Local News

Chapel Hill Leaders Vote Against Marriage Amendment

Posted March 8, 2005 6:54 a.m. EST

— Chapel Hill has an official stance on same-sex marriage.

The Town Council voted on a hotly-contested proposal at their latest meeting Monday night.

Both sides of the debate made sure their voices were heard before the decision, in which the town leaders decided to fight a constitutional amendment that would limit marriage in North Carolina to a man and a woman.

The eight-to-nothing vote also backed the repeal of North Carolina's ``defense of marriage'' act and sought passage of a bill to make sexual orientation a protected category under the state's hate-crimes law.

Residents crowded into council chambers, pressed against the glass, and watched on monitors as each side sounded off.

Leaders of a Christian group, Called2Action for Orange and Durham Counties, called attention to the council's debate last week by saying it would try to pack the hall with 200 to 500 people opposed to the document's gay-rights planks. Observers say slightly more than 100 of the group's backers showed up.

About 200 people attended the meeting, with more people watching televised coverage of the meeting in an adjacent room.

The decision comes more than a week after the early-morning beating of a gay UNC-Chapel Hill student on Franklin Street.