Local News

Hundreds Rally For Constitutional Amendment On Gay Marriage

Posted May 11, 2005

— Several hundred people rallied at the Legislative Building Tuesday in support of a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.

Margie Harvell and others believe most people want the chance to vote on the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman.

"God didn't ordain it that way," Harvell said. "He created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve."

Several popular conservative Christian speakers, as well as lawmakers, spoke at the two-hour event. They want legislative leaders to allow for referendum bills to be heard.

Republican sponsors of bills in the North Carolina House and Senate claim Democratic leaders are blocking the measures from even being considered.

A spokesperson for North Carolina Senate leader Mark Basnight pointed out that state law already bans gay marriage and says a constitutional amendment is not necessary.

"I think the leadership is recognizing that there are more important issues for the legislature to address and focus their time on then trying to discriminate against a group of North Carolina citizens," gay rights activist Ian Palmquist said.

Supporters of a constitutional change argue an amendment would make it less likely to be challenged in court.

Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council said the people, and not the courts, should decide what traditional values should be upheld nationwide.

Currently, 38 states including North Carolina have laws on the books that ban same-sex marriage. A dozen other states are debating proposals. Maryland, New York, New Hampshire and Vermont, however, all recognize gay marriages performed out of the state.

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