Gay marriage amendment debate continues outside legislature

Posted September 21, 2011

Gay marriage debate, same-sex marriage

— Two of the leading speech-makers in last week's debate at the North Carolina legislature over a proposed statewide referendum on gay marriage debated the measure again Wednesday at the University of North Carolina law school.

House Majority Leader Paul Stam and Minority Whip Rick Glazier went back and forth for almost an hour on the constitutional implications and legal merits of banning same-sex marriages in North Carolina.

“All persons are created equal, but that doesn’t mean three people can claim to be married,” said Stam, R-Apex, adding that limits on marriage are common.

"No one here would say two 3-year-olds can marry or that I can intentionally kidnap somebody and have a valid marriage," he said. "The question is, if there are going to be limits, what are they."

Glazier, D-Fayetteville, called the proposed amendment "one of the most personally intrusive and extreme laws in the country." Writing a ban of same-sex marriages into the state constitution would create second-class citizens and could lead to other restrictions of their rights.

"I would think the Founding Fathers are rolling over in their graves, thinking that’s how we amend the constitution in this state," he said.

"If we’re really concerned about the protection of marriage," Glazier said, "maybe we ought to do something about domestic violence and child abuse and poverty because I think they far more affect marriage than the gay couple down the street."

Stam said the amendment, if approved by voters next May, would also outlaw domestic partnerships and civil unions. He said a state law passed 15 years ago "was meant to" have that effect, but in fact, the 1996 law does not address non-marriage unions. 

Protest greets lawmakers at gay marriage amendment debate Protest greets lawmakers at gay marriage amendment debate

The referendum is on the primary ballot instead of the November 2012 general election because of Gov. Beverly Perdue, Stam said.

Perdue never encouraged legislators to put the amendment on any ballot, said spokeswoman Chris Mackey, who didn't deny that the governor was involved in the date change.

"Moving the amendment to the May ballot removed one of the governor's objections, which was that the Republicans were using the constitutional amendment process to tilt the 2012 general election," Mackey said.

Perdue hasn't publicly said whether she supports the amendment.

A May vote could help the amendment pass because many Republican voters will turn out to choose candidates for president and governor, while Democrats don't have any high-profile primaries to draw them to the polls.

The UNC Center on the Law and Government hosted the discussion between Stam and Glazier, and an overflow crowd of about 250 students attended. Protesters also staged a demonstration outside the law school.


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  • really02 Sep 22, 2011

    just ban all marriages. marred people just lead into divorce and a lawyer with money in there pockets.

  • Jim Britt Sep 22, 2011

    Support freedom and vote this abomination of a constitutional amendment down. Every adult has the right to enter into contracts, whether personal or business, without state intrusion. Constitutionally denying this right to certain adults is an abomination.

  • Hammerhead Sep 22, 2011

    "Let this go GOD will Judge them."

    And HOW will God judge them? Unfit for something? Didn't he create them?

  • Not_Time_Yet Sep 22, 2011

    What, did they think this would take everyone's attention away from the economic disaster we have in NC?

    Then I read the republican strategy was to get something controversial on the ballot just so the religious conservatives would get out and vote. So in reality NC Republicans don't really care about the marriage thing, they just wanted to stir things up so they re-spawned this marriage debate simply for political gain.

    Tricks like this and the dumb voters who fall for it are the reason why our economy, state, and country will NEVER get fixed as long as the same old political hacks are voted back in year after year. Term limits and prohibition against lobbyist and pork are the only things that will help us.

    So not only will I be voting "NO" on the marriage amendment, I'll also be voting AGAINST all of those who supported putting this stupid divisive legislation on the ballot.

    Remember, voting yes simply means support of the same old corrupt political hacks,...

  • driverkid3 Sep 22, 2011

    Geosol and the others that take every advantage to bash conservatives assume that they are sooooo smart and intelligent. Let me set you straight. I am 63, straight, conservative AND a female. It is none of my business if two people decide to marry. NONE! With people like you in this world spreading hate, people that do have the capacity to love should be able to get married they should be able to. I don't think ANYONE should be able to stop them. In the meantime, how about you getting off your high horse for a bit?

  • unclegrits Sep 21, 2011

    "And exactly who gets to decide which values are 'false'?"

    Thanks for making my point. Why do the people of North Carolina get to decide what values are best for others that disagree? Allowing gays to get married is about human rights, plain and simple.

  • unclegrits Sep 21, 2011

    "However, just because people in Paris don't know where North Carolina is on a map doesn't diminish our notions of morality. Most North Carolinians don't give a darn about Parisians' ideas on sexual mores either."

    Still imporatant to know that the vast majority of the Western world thinks we are wrong. When we sit in our sheltered little towns pretending we know what's best, millions look down in shame at our lack of human rights for all. And we call our nation free, what a joke.

  • PanthersFan45 Sep 21, 2011

    Seems fair to me, just go the polls that day and cast your vote. Having the vote in May might actually help. With Perdue and Obama so unpopular here, Republicans and Tea Party voters will probably be out in droves in November 2012 to sink those 2. I would be willing to go out on a limb and say that they would vote for this Ban too while they are at it. Yes, I'm just guessing, but it may closer to the truth than you think.

  • geosol Sep 21, 2011

    Now you see what the party of fear, hate, ignorance, and greed is all about. They are the biggest hypocrites in a generation. Using BIG GOVERNMENT to try to push their far right social agenda on the good people of North Carolina while they do NOTHING to help the unemployed and middle class. REMEMBER in 2012 and VOTE OUT ALL REPUBLICANS and vote NO one ONE.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Sep 21, 2011

    These people want to redefine what marriage is. They claim they have fewer rights than heterosexuals because they can't marry the one they love.

    Well, I feel like I have fewer rights than senior citizens because they get to collect social security. I think they should change the law so I can collect social security, too, while I'm still in my early 40's.

    I mean, since we want to change definitions and everything. May as well change something else from which I can benefit, too!