When you're the only openly gay lawmaker in the state legislature, what do you say when your colleagues are pushing a constitutional amendment banning you from marrying the partner of your choice?
Rep. Marcus Brandon, D-Guilford, answered that question today. "When you got married," he asked his House colleagues at the end of a long, emotional debate, "how many people did you have to ask?"
Brandon told his peers they were advancing "fake arguments" about the threat gay marriage could pose to straight marriage. "This is all about, someone is different, and so therefore you will be treated different. That’s it," Brandon said. "It’s not even a logical argument. If you have a problem in your marriage, it’s probably something you’re doing, not something someone else is doing."
"It’s not a choice, believe me," Brandon said, recounting difficult discussions with his family about his orientation. "If it’s a choice, I wouldn’t choose to do that."
As he was headed to a meeting today, Brandon said, he was yelled at by pro-amendment pastors speaking at a rally, who said he was an "abomination" and "going to hell."
Brandon, who identifies as Christian, was deeply offended.
"As a person of faith, this is not something that has anything close to being God, or of God, or something He would want. God would not want anybody to feel like I felt walking across that bridge today. That is not God," Brandon told the House.
"Jesus said 'I treat all sins the same'," Brandon said. “So why does this body decide, oh, well, this one sin, we’re gonna look at it differently. This is the one we want in the constitution?"
"To the folks in the LGBT community," he concluded, "I do apologize for the General Assembly and the way we have operated."
Watch the speech at right.