Perdue: 'We look like Mississippi' after amendment vote

Posted May 11, 2012
Updated May 12, 2012

— Passage of a constitutional amendment defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman makes North Carolina "look like Mississippi," Gov. Beverly Perdue said Friday.

Perdue was in Greenville as part of her tour to tout her proposed state budget for 2012-2013. The governor was responding to a question on the amendment from a reporter from WITN-TV in Washington.

"I think it's wrong for North Carolina, clearly and simply," she said. "People around the country are watching us and they're really confused, to have been such a progressive, forward-thinking, economically driven state that invested in education and that stood up for the civil rights of people, including the civil rights marches back in the '50s and '60s and '70s.

"Folks are saying, 'What in the world is going on in North Carolina?' We look like Mississippi."

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant took offense at Perdue's comment.

"I am certainly disappointed by Gov. Perdue's statement regarding North Carolina's 'looking like Mississippi,'" Bryant said in a statement. "Apparently, North Carolina's voters are much more in line with Mississippi's traditional values on marriage than those of Gov. Perdue."

The chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party also issued a statement, saying his state is proud to stand with those who voted for the amendment in North Carolina and people in other states who support traditional marriage.

"Gov. Perdue is obviously out of touch with the voters of her own state and is trying to change the subject by attacking Mississippi," Mississippi GOP chairman Joe Nosef said.

On Tuesday, North Carolina became the 30th state to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The amendment passed with nearly 61 percent of voters supporting it. Beach generic, Outer Banks tourism Amendment backlash could hurt NC tourism

Outside of Mississippi, however, many people are blasting North Carolina for approving the amendment, and some critics are letting their dollars do the talking.

Tourism officials from the Outer Banks to Asheville confirmed Friday that visitors are contacting them to say they won't vacation in North Carolina because of the amendment. The Facebook page for the state tourism office has been deluged by thousands of comments about the amendment, the majority of which are negative.

House Majority Leader Paul Stam, who sponsored the legislation that led to the amendment, said that doesn't prove anything.

"That's anecdotal evidence. South Carolina has (a similar amendment). Virginia has virtually the same thing. That's just trivial," said Stam, R-Wake.

Before North Carolina's vote, it had been three years since a state had voted on a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages, and attitudes toward gay marriage are quickly evolving. Two new polls show more than half of Americans now support same-sex marriage.

"We warned from the beginning that this was bad for business, bad for the economy, bad for tourism," said Stuart Campbell, executive director of Equality North Carolina. "We've seen it in other states where, when they passed anti-gay legislation, they suffered economically."

Tourism officials say it's too soon to tell how much impact the national furor could have on North Carolina.

Commerce Department spokesman Tim Crowley said he suspects it will pass eventually.

"Obviously, it's still fresh in people's minds. We're going to concentrate on what we've always done – making visitors welcome in North Carolina," Crowley said.


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  • indrdw May 15, 2012

    What she said is true. I have talked with people that are not from here that think NC is not progressive with the exception of a few large cities. Besides that this amendment was more than marriage. It was about civil rights, forbidding any couple not married, gay or straight, from certain rights married couples have. The result of voting reflects certain people's religion. Since when do we all want to live by a particular religion. Just wait until the Muslims and Islamic communities outnumber these other religions. How will you like the constitution being changed to agree with their culture!

  • Timetogo May 14, 2012

    The word "evolving" keeps popping up with regard to gay marriage. Regressing to liberal, immoral, do anything with anyone is not considered evolution.

  • hpr641 May 14, 2012

    What I found the most interesting is that state she decided to say we look like ... meaning, for the same reason, she could've said that we look like California. It's like she expects that everyone looks down at the State of Mississippi in the same way she does.

  • rsmith6120 May 14, 2012

    "Yes she does. Please read the first amendment in the US Constitution."

    Indeed correct! It just doesn't prevent from speaking out of ignorance..

  • jjordan231179 May 14, 2012

    "perdue has no right to make the comments she makes"

    Yes she does. Please read the first amendment in the US Constitution.

  • rsmith6120 May 14, 2012

    WOW! This thread wasn't about the amendment and who voted which way but on Purdue and her unprofessional lame comment. She is proof that politicians will smooth talk their way into office. When they know they are failing on public opinion and failed at their job, they reveal their true thoughts and don't care what they say. Good thing the smart voters out there are sharp enough to look out for this in the future... or we all hope!

    As for the amendment, I voted against it but it wasn't a gay issue for me. I have several friends that are gay and I think they act and conduct themselves better than some straight that I know. I am a God fearing person but as his word says.. "Judge not, that ye be not judged". I do think that this state being in the heart of the bible belt continues to strike the wrong type of fear in the heart and minds of many but that is debatable itself. The amendment had deeper issues but the state has voted and now we have to deal with those issues..

  • squirt80 May 14, 2012

    perdue has no right to make the comments she makes, when she went out one night drinking at a party and did a hit and run. went to her friend who is a state trooper and he made her go back to the accident.

  • squirt80 May 14, 2012

    NC is not bigots, maybe you people that calls NC bigots, should go join another state thats full of bigots...

  • squirt80 May 14, 2012

    she needs to read a book on common sense.. because she has none what so ever... she needs to crawl in a hole and pull the hole in after her.

  • squirt80 May 14, 2012

    doesnt surprise me, if i was the governor of mississippi i would be calling obama and perdue... sh had no right making that comment she made... she has doen nothing at all, but spend money taking trips and wasting the tax payers money.. she has plenty of it