Tillis: Marriage amendment likely to be reversed

Posted March 27, 2012

— Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis is standing by a prediction that the proposed amendment to the North Carolina Constitution banning same-sex marriage will be approved by voters, only to be reversed within a generation.

Opponents of the ban have seized on Tillis' comments, which were made Monday before a student group at North Carolina State University and first reported by Technician, the campus newspaper.

Tillis was quoted as predicting the amendment will pass with about 54 percent of the vote, but will be repealed within 20 years because young people are more supportive of marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Although he said he has philosophical issues with the amendment proposal – as a conservative, he's wary of government intrusion into people's lives – he still supports having the GOP-backed measure on the May 8 primary ballot.

Gay marriage debate, same-sex marriage Tillis: One generation wants marriage vote, next may likely reverse it

"This generation and the majority of people today seem to be interested in having the question asked and then voted by the people," Tillis said.

Same-sex marriage is already illegal in North Carolina, but say the amendment is needed to protect marriage from being redefined by the courts.

Jeremy Kennedy, manager of the Protect All NC Families campaign, which opposes the amendment, said a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is overly restrictive and unnecessary.

"Same-sex marriage is already illegal in this state. This amendment does nothing to change that. Whether this passes or fails, that won't change," Kennedy said. "What will happen is there will be children that lose their health care, domestic violence laws that will be put in jeopardy and there are real harms that this amendment will cause to people."

The group has raised more than $1.1 million to fight the amendment.

Meanwhile, a national group is using a divisive strategy in an effort to get the amendment approved, according to court documents from a case in Maine.

The National Organization for Marriage has toured the state in recent weeks to rally support for the measure. According to confidential strategy documents, the group has been trying to "drive a wedge between gays and blacks – two key Democratic constituencies" by maintaining that marriage isn't a civil right.

The internal memo says the group seeks out blacks who disapprove of gay marriage and develops a media campaign around that. Then, the group tries to "provoke the gay marriage base into ... denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots."

Maggie Gallagher, co-founder of the group, said white liberals not paying attention to the wishes of black voters are the only people driving the wedge in the issue.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Sumo Vita Apr 4, 2012

    Marriage wasn't even a sacrament in the founding years of Christianity. The concept of "Holy Matrimony" as a sacrament was instituted by the Church in the middle ages to ensure property rights for the spouse. What is holy and what is not is defined by the character of the partners, not their genders. Lying, cheating, stealing, infidelity, physical and emotional abuse - none of these could ever be part of a "holy" matrimony, yet nobody's proposing constitutional amendmends outlawing adultery. Why?

  • marywaterton Apr 3, 2012

    3rd paragraph: Tillis was quoted as predicting the amendment will pass with about 54 percent of the vote, but will be repealed within 20 years because young people are more supportive of marriage rights for same-sex couples.

    Fatal flaw in that prediction is that it presumes young people do not change their minds as they grow older. When I was 18 it was cool to be part of the liberal crowd, to be stupid and irresponsible. But then I got married and had children ... and suddenly I grew up. I realized that redefining marriage is a very bad idea.

  • Ezekiel c23 v19to20 Mar 28, 2012

    "but then again maybe you also fall under the HYPOCRITE category."

    Only if I wans't a complete and total jagoff to everyone.

    Besides, you might want to look up my alias first.

  • barbstillkickin Mar 28, 2012

    With a name like Ezekiel c23 v19to20 I would think you would be more compassionate with your comments but then again maybe you also fall under the HYPOCRITE category.

  • barbstillkickin Mar 28, 2012

    Ok so what I said was irrelevant to you not me. Marriage is a legal term to join two people. As far as God goes you make your own determination. Do not mock me I am not telling people what to do I am only expressing my opinion and if it does not agree with yours then so be it. Hypocrites are the people who go to church on Sunday and drink, party, cuss, commit whatever they want Monday to Saturday then they sit next to you in a pew and act holy that is a HYPOCRITE. If you got a problem then deal with it but leave my opinions to me. I was just expressing my opinion. In case you do not understand what an opinion is it means my own thoughts.

  • Nope Mar 28, 2012

    "OK, marriage is a religious act"

    Holy matrimony is, not civil marriage, which these amendments are directed at.

  • dwntwnboy Mar 28, 2012

    "God never said anything about..."- anything because it's all made up mythology. No "god" wrote anything, MEN wrote books to control their population and establish order and rules (that were specific and correct for the times they were written) 2000+ years ago.

  • Ezekiel c23 v19to20 Mar 28, 2012

    "God said one man and one woman should be bonded together for life. he never said once that two men or two women can be bonded together."

    Irrelevant. Your mythology carries absolutely no weight in this discussion.

    "marriage between two people lets them become parents by delivering a child made from both of them so when men start delivering babies let me know."

    Also irrelevant. Not all couples have children. Additionally marraige, in teh United States, brings a load of legal benefits taht accrue only through that union.

    "God never said anything about using a lab to make a child this is almost going in the other direction so you do what you want but I want to go to heaven at my judgement day."

    Still irrelevant.

    "I will not judge people that is only for God to do."

    You are indeed judging people. Lie to yourself all you wish, but that is what you are doing. What does your mythology say about hypocrites?

  • Come On_Seriously Mar 28, 2012

    Way for our fearless leaders to back a divisive, religious-based bill that even the Speaker thinks will be overturned before long. Even Tillis has reservations about the increase in govt sticking its nose into private lives, but supported his party rather than his convictions.

    We are still talking about an amendment that will strip existing rights from domestic partners and common-law marriages. Gay marriage is already illegal. We are also talking about state recognition- not religious. You can indeed marry two bottles of ketchup to get one full bottle. Holy matrimony happens in a church and most are confusing this with the civil definition of marriage.

    For all of you basing this decision on your religion- do you think that God wants to prohibit an 80-yr old man from visiting his deathly ill wife in the hospital, even though they have been together for 45 years and have 9 kids, but never got a marriage certificate?

    That's what this bill ends up doing.

  • Ezekiel c23 v19to20 Mar 28, 2012

    "OK, marriage is a religious act"

    No it isn't. It's a civil act as well.

    "no religion or civilized society has ever accepted homosexuality."

    Lie...or you are so horribly illeducated that you really need to read up on the subject before you post.