Senate votes to put anti-gay amendment on May 2012 ballot (w/ video)

Following the GOP-led House, the NC Senate voted (30-16) on Tuesday to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot next May allowing voters to ban same-sex marriage.

North Carolina already has a state law that defines marriage as being between one man and one woman. But Senator Jim Forrester, a lead sponsor of the amendment, said the constitutional provision is needed to protect traditional marriage from activist judges.

Senator Josh Stein criticized legislators who dismissed the state’s economic woes, to instead “graft onto our constitution controversial, social legislation.”

Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt suggested that rather than deal with the rising unemployment rate or hurricane relief, Republicans would rather create a distraction with this wedge issue:

“Every time we do that, and we find another crowd we want to step on….so we can feel superior…it brings out the very worst in us when we do that.”

Senator Ellie Kinnaird called gay marriage the last civil rights issue:

“Where are we going to be a generation from now? Who are going to be the brave people who said, ‘This is discrimination’? …and I wonder what your children and grandchildren will think of you?”

Republican Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said those who believe in the marriage amendment look forward to eight months of healthy debate. (As Rob Schofield noted on the blog earlier today, there are 237 days for that debate.)

To hear a portion of Tuesday’s Senate debate click below:

YouTube Preview Image

6 Comments

  1. Jack

    September 13, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    why dont the allegedly ‘progressive’ Democrats come out and say point blank that they favor legalized same sex marriage 4 NC like they have in , among other other places Alberta and Mexico City? They are as timid as the Republicans are venal.

  2. James

    September 13, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    You should get out more, Jack. Plenty of progressives in North Carolina favor legalization of same sex marriage as they have in, among other places, Massachusetts. And frankly, the hardest working progressives have long since left the Democratic party.

  3. Jack

    September 13, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    James, you missed my point. I was simply asking if ANY elected Democratic Party official has ever gone on the record in favor of legalizing same sex marriage in NC?

    Here is what will be on the ballot

    “[ ] FOR [ ] AGAINST
    Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one 19 woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.”

    Its not like we will be able to vote FOR or AGAINST legalizing same sex marriage.

  4. Jack

    September 13, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    interesting piece in WaPo..

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-the-democrats-learned-to-love-same-sex-marriage/2011/09/07/gIQAKezfFK_story.html

    Its easier for pols outside the South to be explicitly in favor of this.

  5. Greg Hils

    September 13, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Mr Forrester – I am writing to express my displeasure with you and your co-sponsors for the needless exhibition that was today’s “Defense of Marriage” circus. This was a wanton act that delivers nothing but shame to the Tarheel State and will be rebuked by the thoughtful citizens in May. The late Senator Sam Erwin is surely turning in his resting place at the discovery of your acts and the manner in which your party conducts itself. This legislative session has been a disaster for the people of North Carolina and I assure you we will not let you forget your ineptitude, next time at the ballot box.

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