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. mccccccc

    Are they also including a vote to bring back slavery and to take away women's right to vote?

    September 14, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Par For The South

      Woman should only be able to vote with their cooking and child rearing skills anyway.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. JM

    NY, thats how you do it. Have the population decide what is right and what is wrong. I am ashamed to live in NY.

    September 14, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
    • wildbynature

      Then please, leave. We don't want you here, either.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
    • JonWNC

      And I'm a little ashamed to live in NC right now. The 'population' isn't going to decide squat, just the hyperpartisan primary voters, in a year when the top of the D ticket is unopposed.

      September 14, 2011 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill Sargent

      @Bill you talk about Freedom, but this bill takes away others freedoms. What is wrong with you!? Is your brain damaged?

      September 14, 2011 at 4:23 am | Report abuse |
  3. ashley

    It isnt letting me post what i said OBSERVER... what am i suppose to be remembering?? As for the proof of hmosxuality... there were many sins of the town including laying with strange flesh, ive never argued that along with prosttution theft greed.. it was a sinful city and an ab0mination and lets not even forget the proof, concerning the men who came to sodoms door and would not sleep with his virgin daughters yet wanted men

    September 14, 2011 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Observer


      The first thing that many Christians mention when they talk about gays is Sodom. As you have seen, most of the sins of Sodom did not concern being gay. Ignoring the rest of what the Bible says and just picking on gays is pure HYPOCRISY.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
    • ashley

      lol you really made me lol.. no one is disagreeing that there are many sins and no sin is greater than the other... this forum that you are chatting on right now though, is about gy marriage in my state... If anyone i was sure you would see i am no cherry picker and i dont try to pick on anyone.. if anything enlighten....... Sod0m is the story that CLEARLY states man shall not lie with strange flesh,, just because being sod0my wasn't the only sin created makes it none the less a sin.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:30 am | Report abuse |
    • ashley

      *just because s0domy wasn't the only sin committed...... well obviously time for me to hit the bed. g night

      September 14, 2011 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
    • wildbynature

      Based on the s*** that has come from you tonight, ashley, I can say as an open lesbian that if YOU were one of Lot's virgin daughters, even I'd pick a man over you! Good god pull the stick from your a$$.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      Speaking of sins, do you tell Christians that have divorced and remarried that they are guilty of continuous adultery? How many Christians have you talked to about their TEN COMMANDMENT sin? There's FAR FAR MORE of those sinning Christians than there are total gays.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
    • ashley

      uhm thanks wild? observer you really stereo type christians huh... i am 100% against divorce infact my uncle who is a minister that married me and my black husband(i am white) that uncle got married 28 years ago and his wife left him after 3 years of marriage. he has not been on a date since. he devoted his life to his children and god... i have a good strong family, infact to go deeper my grandparents built a church... and just like sinning christians, i love and pray for them also

      September 14, 2011 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Observer


      Do you tell Christians that have divorced and remarried that they are guilty of continuous adultery? How many Christians have you talked to about their TEN COMMANDMENT sin?

      September 14, 2011 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
    • ashley

      you just said the same thing again... i thought i was clear with being 100% against it, but if your asking if i hide my feelings toward divorce and do not tell people it is wrong/ No I openly voice that it is adultry, infact i told my mother in law of the sin... but it is also not practiced in my church, again if that is what you are implying

      September 14, 2011 at 2:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Observer


      You get points for consistency. Please explain how you can use a book that supports slavery and the inferiority of women as a source to pick on others?

      September 14, 2011 at 2:53 am | Report abuse |
    • ashley

      ah well i'll stay up, my hunny.. inferiority i guess u could see it as that but i simply know my place. we were put her to workd hard, find a mate, and multiply. the womans maternal instincts are there for a reason, and i love being at home with my babies. I also trust and love my husband. I obey and support his decisions, he is head of household and consults with me before making final decisions. and the slavery mentioned in the bible was speaking of people in debt, working to pay off their debt.. we just dont call that slavery nowaday

      September 14, 2011 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |
    • ashley

      *My hunny is out fighting for our country

      September 14, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
    • wildbynature

      I pity your children for the unsupportive, hellish environment I'm SURE you'll introduce if one of them turns out to be gay. I already pity them for the narrow-minded education they must be receiving.

      September 14, 2011 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |
    • ashley

      wild stop making your self righteous judgements of me. i have not judged you

      September 14, 2011 at 3:10 am | Report abuse |
    • wildbynature

      Um, actually, by your stance on gays, you HAVE judged me. And let me just state the irony and hilarity in a bible-beater calling someone else self-righteous.

