Divided Wake Commissioners vote to support anti-gay marriage amendment (video)

Unmoved by a steady stream of emotional appeals, the Wake County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution Monday to support the anti-gay constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot May 8th.  The amendment would ban civil unions and define marriage as only between one man and one woman.

Almost two dozen Wake County citizens urged the seven commissioners not to embrace discrimination by passing the resolution put forth by Chairman Paul Coble.

The final 4-3 vote came down along party lines – with Republicans Joe Bryan,Tony Gurley, and Phil Matthews joining Coble in support of the amendment. Democrats Betty Lou Ward, Erv Portman, and James West opposed the resolution.

The cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill all passed resolutions against the amendment last year.

Click below to hear a portion of Monday’s public hearing. You can read the resolution that was passed here.



  1. Joe Ciulla

    February 20, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Here’s my letter to the 4 republican commissioners:

    Commissioners Coble, Matthews, Bryan and Gurley,

    I am thoroughly disgusted with your action today, approving a resolution in support of Amendment One which would change our state’s constitution to specifically ban gay marriage.

    None of you were elected to take jump into this issue. Your job is to collect taxes, budget our monies, and enact ordinances which promote the welfare and prosperity of Wake County. Your venturing into this matter represents an over-reach of the highest proportions.

    Amendment One goes beyond mere homophobic hate, it represents yet another government intrusion into citizens’ private lives. So much for Republicans representing the party of “small government,” eh?

    Further, Amendment One is bad business. Our area counts on companies moving here and growing here in order to maintain a healthy economy. These days, many major corporations have begun to extend recognition and benefits to same-sex couples, in order to maintain competitiveness. Just having this amendment on our ballot tells these companies and the rest of the world that we are homophobic and unwelcoming of same-sex couples. How many of these companies will look elsewhere when deciding to grow or relocate?

    Shame on the four of you for caving to party pressure instead of focusing on what you were elected to do. In particular, shame on you Mr. Bryan — you’ve always presented yourself as a “moderate” but your vote today disqualifies you from ever carrying that label again.

    I have blind copied over a hundred friends on this email, and I’ll be sure to remind them about this when each of you are up for election.


  2. Raleighrob

    February 20, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    I kinda wish Raleigh could secede from Wake County and just be done with it. The rest of the county likes the benefits of having a big city nearby, but they want to act like a provincial backwater tea party haven. Whether it’s this issue…the schools…the Triangle Transit rail projects, whatever. Everytime Raleigh tries to do something the right way and lean progressive, the county tries to hold it back.
    I say Raleigh would be better off without them.

  3. adx

    February 20, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Indeed, I agree with Mr. Ciulla. Nothing about the fact that Republican opposition to marriage equality “is to be expected” makes it less of an utter outrage. Nothing about the fact that “thirty or more states have ‘bans'” makes it less of an outrage. There is absolutely no excuse for this, and there never was. I think we’re seeing the very, very beginnings of America waking up and realizing what it has done; that realization is to the exclusion of the antigay, who continue to refuse to act any differently from the most virulent racists of ages past.

    Why should anyone not label them for what they are? The endless complaint from (ultra)conservatives is the label “bigot.” What in the name of god are people thinking when they vote against this resolution, as Coble and the others did, and then act as if they should *NOT* be called bigoted or virulently hateful and prejudiced? How on earth does that work? You get to do WHATEVER you want, but people are “not permitted” to call you out on it?

    How dare anyone tell American citizens — in a country which prides itself, so it claims, on equality — that they should not be speaking the truth when that “equality” is laughably, embarrassingly nonexistent. The single, direct, simple way of establishing that equality nationwide is being fought tooth and nail by so many. How dare they claim this is a country of “equality.” Forgive my scornful laughter; I no longer try to hide it anywhere — not in person, either.

  4. Steve

    February 20, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Considering that Wake County voted for Obama by a margin of 57%-42% in 2008, this is good news for the amendment. I strongly support this amendment and believe that it will pass by a solid majority – if not a super-majority – in May.

  5. Mike

    February 20, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Maybe so,Steve,maybe not. If it does pass your ” victory” will be short lived. In the interim it will discourage people from moving to NC- not only gay folks but anyone who wishes to live in an enlightened,accepting place. It will bite you in the bum- ultimately self defeating & ultimately for naught. Marriage equality might
    arrive late in NC but it will happen.

  6. John in Ral

    February 21, 2012 at 12:09 am


    You do realize if the law is Unconstitutional under the US Constitution, so will this amendment be?

  7. Scott Rose

    February 21, 2012 at 12:53 am

    A bigot is by definition a vicious coward. It’s no surprise that the cowardly Rethugliturds, bigots all, ignored the reasoned pleas of those who came to speak.

  8. Jeff S

    February 21, 2012 at 1:42 am

    The ignorant and narrow-minded are always on the lookout for someone to demonize to improve their own self-image.

    No small coincidence that this is being done in the name of religion. We seem, in this country, intent on abandoning our secular roots. Why be educated and well-read when you can have “faith” and “common-sense”.

    Unfortunately, I agree with those who have said that the next revolution in this country will come from the far right and will bring with it more intolerance, hatred and violence.

  9. Jack

    February 21, 2012 at 10:26 am

    As the nephew of U.S. Senator Jesse Helms Paul Coble is seeking to preserve the political family line. Family political history is Mr. Coble’s road map.

    Hold on, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

  10. […] No Comments Wake County Commissioner and wannabe Congressman, Paul Coble may soon be regretting his move yesterday to push through a resolution in support of the marriage discrimination amendment. Since it passed, a petition/website launched […]

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