September 13th, 2011
03:03 PM ET

N.C. senate approves putting same-sex marriage amendment on 2012 ballot

North Carolina will put an amendment banning same-sex marriage on the ballot in May after the state's House and Senate passed the measure.

The measure cleared the Senate by a vote of 30-16, according to Mark Johnson, spokesperson for governor's office. On Monday the House also passed the measure by a vote of 76-41.

Read the bill (PDF)

If the constitutional amendment is approved by voters during the primary in May, North Carolina would become the final state in the Southeast to add a constitutional amendment regarding same-sex marriage.

Proponents of the measure said they felt it was important that the amendment be added so that it would protect the state's policy on gay marriage. North Carolina currently has a ban on same-sex marriage, but legislators are seeking to protect that ban by chiseling it into their constitution.

“We think the people of this state – not judges, bureaucrats, or politicians – should define marriage, which I personally believe should be between one man and one woman," Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said in a statement after the measure passed. "We look forward to eight months of healthy debate before voters decide this issue at the polls.”

The proposed constitutional amendment sparked anger from many Democrats in the legislature, who argued the Republicans were trying to push through the measure since they have control for the first time in 140 years.

Others argued the legislature should be focused on more pressing issues such as the economy or jobs.

That concern also came from North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue.

“I’m focused on solving problems and creating jobs.  This partisan exercise does neither: Same-sex marriage is already illegal in North Carolina, and this constitutional amendment would not create a single job. In fact, it could hurt existing North Carolina businesses - as Speaker Tillis himself acknowledged - and harm our ability to attract new businesses to invest and grow jobs here. “

Sen. Josh Stein, a Democrat, echoed similar thoughts in his comments.

He referred to the cost of having to go through a session and taking up this issue while there are still some people in the state dealing with damage caused by Hurricane Irene.

"What are we doing here?" he asked.

He also echoed some of the comments that Democratic colleagues in the House argued on Monday, that this move would single out specific people and was a step in the wrong direction.

"Most of us have gay neighbors, co-workers, friends and family members," Stein said. "Know that if you vote for this amendment, you will cause them pain."

During his arguments for why the measure needed to be passed, Berger argued that the issue was of importance to a lot of people in the state. He too, echoed comments from his Republican colleagues, that there was no better way to decide than by letting the people make their voice heard.

"There is one thing that I don't think anyone can disagree with. If we don't go ahead and address this issue now, it will continue to come up," he said. "It is time to let the people of this state decide."

On Monday during a House committee hearing and then during the House vote, Democrats argued strongly against passing the measure because both of its content and the lack of a public discussion.

People on both sides of the aisle said what decision they made would go down in history.

"I remember a recent session where we went to great lengths, and necessary ones I believe, to issue an apology to African-American citizens for injustices," Rep. Susan Fisher, a Democrat, said on the House floor Monday. "What I think is about to happen here is another instance where in the not-too-distant future we will be apologizing again for unfair and harmful discriminatory practices."

Rep. Dale Folwell, a Republican, said the vote is really about allowing the people to have control of their own constitution.

"Today, history is going to talk about the strength, the strength of this chamber, to realize that some decisions are simply bigger than we are and they belong to the people of North Carolina," he said.

soundoff (969 Responses)
  1. JimBucknell

    I do know that they have group relations at rest stops and some lonely truckers just join in. Most of those truckers do not prefer men but it is readily available.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
    • thereisnogod

      So you have seen something about mary.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      How many such "relations" have you seen in truck stops in your ENTIRE LIFE? Number please.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  2. Godlovesme

    I am gay. There. I said it. I know God loves me for who I am gay or not. And for you guys who keep saying that we are going to hell...why don't you do yourself a favor and read the Bible for once. CLEARLY it says judge not or you will be judged. THOSE people are the ones that should be worried about hell. Also, NOWHERE in the Bible does it say anything about God hating gays. Not once. It is not up to any human being to say who or what God hates because you are not God.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
    • thereisnogod

      God does hate you according to the scripture, its in there more than once unfortunately. Lucky for you there is no god.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      Godlovesme,

      Ignor all the hypocrites. If you believe the Bible you know that it says that all you have to do to get eternal life is to believe in God. The hypocrites ignor all the "sins" they commit.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      God never said he hates gays, but being gay is a sin. All people sin and God still loves us all. So if anyone says that God hates gays they are sadly mistaken. But he is not happy about any of us committing any sin.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Godlovesme

      Thereisnogod,

      Actually, there IS no scripture saying God hates gays. I have studied the Bible front to back. Look up the word "God hates" in the Bible...

      September 14, 2011 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      Tim,

      Why are you here picking on gays when there are FAR FAR MORE Christians who commit adultery?

      September 14, 2011 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      thereisnogod, I don't suppose you could actually cite a passage. Lots of people claim something is in scripture and it's not there. There was an article on the CNN website a couple months ago just about that. As an example, some professor, who knew better, quoted from the Book of Hesitations to see who would realize it's not a book in the Bible. Nobody in his class noticed.

      Cite one or more passages. Don't both with Sodom from Genesis. That's about how to treat guests and an act, which will almost certainly not get by the censors, is NOT a way to treat UNWILLING guests.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
    • ashley

      God does not hate sinners God hates sin...Of course God loves you, I love you so I'm not sure how you are confused on the teachings of the bible.. but i do know there is scientific proof of sodom and ghommorah and the great fire.. google it... And as we all know the saying from that story 'not to lay with strange flesh' and so many more like being fruitful, multiplying, prospering(not naturally possible if gay)... As for judging... god said being gay is a sin.. so if i say i dont condone being gay or that i believe it is a sin ... i am judging? eh nope dont see it that way

      September 14, 2011 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      ashley,

      God said that eating shellfish is an "abomination" too. Do you protest at seafood restaurants? Do you or any other Christians eat shellfish?

