State News

Gay marriage supporters, opponents face off in Raleigh

Posted August 10, 2010

— A national group touring the country to show support for traditional marriage rallied outside the State Capitol on Tuesday, calling on North Carolina to adopt a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

A few dozen people gathered for the presentation by the National Organization for Marriage, which is holding more than 20 events across much of the country during a bus tour to oppose gay marriage.

Meanwhile, a larger crowd supporting gay rights held a counter-demonstration across the street.

Arguments in the gay marriage debate have intensified since a federal judge last week struck down California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages.

Six states have legalized gay marriage, while 28 have amended their state constitutions to restrict marriage to unions between one man and one woman.

North Carolina is the only state in the Southeast that hasn’t approved a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriages. A state law on the books since 1871 forbids the practice, but Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, said the law is open to interpretation by courts.

Brown said North Carolina voters should be given the chance to vote on an amendment that state judges would have to uphold.

"We need to put marriage outside the realm of what the courts can overturn," he said during the rally.

Anti-gay marriage rally Gay marriage debate heats up in N.C.

Paige Fitzgerald, who recently got engaged to her boyfriend of a year and a half, said she supports traditional marriage.

"Marriage is defined as a man and a woman, and that's the only way it's defined," Fitzgerald said. "If you look it up in the dictionary, that's how it's defined – not just the Bible."

As Brown spoke, people attending the Freedom to Marry rally nearby shouted, "Get your hate out of our state." Attendees said they want equal rights for homosexuals, including the option to marry.

"It's time to bring an injustice to an end," Ron Danley said.

Kristin Nagy brought her 2-year-old son, Tevin, to the rally backing gay marriage, and her mother drove more than five hours from South Carolina to support her.

"I just want to be equal. I just don't want Tevin to grow up and hear that his mommies are second-class citizens," Nagy said.

"If my daughter loves another woman, I'm happy she found someone to love and that loves her back," said Nagy's mother, Pamela Petruschke.

North Carolina lawmakers said they favored keeping the existing state ban on gay marriage – a position that pleased neither side in the debate.

"The constitution should only be amended to address situations where laws alone do not suffice," Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Basnight said. "The constitution was created as a guiding document to provide government with principles by which laws should be passed. It is not a document to be used for making law."

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  • djhartm Aug 12, 4:13 p.m.

    Hooray, no gay marriage in CA while Walker's legally absurd judgment is challenged. Love the baseless statements claiming that restricting marriage between a man & a woman is 'discrimination'. It's a good day to be straight & proud!

  • lfrazier Aug 12, 4:01 p.m.

    Let me love who I want...let me MARRY WHO I WANT...discrimination of any kind is absurd.

  • soyousay Aug 12, 1:13 p.m.

    B..Let the "Fruitcakes" unite........ but not on my lawn

    hate to tell you but I doubt there would sufficient reaon for anyone to visit your lawn

  • Mugu Aug 12, 12:07 p.m.

    Until divorce, custody & support laws are reformed to real world specifications, I am totally against marriage, period.

    There is no benefit for a man to get married nowadays, whatsoever.

  • Lightfoot3 Aug 12, 10:41 a.m.

    "Brown said North Carolina voters should be given the chance to vote on an amendment that state judges would have to uphold." -


    WRONG! Should we also vote on whether we want to bring back slavery? Should we vote on which races can get married? We should NOT be voting on such things. Marriage is a natural right. Gay marriage affects no one other than the gays that get married. Why would anyone other than gays even care?! Time for the government to get out of the marrying business or treat everyone fairly.

  • Bartmeister Aug 12, 8:22 a.m.

    Let the "Fruitcakes" unite........ but not on my lawn. We've created colonies for them, it's called San Francisco and Chapel Hill.

  • teamedwardtwilight51 Aug 11, 6:35 p.m.

    I am against same sex marriage. Its between a man and woman only. I pray they do not pass this.

  • teamedwardtwilight51 Aug 11, 6:33 p.m.

    Marriage is between a man and woman only. I am against same sex marriage. Its wrong

  • teamedwardtwilight51 Aug 11, 6:31 p.m.

    I am against gay marriage! God created man and woman to be together only.

  • ilovehill Aug 11, 5:37 p.m.

    tchavis, I look forward to chatting with you again, even if we do not see eye to eye, but whatever we discuss/debate, I will respect your view and not lower myself by acting like a child like I had been doing.

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