Local News

Two N.C. Towns Work To Appeal State's Defense Of Marriage Act

Posted April 7, 2004

— Two towns in North Carolina want to repeal the state's Defense of Marriage act. Chapel Hill and Carrboro hope to put gay rights on the front burner.

Carrboro is known for its small town feel, its artwork and its broad appeal, but the progressive little town has taken a bold step. On Tuesday, Mayor Mike Nelson proposed asking the legislature to repeal a state law that bans the recognition of same sex marriages. The board unanimously agreed with the mayor.

"As a Christian who worships with same-sex couples and with families headed up by same-sex couples, I very much support this," alderman Jacqueline Gist said.

"It's a spiteful law, and it forces us as a town to discriminate against certain people," alderman Mark Chilton said.

You do not have to look far to find another push to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. Mark Kleinschmidt, Nelson's longtime partner, serves on the Chapel Hill town council. He is leading an effort to send North Carolina lawmakers a message.

"Equal treatment is deserved by all of our citizens," he said.

Leaders in Chapel Hill and Carrboro realize lawmakers are not likely to repeal the state's current law, because it has so many supporters, but they say it is important to at least get people thinking about change.

The Chapel Hill town council will vote next week on their proposal to ask state legislators to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.

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