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Durham council passes same-sex marriage resolution

Posted August 17, 2009
Updated October 17, 2011

— The debate over who should be able to wed legally took center stage Monday evening as the Durham City Council passed a resolution supporting same-sex marriage.

Joshua Weaver asked the council to consider the resolution in April.

"I want the American dream. I want to be able to get married and have that big house with a couple of kids playing in the yard, and that is why it is so important to me. For someone to tell me that I can't do that (because I'm gay), I just don't think that's right,” Weaver said.

Durham council gets standing ovation for same-sex marriage resolution Standing ovation for same-sex resolution

Same-sex marriage is legal in Connecticut, Iowa and Massachusetts. Beginning in September, it will also be legal in Vermont and Maine.

Durham council members do not have the authority to change state law, but Monday’s resolution was aimed at showing support for same-sex marriages. Chapel Hill and Carrboro have also passed resolutions supporting same-sex marriage.

"I think what it says is that Durham is a community that is very diverse. We are accepting of a lot of different opinions and beliefs,” Mayor Bill Bell said.

However, not everyone was in favor of the resolution.

"There are many of us who are Christians and we are totally against the same-sex marriages, constitutionally as well as biblically,” Durham resident Victoria Peterson said at the meeting.

The executive director of the John W. Pope Civitas Institute, a conservative public policy advocate, also spoke against the resolution.

"This resolution flies in face of public opinion. As a large majority of North Carolinians of all backgrounds and parties oppose defining marriage as anything except marriage between one man and one woman," Francis De Luca, executive director of the Civitas Institute, said in a statement.

De Luca has backed proposed legislation for a state constitutional amendment that would clarify a valid marriage as one only between a man and woman.

Introduced this year into the General Assembly, Senate Bill 272, "The Defense of Marriage Act," and a similar House bill – failed to make it through legislative committees.

Proponents of the bill – including NC4Marriage, a bipartisan coalition of voters, lawmakers and clergy, have argued that it will protect marriage and protect children from being taught in schools that homosexuality is normal and that a same-sex union is the moral and legal equivalent to marriage.

Meanwhile, North Carolinians appear to be split on the issue.

An Elon University poll in March found that 50.4 percent of respondents opposed a voter-approved amendment protecting marriage while more than 43 percent supported it.

While respondents opposed the amendment, only 21 percent of said they support full marriage rights for same-sex couples. About 28 percent said they would support civil unions or partnerships but not marriage. About 44 percent of respondents said they oppose any legal recognition for same-sex couples.


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  • Jack Flash Aug 19, 2009

    shawna, you allegedly don't care and consider this a waste of time based solely on your disagreement on this issue. I bet you weren't up in arms about all the voter referendums on gay marriage back in '04. We had a couple big wars going hot and heavy then, you may recall. I'm guessing it didn't bother you then because you felt pretty good about your chances as every freedom hating rube showed up to cast a vote against others' equality. That's all you've got going here. It ain't working, sister.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Aug 19, 2009

    kwazimac, quit whining about the censors and them persecuting you for your religion. Statistically, there's a 75% chance their religion is the same is yours and only 15% chance they're non-religious...and there's a bunch of them. So, it's not them, it's you.

    We all get censored at times, but we just rephrase and repost.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Aug 19, 2009

    That's it, tnjdixie?! You come in here and LIE about our country and then after we prove that this country was NOT founded on Christianity...you start preaching to us? Holy garbonzo beans.

    So...how about actually answering the question posted to you? Did our forefathers, George Washington, the first U.S. Senate, John Adams, and others...all LIE about the U.S. NOT being a Christian nation?

    And, now will you stop spreading this lie? Otherwise, it just shows that your religion needs you to lie to get people to join your club.

  • Hammerhead Aug 19, 2009

    MJW...pessimistic much?

  • scientistjo Aug 18, 2009

    If you don't like gay marriage, don't marry a person of the same sex. It's that simple. Otherwise, to quote a 3rd grader, MYOB.

  • areyououtofyourmind Aug 18, 2009

    "Christ never uttered a WORD on the subject." - Mako

    "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his WIFE and the two shall become one flesh?" Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." "And I say to you, whoever divorces his WIFE (not spouse)..."

    Matthew 19:4-5, 8 Speaker - Jesus. There are more examples as well.

    Also, as a side-note at least recognize that you hold a different understanding of the inspiration and derivation of Scripture than I and others you are debating. Whether it is in "red letters" or from Paul, I believe it to be the word of God equally. See 2 Peter 1:20-21 and 2 Timothy 3:16

  • shawna Aug 18, 2009

    Oh...I see...thanks for clearing that up Mako...so its the job of Town Councils across the country to vote on sexual issues that have nothing to do with civil rights. I'm sorry but it is absolutely the duty of the city council to make sure its citizens are safe, healthy and employed and not to weigh in on social propaganda. So which special interest group do you work for again? ACORN, La Raza, Cair and GLADD are all over these boards. I'm guessing a few of you are here to make it look like there are alot more people on your side than there are.

  • MakoII Aug 18, 2009


    Nationally, the various polls of those FOR a Civil Union between gays recognized by the Government stands around 55%

    We WERE Talking Nationally about the American People, were we not?

    I'm sure there are towns that would vote African-American's illegal and deported if you go by local numbers.

    But as pointed out, if 99% were AGAINST and 1% FOR, a Civil Right should be a Civil Right, no matter how small.

  • shawna Aug 18, 2009

    It sure is not important to me what the Durham City Council says and it certainly ranks right along side what Kim Kardashian is wearing today, as to what they have to say about gay marriage. This isnt a civil rights issue. No ones civil rights are violated. This has everything to do with a certain small percentage of society wanting to tear down norms and reset values in people so that they can openly perform whatever form of debauchery it is they want. First item on the list, marginalize marriage and destroy the religious aspect of it. The Durham City Council is useless. Just like other governmental agencies doing this, it is a distraction away from their complete incompetence. Plus it gets them a few votes from the fringe left.

  • MakoII Aug 18, 2009


    Homosexuals are what they are. If they are aberrant to YOUR God, then he has only himself to account for their existence.

    The way into Heaven in YOUR religion rests solely on the acceptance of Jesus as your savior, is that not so?

    Can a Gay man go to heaven? Apparently, yes.

    Can YOU judge whether a gay man goes to heaven? Supposedly NOT.

    How about following your religion By The Book. You don't follow the Jewish texts of Leviticus, you follow the Teachings of Christ. Christ never uttered a WORD on the subject.

    So important, he forgot to mention it, even though he palled around with 12 guys and a few woman.

    PAUL did say something, but that would make you a PAULSTIAN, not a CHRISTIAN.

    Tell me, who is MORE important, Jesus or Paul? Whom is the ultimate authority? What did CHRIST say about Homosexuality?