don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya and good riddance to bad rubbish and the like. Sh*t wish they would try to secede again, would be awesome.

  5. Brian in Texas says

    At least the vote will be in May and not November. Democrats won North Carolina in the last presidential election and issues like these tend to bring the conservative bigots out in droves.

  6. David says

    It is disgusting and disheartening – especially to have left NY in such an uplifting time to move to NC and face this.

    Please, if you can spare some change, give to – it’s a great organization that will be doing it’s best to fight this.

  7. Brian says

    There was all this talk about putting this vote in the general election, and the worry that it will make all the conservatives come out and vote republican in the general presidential election. I think that is way far off the mark, for 2 reasons.

    1) Conservatives are already going to come out in droves to vote for anybody who isn’t Obama, I don’t think this being on the ballot would make any difference in the presidential general election.

    2) by moving it to the primary date, where the only people who are going to be voting in significant numbers are Republicans voting on their candidate, we’re doomed to fail, this amendment is destined to pass. Democrats aren’t going to turn up at the polls to vote for the Democratic presidential candidate. I’ve long thought that the vast majority of those people polled who think that Same Sex Marriage should be legal don’t think that strongly enough to actually show up somewhere and vote for it. So if they don’t have the motivation to show up at the polls specifically to vote down this amendment, and they’re not going to be there to vote for the Democratic presidential candidate, then we’re doomed. Doomed.

  8. KennyL says

    Brian, as someone who was born and raised in NC, I feel pretty confident that this anti-gay ballot initiative would pass no matter when it was put on the ballot. The travesty is that the measure got through both the house and the senate. But the outcome of a ballot measure is a foregone conclusion.

    Oh, and @Really?, I hate to break it to you, but the French parliament voted against gay marriage just this past summer too.

  9. Brian in Texas says

    @ Brian

    The point is there are plenty of conservative anti-gay religious folks who don’t regularly vote. I guarantee you ministers, pastors, and priests all across the state will be urging their congregations to go to the polls. Lower turnout of conservatives is good for the democrats.

  10. Brian in Texas says

    Sadly I don’t think there is any chance of this amendment not passing whether it be May or November. The real battle was lobbying the elected officials to not vote to put this amendment on the ballot in the first place.

  11. Mike in Houston says

    Brian in Texas — thanks for giving up so easily!

    This is a test. This is a test for all those folks in CA and NY that sent appeal, after appeal, after appeal for donations on Prop 8 and the marriage equality push in NY.
    Will you now open your wallets and show the same energy to helping to combat this amendment in NC (and the one in MN)? Polling shows that it could be defeated in both states with the right funding and a lot work on the ground… so WILL YOU?

    Or will you be like some of commenters (here and elsewhere) and give that simple “tut, tut… there’s really no senss is getting involved” we’ve all come to expect?

  12. Zlick says

    I’m sorry to say, but I wish all the money spent on trying to defeat Prop 8 here in California had been spent on something more worthy. And that was to prevent TAKING AWAY the existing right to marry, not simply to codify in a constitution what is already codified in law – which is the situation in North Carolina. I regret to say I won’t spend one red cent to further a result that would, if successful, not allow gays and lesbians the freedom to marry.

  13. vincent says

    I live in this great state and it is unfortunate that the GOP got its grubby little hands on control of the legislature with the help of the tea party bigots…. and this is the result.

    I’m afraid the fundamentalists will whip up their flocks of lemmings to the pols and yes they placed this on the earlier ballot ensuring it would pass b/c they know the democratic turnout will be low for that date.

    It is a travesty that we still have such bigotry alive and well and where politicians feel safe enough to openly declare their bigotry while hiding behind their only defense, their fundamental hatred.

    I’d love to see them try to pass this if they were denying rights to ANY other minority group.

    Everyone knows this is a play to further stall Justices from ruling these laws unconstitutional while protecting a minority from the tyranny of the majority. I’m so tired of hearing “the majority rules…” b/c these people so slept thru Civics. Sadly, there are still plenty of people in this state, as evident by this proceeding, which would glady reinstate jim crow laws, strip women of the right to vote, add in voting taxes and revive slavey if they thought they could get away with it.. A sad day for the only southern state which I thought had a chance.

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