@NCCapitol

Foes of proposed NC amendment rally at Capitol

Posted March 15, 2012

— Marching from the campus of North Carolina State University to the mall at the state Capitol on Thursday, opponents of a proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage were hoping to make their largest public show of support so far in the last southeastern state without such a provision in law.

The turnout, which Raleigh and State Capitol Police estimated at around 300, fell short of the 1,000 expected by organizers, underscoring the challenge that opponents face less than two months before the May 8 vote.

"A lot of people think North Carolina is a lost cause being in the Southeast, but North Carolina is a pretty progressive state," said Scott Heath of Honest NC, the group that organized the "Ides of Love" march.

Last year, lawmakers in the Republican-controlled General Assembly voted to approve a referendum that would amend the state constitution to say, in part, "Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state."

Supporters of the referendum say marriage is not a right, and the amendment would protect the traditional institution of marriage from court rulings allowing same-sex couples to wed. A call to Tami Fitzgerald, chairwoman of the committee leading the pro-amendment Vote FOR Marriage NC, was not immediately returned Thursday.

Opponents of the measure say it would enshrine discrimination in the state's constitution and could have unforeseen consequences in other aspects of law including domestic violence protection orders, which supporters deny.

"It's really simple: This isn't about being gay or being straight. This is about being equal," march organizer Cory Livengood said. "I'm not different than you or your daughter or your son or your brother or your mother in that I deserve the same rights anyone else does."

The march, for which Raleigh police blocked off portions of Hillsborough and Morgan streets, attracted a crowd diverse in age, including college students, retired people and those who took off work for a day. A festive atmosphere prevailed, with people waving American flags and blowing noisy plastic vuvuzela horns.

Erin Gaynor, a self-described "suburban housewife" from Cary, was showing off the running shoes she wore for the 2-mile trek, along with a text from her daughter saying, "I'm proud of you, mom."

That's not a unanimous opinion in her house: Gaynor's husband is in favor of the amendment, she said, but amending the state constitution strikes her as a needlessly radical step.

"I'm a registered Republican, but I just can't fathom a constitutional amendment about this," she said. "I hope people look long and hard at the ramifications of this."

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  • Ken D. Mar 16, 2012

    "I will vote to support this amendment based on my beliefs and I will not change my vote to allow others to impose their beliefs on me."

    But you are quite comfortable voting to impose YOUR religious beliefs on others. And you pretty much acknowledge that you have absolutely no reason for voting that way except to promote your personal religious views. And you do so despite also knowing that by voting against this amendment, nobody is forcing their religious beliefs on you or anybody else. You just want your religion to be the law of the land.

    You are free to vote that way. You aren't required to have a good reason, or any reason, to support your vote. For that, you can thank the founders who were so adamant in protecting the rights of minorities in this country.

  • weasel2 Mar 16, 2012

    Guess Bama needs the rainbow vote!!!

  • SpaceRokr Mar 16, 2012

    This also affects Revenues, ya know.

  • elcid liked Ike Mar 16, 2012

    Exactly. Consider the statement you just posted:

    "bar the government from interfering with the decision of a religious group to fire one of its ministers"

    The operative qualifier in that statement is "ministers". The sole basis for the ruling in Hosanna-Tabor, as well as the 9-0 character of that ruling, was the fact that this woman was an ordained minister, not just some teacher teaching in a church-run school.

    Had this woman not been an ordained minister who fulfilled a ministerial role in addition to her lay teaching duties, she would have prevailed.

    Ministerial exception is NOT carte blanche for churches to ignore existing law in the case of secular or non-ministerial employees.

  • Krimson Mar 16, 2012

    Again this is your opinion. The Supreme Court will ultimately decide if this is another direct violation of the First Amendment by Obama. jwcobbnc

    Don't you actually mean "The Obama Administration"??

    No, he means Obama... Its the typical fall-back as his intellect failed him several dozen posts ago... Its the internet equivalent of "taking his ball and going home"...

  • beaulahjackson4 Mar 16, 2012

    Again this is your opinion. The Supreme Court will ultimately decide if this is another direct violation of the First Amendment by Obama.
    jwcobbnc

    Don't you actually mean "The Obama Administration"??

  • jwcobbnc Mar 16, 2012

    "DOJ did nothing more than file an amicus brief supporting the contention that secular employees of churches or church run businesses who do not fulfill a ministerial role do not qualify for the ministerial exception. Their position was correct."

    Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the court, said that the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment –”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”–bar the government from interfering with the decision of a religious group to fire one of its ministers.

  • elcid liked Ike Mar 16, 2012

    "I will vote to support this amendment based on my beliefs and I will not change my vote to allow others to impose their beliefs on me."

    Well, knock yourself out. Just understand that your vote, or indeed anyone else's, isn't the last word on the matter.

  • elcid liked Ike Mar 16, 2012

    "I believe the Supreme Court will base it's opinion on the Constitution of the US."

    It will base its opinion on that document, as well as extent federal law and precedent. I'm not worried about them because I understand why they rule as they rule.

    I'm suggesting that you don't.

  • Ezekiel c23 v19to20 Mar 16, 2012

    "I will vote to support this amendment based on my beliefs and I will not change my vote to allow others to impose their beliefs on me."

    How are they forcing their beliefs on you? Are tehy making you get a SMM?

    You do realize that you are attempting to force your beleifs on them, right? Why do you have the right to do that?

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