      September 14, 2011 at 3:13 am | Report abuse |
    • ashley

      You have implied to know me, my parenting skills and my children... I have not said anything to you and as for stating gaey is a sin, that is a fact written in the Holy Bible. So God decided it is a sin. You decide how to live your life.. and if you don't believe, then let me remind you our country was founded under God, and for proof in the pudding research sod0m and ghommorah and what scientist have discovered.... not only the cities, but the residue from the fire that is unexplainable- not like fire nor lava or anything else ever seen...

      September 14, 2011 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
    • wildbynature

      Your proof in the pudding means squat if you consider anything in the Holy Bible to be fact, and that's just where I'm starting. Secondly, God didn't even write the Bible – man did. The Word Of God – I could just as easily say that God told me to burn my neighbor's house down for the god-awful Halloween decorations he already has up, and it's a load of cr@p just much as anything recorded in that book. Ever seen the movie The Invention of Lying? Yeeeah, satire at its finest, and the joke's on you. Finally, you're damn right that I've decided how to live my life, and it's by not hiding who I am. I'm not saying everyone's gay or that it's an impulse in all of us – just that not everyone is straight, either, and we're just born this way. The only decision I made was to accept myself rather than climb deeper than Narnia-deep in my damn closet because of what nutjobs like you think. In conclusion, I recommend you do more research on the lava of Sodom and Gamorrah by jumping into a volcano, ma'am.

      September 14, 2011 at 4:14 am | Report abuse |
  4. CFZ

    Ugh, really? I'm so ashamed of living in North Carolina, now. Looks like we'll get to go down in history for oppressing civil rights. Again.

    September 14, 2011 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
    • wildbynature

      Keep fighting – as long as there are people like you in NC, there's hope that this awful bill won't be passed. Don't give up!

      September 14, 2011 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. Steve

    Typical filthy bleeding heart liberal democrats the reason for the ruination of this country.

    September 14, 2011 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      Can't get much more simple-minded than that statement.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:30 am | Report abuse |
    • yalesouth

      lol must be another inbreed?

      September 14, 2011 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. eyerollingcanadian

    How about everybody just learn to love and appreciate fellow human beings? Hatred is an evil thing! If you are happy with yourself and your life you wouldn't care what other people are doing. I feel pity for people that hate, my life is so amazing because I laugh and love!

    September 14, 2011 at 2:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. Freddy

    If a man puts something into another man, it better be a bullet.

    September 14, 2011 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
    • yalesouth

      so you say

      September 14, 2011 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
    • wildbynature

      If you need a good vibrating bullet, dude, just say so! There are plenty of toy sites available for your man-on-man penis-prostrate-loving fun. Jesus.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      But if 2 young attractive h0mo women get together, it's an exciting fantasy for LOTS of hetero men.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jeff Frank ( R - OHIO ) "Hoopola"

    Leviticus 18:22

    September 14, 2011 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      Leviticus (20:9) also says “If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death”
      So what is your point?

      September 14, 2011 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Energizer Bunny

      @ wildbynature
      You can't handle the truth.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
    • wildbynature

      Energizer Bunny – Darling, you're using the word "truth" but if you think it's anything that came from the Bible (a book written by man, not God himself [if such a being even exists]), I don't think you know what the word means. There, there – go to sleep, munchkin.

      September 14, 2011 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jacob

    Whatever happened to majority rule with minority rights?

    September 14, 2011 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      Minority rights get in the way when you're trying to establish a theocracy. Ask the Taliban. Or the NC legislature.

      September 14, 2011 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. Stu

    What if religious people ever become a minority and had their rights stripped from them from the tyranny of the majority? I wonder how they would feel...

    September 14, 2011 at 2:54 am | Report abuse |
    • ashley

      Stu that day is so surely coming. and hopefully strong christians will stand and not denounce our god but take whatever punishment or pain we must endure.

      September 14, 2011 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
  11. confused

    can someone explain what is going on in this article, im confused. Like who agrees with this amendment, the republicans?

    September 14, 2011 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
  12. bralenX

    I love sodomy.

    September 14, 2011 at 2:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Freddy

      Between a dude and a chick, hell yes.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  13. bralenX

    Give it up straight folk, you can't close pandora's box once it's been opened. Gay marriage will soon be legalized in all 50 states that's a fact!

    September 14, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  14. bralenX

    There is nothing gayer than a man chasing after something soft cute and cuddley to mock breed with.

    September 14, 2011 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Puppet

      Or sicker.

      September 14, 2011 at 5:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. ashley

    I enjoy serving my God and looking forward to those pearly gates.... and perhaps you interpret things differently than I do observer

    September 14, 2011 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29