      September 14, 2011 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
    • ashley

      I don't eat shellfish.. or cut my hair, nor do i believe in wearing jewelry or makeup, i also believe in only wearing skirts. And i have a belief of not attending movies, or races, or 'wordly' events.. As for protesting uhm no one has ever shoved shellfish in my face and made me smell it

      September 14, 2011 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. JimBucknell

    I do not believe in god and I do think gay is a sickness. Not so much wrong but a sign that the person needs help. on the issue of god it just dont make sense you know?

    September 14, 2011 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Perhaps you'd like to address the issue of XX XY chimeras.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      JimBucknell,

      The professional experts in APA that know far more about mental issues that either of us say you don't know what you are talking about.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  4. Phil

    If you dont want gay marriage, then dont get one. Problem solved. Dont worry what other people are doing and worry about yourself.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  5. Phil

    Marriage was a way to secure land is transfered when a spouse died. It has nothing to do with religion, so stop bringing up religious stuff.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  6. Hugo

    Observer, I wish the APA would actually publish a complete set of citation rules.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      Agree.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Good. Now who else didn't sleep through college?

      September 14, 2011 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  7. JimBucknell

    Observer I get it. There may be a physical cause such as genetics to the sickness but it is a sickness nonetheless. Crones disease has a genetic cause but it is still a disease even if wanting to spear fish for doo doo sharks is shone to have a genetic component does not mean it is not a disease. I would never treat a gay person any different but I think we should help them. I said earlier that it can not be treated. I think it can be to an extent like any genetic disease but I do not thnk it can be cured.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  8. tom s.

    The sons of the men who said letting blacks inter marry was beastiality with apes !
    Ignorance breeds ignorance ! Just more Protestant Hate mongering ! The sad part is that the same blacks who screamed about discrimination are now the discriminators !

    September 14, 2011 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
    • ashley

      What is so sad, is that you are confusing sin with ignorance... And who are you to hate people who were born a certain color or from certain loins?Atleast I know it's not people I hate.. it's their sin.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  9. Observer

    JimBucknell,

    "There may be a physical cause such as genetics to the sickness but it is a sickness nonetheless."

    Purely your OPINION. The professionals who KNOW better and treat patients disagree with your OPINION.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
    • ashley

      did they KNOW they could cure syphillis 60 yrs ago?

      September 14, 2011 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  10. JimBucknell

    Man I think people are born gay. I can not get aroused by a man no matter how hard I try. So yeah I can give to the point that gay is innate but so is down syndrome but we should treat both.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  11. JFK57

    Argue the bible and sins all you want..... good for NC
    Gay "marriage" is an abomination of marriage. Marriage is meant to be between a man and woman only.
    The gay agenda needs to go back into the closet where it belongs. Good for NC....... hope the right thing occurs...

    September 14, 2011 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Is an XX XY human chimera a man or a woman?

      September 14, 2011 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      Eating shellfish is an abomination, too.

      Do you or your friends engage in that abomination?

      September 14, 2011 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Observer, I have to disagree with you on that one. Leviticus isn't law for the Gentiles. It might be law for the modern Jews. It was law for the Ancient Jews.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      Hugo,

      It's all pick-and-choose hypocrisy anyway.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Walter

      Wait God only hates gay Jews?

      September 14, 2011 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. JimBucknell

    I guess I am alright with a social contract between two consenting adults and that is all a marriage is beyond all that razz ma tazz of religion where some christian medicine man says a few prayers that makes some divine contract with a sky god. But still I think we should admit that being gay is a genetic anomally like beeing born with a sixth toe

    September 14, 2011 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Jim, can you identify the gene(s)?

      Or could it be like Type 1 diabetes or Celiac Sprue?

      September 14, 2011 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      Obviously, being left-handed is a "genetic anomally".

      September 14, 2011 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. yoyomah

    Backwards @ss people. Can't you learn anything from your past? Anything??

    September 14, 2011 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
    • ashley

      Right! It's sad how quickly people forget or try to ignore sodom and ghommorah

      September 14, 2011 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
  14. yalesouth

    the backwards southern states are at it again.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
  15. JimBucknell

    I mean if I am born with webbed feet I would want to be treated. Maybe they ought to mandate it in the new health care, not mandate that people get treated but if you want treatment you can get it. At least then men who want a man date can seek professional care. I could care less about sinning. I sin every day when I eat bacon according to the old testament of christian mythology and a sin is a sin right? but still physical conditions considered out of the norm are treated every day like being cross eyed or a cleft pallett

    September 14, 2011 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      OK, but what is the treatment for being gay? I mean gay, not bi. People who are bi apparently can be "treated." But what is the treatment for gay?

      September 14, 2011 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      Let me guess. You or your friends think h0mos-xuality is awful and find h0mo guys repulsive and h0mo girls very exciting if young and attractive.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      JIm, please try to understand the Bible before you claim it says things. I'm a Gentile. You probably are too. That law doesn't apply to us. It was law for the Jews (way back when).

      September 14, 2011 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
    • JimBucknell

      I do not think I find gay men repulsive more like i think it is beyond thier control like most things about our body. I did not choose to have blue eyes and exceptional hair. I try not to label being a pitcher or a catcher as something vile but I think it is a genetic disease.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
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