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Gay marriage backers, foes mark NC amendment anniversary

Posted May 8

— Supporters and opponents of the constitutional amendment that essentially banned same-sex marriage in North Carolina held rallies in downtown Raleigh on Thursday to mark the second anniversary of its passage. 

Three same-sex couples applied for marriage licenses at the Wake County Register of Deeds office as part of the "WE DO" campaign launched by the Asheville-based Campaign for Southern Equality, but they were denied licenses.

Six other couples recorded their out-of-state marriage licenses at the Register of Deeds office to create a public record of their marriage in North Carolina, despite it having no legal impact.

The couples were joined by local clergy, including Rev. Nancy Petty of Raleigh's Pullen Memorial Baptist Church.

Register of Deeds Laura Riddick said her office "is not the proper forum for either a public policy debate or a political protest," as her staff only administers state law and doesn't set it.

"If at some point the law changes, we will apply it with the same administrative impartiality, diligence and professionalism as we do today," Riddick said in a statement.

Trudy and Justine Price-O'Neil, both teachers from Wake County who were married in Massachusetts in 2010, said they wanted to put a face on the same-sex marriage issue by getting their marriage recorded in North Carolina.

"People just don't know gay people or a gay family, and this is what a gay family looks like," Justine Price-O'Neil said.

She said it's important for her and her partner that North Carolina recognize their marriage, not only for legal issues such as taxes and insurance but also to support their.

"When that passed two years ago May 8th, I was eight months pregnant with Prestyn," Justine Price-O'Neil said. "It was hurtful to be bringing a child into this world that was in a state that doesn't recognize us as a real family, and we want to show that we are a real family."

A few hours later, the North Carolina Values Coalition and other groups opposed to gay marriage rallied outside the State Capitol. 

"There are a lot of attacks going on right now against the amendment by people who don't like it in the state, but the truth is that the majority of North Carolinians still support marriage as between one man and one woman," said Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the Values Coalition.

Amendment backers stressed the Bible, the sanctity of marriage and righteousness in what amounted to a pep rally to keep fighting against gay marriage.

"It's not us that has decided that marriage should be between one man and one woman. It's God that has decided that," rally attendee Brian Norman said.

Several gay couples and clergy members have filed federal lawsuits challenging North Carolina's ban. 

Seventeen states allow gay marriage, and federal judges have struck down bans in Michigan, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia.

299 Comments

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  • jackjones2nc May 13, 4:47 p.m.

    Equality and civil rights will win. Intolerance and bigotry will lose.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU May 13, 11:37 a.m.

    God created man and then woman. This is how it is suppose to be. But on this earth, man/woman... View More

    — Posted by 678devilish

    For those that don't believe in God you should replace God with Nature. There are many... View More

    — Posted by Wise Man Says

    How do you hate something that you don't believe in? Do you hate Zeus? No, the hate is coming from those people who don't want some people to have the same rights that they claim for themselves. "I can get married, but you cannot." "I can have this type of sex, but you cannot." "I don't like gov't in my life, but I will put it in yours."

    And, they're creating all this hypocrisy, because of their religious texts.

    Some of us just disagree with this. We think that, at least in the U.S., that people should be treated equally. YMMV

  • Wise Man Says May 9, 7:29 p.m.

    God created man and then woman. This is how it is suppose to be. But on this earth, man/woman... View More

    — Posted by 678devilish

    For those that don't believe in God you should replace God with Nature. There are many God-haters posting here.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU May 9, 4:17 p.m.

    Homosexual behavior has serious consequences. Are we telling are children that?

    — Posted by New Creature

    Love and marriage are "serious consequences" of homosexuality? Is this why you want to use Big Government to control the private lives of consenting, tax-paying U.S. citizens?...to protect gay people from themselves? How Nanny-State of you. ;-)

  • 678devilish May 9, 3:58 p.m.

    manner which pleases those sky spirits.

    One day when you get down and cannot get up, you will ask, "Lord help me". Jesus did die on the cross for all of us. But he is very much alive. Read the bible.

  • 678devilish May 9, 3:55 p.m.

    God created man and then woman. This is how it is suppose to be. But on this earth, man/woman want to change God's law. Those that tamper with God's law will surely see consequences; and it will not be sweet.

  • Drifter May 9, 2:38 p.m.

    They really need to just make it so that the government doesn't recognize any marriage, and people enter in civil union contracts with their partner. This does not even need to imply that they are even having sexual relations.

    Marriage is a religious thing, so leave it in the hands of the religious. But the government right now recognizes marriage as a legal thing, which is why NC's gay marriage ban goes up against the 14th amendment. Which is why the ban will also eventually fail. (And leave a horrible scar on our state constitution when people thought they could play with the document like angsty children.)

    Just make everyone get Civil Unions and leave Marriage to religious ceremonies. How hard is it?! How hard do we need to make it out to be?

  • dwntwnboy2 May 9, 2:14 p.m.

    "If the government can require religious institutions to conduct same sex marriage does this violate the separation of church and state"- would NEVER happen. They don't dictate who churches have to marry now. There are churches that won't marry black and white couples and the government can't force them to perform those weddings any more than they could force them to perform same sex unions.

  • geoherb1 May 9, 1:53 p.m.

    Learn? Interesting. I have a friend, who has 2 young boys. They asked her one day what gay was.... View More

    I bet a lot of young boys would think the same if the mother told them the straight facts of life. "ewww gross why would someone want to do that?"

  • paulej May 9, 1:23 p.m.

    Holy moly, in the year 2014 we still have people that not only believe in sky spirits, but they... View More

    — Posted by Lightfoot3

    Expanding on that...

    This is 2014 and the government feels it should "grant a license" for people to get married. The government has a list of requirements and, if you don't meet the requirements, they will not grant a license.

    I've said it before, but I firmly believe that the government has no business in people's personal lives. Above all, that includes marriage. You can live with whomever you want for years, but if you "marry" them, you suddenly have to get the government involved. That's totally unnecessary.

    If the government got out of the marriage business, then this whole issue goes away.

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