Raleigh City Council went on record Tuesday in passing a resolution opposing the proposed anti-gay marriage amendment that will be on North Carolina’s ballot next May. The 6-2 vote followed the recommendation of the city’s Human Relations Commission.
When Bonner Gaylord suggested the council was wading into an issue beyond their purview, Russ Stephenson told his colleagues this was very much an issue that would affect the city should it pass next year:
“Our business is to be the policy advisors and cheerleaders for this city, and to the extent that this is a discriminatory measure, it really is going to put the city of Raleigh in a competitive disadvantage with other cities and other states by making it harder for us to attract the best quality companies and jobs.
So I think if we just frame any comment we make to the legislature that we think this is hurting our ability to do our job as a city…to continue to be the number one city in the nation, attract the best companies and jobs, I think that will hopefully get the point across.”
Councilman John Odom joined Gaylord in voting against the resolution, saying he wanted to “defend” his own marriage of 40 years.
The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) praised the Raleigh City council and called on other municipalities to follow suit.
“We applaud the Raleigh City Council for taking a bold stand against a measure that would cause irreparable harm to thousands of families across North Carolina,” said Sarah Preston, Policy Director for the ACLU of North Carolina. “We urge all local municipalities to recognize that this amendment would take away security and protection from thousands of unmarried couples and their children, making it harder for countless North Carolinians to take care of the people they love. A policy that harmful is not something our state’s local governments should support. We call on all North Carolina municipalities to defend the best interests of their residents by publicly opposing this discriminatory amendment.”
Durham and Chapel Hill passed their own resolutions against the amendment earlier this year.
To watch Tuesday’s discussion and vote by the Raleigh City Council, click below: