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Raleigh passes resolution opposing anti-gay constitutional amendment (video)

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:

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4 Comments

  1. David Starkey

    December 6, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    GOOD FOR YOU!
    DON’T SUPPORT CODIFIED DISCRIMINATION.
    [now, if you could do something about tobacco…]

  2. Bob Fesmire

    December 6, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    I would like to hear Mr. Odom’s rationale for his assertion that needs to “defend” his marriage. Defend it from what, exactly?

    I’ve been married for eight years and I don’t see how the relationship I have with my wife will change one bit if the inalienable right I had to marry her is extended to all our citizens.

    There is a reason why the anti-gay agenda is being played out via ammendments to state constitutions. It’s because a law denying one group of people the same rights that other enjoy would be struck down immediately as being unconstitutional.

    If this sounds like moving the goalposts, that’s because it is. There is no legal or ethical basis for the denial of marriage equality.

  3. HunterC

    December 6, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Bonner Gaylord’s concern is misplaced.

    It is wholly appropriate for a local government in NC to express its opinion on this state constitutional amendment that will directly impact local governments’ abilities to offer basic equal benefits to their own employees.

    I hope young Mr. Gaylord becomes fully educated on the broad impact of this state constitutional amendment on local governments.

  4. Jack

    December 7, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    City of Raleigh council members have an obligation to its citizens to speak out against injustice that has been placed at our doorstep. What group will this NCGA target next?